I love October, mainly because of Halloween. I’m sure lots of mystery buffs get excited about the holiday, and I’m no exception. Though I’m not buying a ticket to the movie It anytime soon, I will be watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with my kids. Recently, we went to the pumpkin patch, and I got to repeat my favorite line from the show: “Nothing but sincerity for as far as the eye can see.” The kids rolled their eyes. They know mom geeks out this time of year.
I might be getting the looks now, but in a few weeks, I’ll be their Halloween hero. We’ll decorate the porch, invest in costumes, and do crafts. Skull notebooks? Bought. Orange and green slime? Made. Cut and paste jack-o-lanterns? Please. We’ve moved on to Mod Podge.
A few years ago, I decided to put my mom skills to the test. I threw a Halloween party. Now I’ve done my share of birthday parties, school parties, and milestone parties, but a party for a non-mandatory occasion? This was uncharted territory.
It ended up being one of my favorite events. Maybe it was the voluntary nature of the gathering, or maybe it was the time of the year. Either way, the kids and I had a lot of fun, so I thought I’d share my ideas.
To those of you who’ve stumbled onto this blog by accident, googling ideas for classroom or Halloween parties, take heed: more is always better. I’ve planned enough of these parties to know that kids can mow through activities in about half the time you plan. Also, food is never a bad idea—no matter if the party’s before lunch, after lunch, or somewhere in between. Kids are always hungry, and food forces them to sit down for ten minutes (okay, five).
Here are my sure-fire activities with pictures. Now who’s ready to party? One, two, three—throw!
To make an “ice hand,” fill a latex glove with water and freeze. To make the mummy cupcakes, use tube frosting to crisscross chocolate cupcakes and M&Ms for the eyes.
Make these lanterns out of Mason jars wrapped with mesh bandages. Use Mod Podge and wiggly eyes to get the mummy effect. I used white tea lights for a ghostly look. These jars look cool sitting in the window.
Pumpkin Race: Have kids “race” with miniature pumpkins on their heads. This activity was cheap and fun. If you have a big dad to race against, it adds to the spectacle!
Pumpkin Volcano: Carve a miniature pumpkin. Add baking soda and a little dish soap (you can also add a little food coloring). Pour in vinegar until it fizzes. You can use the same pumpkin over and over so that all the kids at your party have a chance to do the experiment.
Mummy Race: Divide your group into two teams. Whichever team makes a mummy out of toilet paper first, wins!
Readers, what do you like to do for Halloween? Please share!