Games and Crafts
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GamesBobbing for Apples
Pumpkin Decorating Contest
Monster in the Maze
Who's Haunting? (aka "Guess the Ghost")
Jack o'Lantern Relay
Murder Wink, Murder Handshake
Spiders and Webs
Creepy Stick People
Rubber Chicken Bones
Apple Dolls (external link)
-(also use apple doll heads for shrunken heads)
People with colds etc. should refrain from participating, or should use their own separate container to bob in.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the wings: use high-gloss black paper, or paint varnish or shellac over regular black paper and let dry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You will need:
several chicken bones
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.