lemonade learning Halloween 
Games and Crafts

Custom Search

Games

Bobbing for Apples
Ghostly Donuts
Fortune Telling
Reverse Masquerade
Pumpkin Decorating Contest
Monster in the Maze
Who's Haunting? (aka "Guess the Ghost")
Jack o'Lantern Relay
Spiderweb Tangle
Graveyard
Murder Wink, Murder Handshake
Wizard Games
Group Madlibs
Outdoor Activities

Crafts

Ghosts
Bats
Pumpkins
Wizard Crafts
Spiders and Webs
Creepy Stick People
Rubber Chicken Bones
Apple Dolls (external link)
-(also use apple doll heads for shrunken heads)

Bobbing for Apples

Place a large tub on the floor. Fill it 1/2 way with water, then add apples. One at a time, each player must retrieve an apple using only their mouths (no hands) from the tub.
People with colds etc. should refrain from participating, or should use their own separate container to bob in.

Ghostly Donuts

You will need at least one powdered-sugar coated donut per guest for this game. Tie each donut to a branch or clothesline, etc. so that the donuts hang at face level to the guests. The guests must eat a donut without using their hands. Have the participants look at themselves in a mirror afterwards (this is a great photo opportunity). The experience is said to make ghosts out of those who play!

Fortune Telling

Cut several strips of medium weight paper. Using lemon juice and a cotton swab or thin paint brush, write a fortune message on each and let dry. At fortune telling time, dress up as desired and light a small candle. Ask each person to choose a strip of paper, then, one at a time reveal the message for them by heating it over the flame.

Reverse Masquerade

Make up signs ahead of time that can be fastened to each person's back (by safety pin). Choose characters that work with your theme, such as: bat, black cat, skeleton, ghost, spider, Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, Scooby-Doo, Werewolf, the Great Pumpkin, Shrek, the Grinch, Loch Ness monster, dragon, Purple People Eater, etc. Write one on each sign, or for younger guests, draw or print a picture of one on each sign.
As the guests arrive, pin a random sign to their back so that they can't read it, but other guests can. Throughout the party, they need to ask others yes or no questions to discover their identities.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Assign guests to groups of 2-4 people for larger pumpkins, or give each guest a mini-pumpkin each. Gather together costume accessories, such as hats, scarves, ties, glasses, costume jewelery, etc. Also provide washable paint in a variety of colours. Optional: provide craft items such as fun foam, pipe cleaners, glitter glue, etc.
Give the guests a fixed amount of time to decorate their pumpkin. For this contest, the decorating doesn't involve any carving, so the kids can let their creativity run wild.
Award prizes for originality, best use of paint, scariest, funniest, etc.

Monster in the Maze

Create a maze in your yard using tape, sidewalk chalk or rope as the outline. All dead ends must have a u-turn so no one is trapped. Throughout the maze drop coins and wrapped candy. One person is the monster and one is the treasure seeker. The treasure seeker gets a 5-second head start and may grab as much loot as possible and exit the maze before the monster catches them. The monster may not reach across lines. If the seeker makes it out before the monster tags them they get to keep the loot they collected. Replenish loot as needed.

Who's Haunting?

Everyone sits in a circle. One person is chosen to leave the room. While the person is out, another player is chosen to hide under a sheet or blanket and be the "ghost". The first person is called back in and must guess "who's haunting" the party. When they guess correctly, the person who was the ghost becomes the person who guesses in the next round of play. Continue until everyone has had a turn.

Jack o'Lantern Relay

Cut out two sets of pumpkin face pieces and two large orange pumpkin faces from construction paper or poster board. Hang pumpkins on the wall and put double-sided tape on the pumpkin where the face parts will go. Line up the teams behind a starting line (a skipping rope laid on the floor works well). Place the face pieces on a chair at the front of each line. Each child gets a half-straw and must use suction to carry their piece to the pumpkin and affix (no hand allowed). First team done wins.

Spiderweb Tangle

Use several balls of yarn for this game. Use small balls of yarn, or divide balls into smaller balls. You will need to set the room up ahead of time.
At one end of each ball of yarn, attach a small sign with the guest's name, or other identifying feature. Unwind the yarn and take the ball through the room, weaving it in and out and around the furniture until you reach the end of the ball. At that end attach either a treat, or a clue to find a treat. Be sure to keep the end out of easy sight. Repeat with the next balls of yarn, threading the yarn around and through itself.
When the guests arrive, have them each unravel the "web" to find their treat.

Graveyard

Everyone except the caretaker must lie down as still as possible. If the caretaker sees them move, they must join the caretaker to spot those who move.

Murder Wink, Murder Handshake

In this game, one person is chosen to be the murderer. Everyone sits in a circle and closes their eyes. A non-playing adult goes around and secretly taps one person on the head. That person is the murderer.
To murder someone, the murderer must wink at a person. The victim must count to 10 then act out a dramatic death. The others must try and catch the murderer in the act before they become one of the victims.

Murder handshake works the same way, except the players meet each other and shake hands. The murderer presses their index finger against their victim's wrist to commit murder.

Group Madlibs

Build a zany Halloween story with your friends.
Find some free printable Halloween Madlib stories here. These stories are slightly longer and more involved than the average Madlib, so they lend them selves especially well to a group setting. Choose one, print it out, then ask each person to supply a word until all the word blanks have been filled. Read the story back to the group. There are also some Halloween word searches you can print from that page.

Outdoor Activities

full moon

Bring Halloween outdoors this year!
A night walk in the woods will bring chills and thrills to those with vivid imaginations--you may even see some bats or owls if you are quiet and look carefully. Be sure to stay on established paths, especially when travelling at night.
If you live in the country, have a Halloween bonfire. You can tell scary ghost stories as you toast marshmallows and warm your toes. For some campfire cooking suggestions, check out my camping pages here and campfire desserts here.
During the day, you can stuff your own scarecrow. Use old clothing and stuff each item with leaves. Tuck clothing pieces into each other to hold it together. A few safety pins or a bit of duct tape might help hold the parts together. If you wish to pose it standing, a long stick threaded through the middle will help provide support. Overalls or suspenders will further help keep it together. For a face, make a ball of burlap or similar fabric and stuff it part way down the neck. Draw on a face if desired. Add a straw (or other) hat to the top. You can also use a full-head mask and stuff it, or an old detergent or bleach bottle (empty and well-rinsed) as the head. Other embellishments to consider: a pitchfork, bandana, sports equipment, boots, lawn chair, etc.
If you do these with a group, print off some of our seasonal word searches or madlibs to give those who finish first something to do while the others complete their projects. More printouts can be found on the Halloween Index Page.

Ghosts

Method 1: Blow up a small round clear balloon. Tie a length of thread or fishing line to the balloon. Drape cheesecloth or any other sheer white fabric over the balloon and thread the line through the fabric. The line should remain at the top of the head. Tie off the bottom neck loosely. Use a grey marker to make shadowy facial features. Hang as desired.

Method 2: Cover round lollipops with a large square tissue or a white cloth handerchief. Tie at the neck and draw on facial features with a marker or fabric marker.

Method 3: Spread out a sheet of plastic wrap. carefully pour white glue into ghost-shaped blobs on the wrap and let dry overnight. Add facial features with a marker and use a needle to make a hole for hanging or for use as a pendant, or glue it to a magnet or pin back as desired.

Bats

Body: Cut a piece of black shiny plastic (as from a garbage bag or similar), into a square equal to the desired height of your bat (we'll say, about 6" or 15 cm). Bunch it up together. Using black string, yarn or thread, tie a length around the bunch about 3-4 cm from the bottom. Tie another section about 6-7 cm from the top (which will form the head). Trim the top to look like there are two ears sticking out. Glue on googley eyes, or use glow in the dark stickers or paint for eyes as desired.

bat wingsFor the wings: use high-gloss black paper, or paint varnish or shellac over regular black paper and let dry.
                                        Cut out a set of wings in one continuous section to look like this ---->

Glue the body to the wings. When the glue is dry, glue the back of the wings to a wooden clothespeg for hanging. If you make a few of these, you may wish to omit the wings for some and have them hang "sleeping" in various key spots around your house.

Pumpkins

Jack O'Lantern from an orange: Wash an orange (thicker skinned oranges are best for this one), then use a pencil to lightly trace the face you wish to carve. Use a plastic knife to cut away the orange part, leaving the white part of the skin in place. Depending on the texture of your orange, this may be a bit tough for smaller children. A vegetable peeler or paring knife (adults only!) may be needed.
If you wish you can scoop it out and eat the pulp by cutting off the top of the orange.

Make a pumpkin carriage like Cinderella's--click for instructions.

Make a paper mache Jack O'Lantern. Cover a balloon in newspaper strips dipped in paper mache paste. To coat the strips evenly, dip or spread the paste on both sides. Gently pull the strip through your fingers to remove excess paste. 2 or 3 coatings will make a fairly strong structure. Let it dry overnight.

If you wish to make this into a piniata, only do 2 layers, and cut a flap in the bottom when dry to weaken it so it can be broken. Add a couple of strips of wet paper to the seams to secure it and let those dry.

If you are making this as a table top ornament, cut off the top like you would a regular pumpkin (start the hole with a serrated knife then continue with scissors). Paint the pumpkin orange (with tempera or acrylic paint), and either paint on facial features, or cut them out. Add a coat of varnish or shellac on the inside and outside to seal it.

To light it, cut a small hole in the back and feed a few LED Christmas lights into the back, or use a battery-powered light. Do not light a candle inside as the paper mache is flammable.

Spiders and Webs

Spiders: For each spider you will need 2 black pipecleaners cut in half, one small black pompom, one large black pompom, 2 googly eyes and either craft glue, or an adult weilding a glue gun. First, glue the pompoms together and let dry. Next, bend each section of pipecleaner "legs" into an "M" shape. Glue the middle of the pipecleaners to the bottom of the larger pompom and let dry. Bend out the feet and glue the eyes onto the front of the smaller pompom.

Webs: You will need a sheet of dark blue or black paper, white or glow in the dark paint, a pan that your paper can lay flat inside, and a marble or two. Optional: a small toy spider, or a paper cutout spider shape.
Line your pan with the paper. Dip the marble into the paint, then place it on the paper and roll it around inside the pan. The trail it makes will be the web. Re-dip the marble and repeat as desired. Let your web dry, then glue on a spider as desired.

Creepy Stick People

These are addicting--make a whole family, then hang them in a tree to greet trick or treaters. Add a few shrunken heads (see the apple doll link, but don't add the body when you make them) and some bone windchimes and no one will forget your house for a long, long time! You will need:
several twigs and sticks
thread or thin string
Small strips of scrap cloth
Optional: paint, markers, googly eyes and glue/glue gun for decorating; needle and thread for fastening the fabric

First, arrange your sticks in a "stick person" pattern with one stick for the head and body, one for the arms, and one (best to use a bent one) for the legs. You can also use a forked stick as both the head/body and the legs if you have one that is long enough.
Now tie the sticks into place. Be sure to criss-cross both ways around the sticks so that they stay in place well. You can also use a glue gun, but the thread gives it a creepier feel.
Once tied, you can clothe your Twiggy. Experiment by wrapping and tying the cloth in various ways until you find a way you like best. If you wish, you can sew or glue it into place, but try and keep it simple. Simpler in this craft usually means creepier!
Add any other embellishments you wish.

Rubber Chicken Bones

Can you tie a chicken bone in a knot? You can if it's a rubber chicken bone! These bones aren't really made from rubber, but from actual chicken bones.

You will need:
several chicken bones
vinegar
a glass bowl or jar

First clean all the meat from the chicken bones, wash them then boil them for a few minutes to kill off any dangerous bacteria. Let them dry completely.
Fill a bowl or jar with vinegar, then add the bones. Cover the top of the jar or bowl and let them sit for 6-8 days. The vinegar will dissolve the calcium in the bones so that the bones become flexible and can be bent and even tied.