‘Bobbing for apples’ with young kids has never appealed to my inner ‘health and safety nut’ … But this could be a worthy alternative. It’s pretty much a case of ‘what it says on the tin’… An ‘ick’ game that my boys will probably both love and hate in equal measure, but ups the ante for older kids at Halloween.
Having done the ‘Dangling Doughnuts’ game, I thought it’d be good to up the ante this year. The plan is to cook the spaghetti and put it on plates with a touch of olive oil, so that it doesn’t congeal when cold
After it cools, I’m planning on adding the ‘jelly snakes’ into it, then putting it into big bowls.
Then, the challenge for the kids will be to try to pick the jelly snakes (‘worms’) out, only using their mouths. I may try it blindfolded first and possibly do it as a timed challenge: ‘how many worms can you get in 1 minute?’ as my guys like the thrill of competition…
My kids asked me if they could do a treasure hunt, a bit like the one they did at Easter over Halloween.
We’d previously done the ‘Hunt the Halloween Letters’ game and I thought I’d do a different one this year as they’re a bit older now and would like a puzzle and chocolate to boot…
So this is what I came up with. I drew the bones for a (very out of proportion!) skeleton on white card, named the pieces on the back and drew round them in pencil on a piece of black paper to tip them off on which bone goes where (but you could up the challenge by getting them to also work out how it goes together… harder than it looks when you have a pile of bones!).
On the back of each of the bones I’ve taped some Halloween-themed chocolates. I was going to get them to build a skeleton each, but I’ve settled on doubling-up the chocolate on a single skeleton as there are quite a few bones to find/hide. As I doubled-up the paper when I cut it out, I have another skeleton they can do with their friends if they want to do it in teams as a race.
When we do the game, I’ll stick the black paper to a door and the guys will have to hunt around the house for the bones, divvy-up the chocs stuck to the back, then stick them in the right place. Hopefully it’s something they’ll find fun and gives us a new decoration at the same time 😉
Harder than you think!
A less dangerous interpretation of the ‘apple bobbing’ concept. I didn’t fancy suggesting kids put their heads into buckets of water to pick up an apple with their teeth. This felt a little safer, although one major sugar rush!
The set up:
I used two stands from a limbo pole game to suspend a piece of string. Each doughnut was then tied to it with parcel ribbon.
I was going to do it in the kitchen, but then realised the floor would end up being a gooey mess (which would then get trampled through the house), so we did it outside. Only then did I spot an alternative option for suspending the doughnuts between trees or trellises – even easier!
At the party:
The rules are simple: eat with no hands! The ‘winner’ finishes first, but with a game like this, you can’t lose!!
Did you ever play spin the bottle? Well this is a tame version, replacing ‘truth or dare’ with ‘trick or treat’ – a bit more suitable for younger children! I decided it might not go down so well if the kids went home saying they played ‘spin the bottle’ so I renamed it ‘spin the arrow’…
I first made a version of this when I realised I had some of my friend’s children coming round for a glorified playdate at Christmas time and because we do parties at other times of the year, she happened to say how much her girls were looking forward to the mini-Christmas party. Oh. Well. Er… a few minutes later and I’d concocted some party games for the expectant visitors….
The basis for this is just a kitchen roll stuck to a piece of card (to stop it rolling over). Whilst the first version of this had just one arrow, this double-ended version for this year is more fun, in that there are two ‘winners’ on each spin. Just one of them will get the sweet though and the other gets the forfeit!
I then have two pumpkin buckets, one with folded up forfeits and the other with sweets (for ‘treats’) in. The ‘tricks’ that I’ve come up with for 4-7 year olds include:
- 5 star jumps
- Tell a joke
- Sing a song
- Tell us something about yourself we don’t know
- Make us laugh
- Be tickled for a count of 10
- Do a forward roll
- Stand on one leg for a minute
- Make the sound of 3 farmyard animals
- Pat your head with one hand, while you rub your tummy with the other for 30 seconds
- You are shipwrecked on an island inhabited by cannibals – explain to the chief why you shouldn’t be eaten
- Walk across the room on your knees
- Give a 1-minute talk about elephants
- Bark like a dog whilst walking around in a circle on tip toes like a fairy
- You are truly, madly, passionately in love with the person on your right – go down on one knee and ask them to marry you
- Pretend you are an Italian waiter – run through all the varieties of pizza available on your menu – there has to be an accent
- Give everyone with blue eyes in the room a high five
Got toilet roll? You are good to go!
Just ensure you have two toilet rolls for each team! You might also want a timer to signal when time’s-up.
At the party:
Split the kids up into groups of three. As them to nominate a ‘mummy’ to be wrapped in toilet roll, then it is the job of the other two team members to wrap the person as quickly as they can For younger kids, they could wrap their actual mummies. Ask the children to vote on the best one to be the winner, or another parent if there are parents also at the party.
A super-simple and easy to set up game that is a lot of fun for kids of all ages…
A friend bought me these black plastic spiders and straws. The idea with this game is for the children to blow air through their straws to speed their spiders along the floor. The first one to the finish line wins!
It is super-cheap, super-easy and something very young kids can play. If you can’t find spiders that would be light enough to blow easily along the floor, then it would be easy enough to cut your own spiders from black card & just use any straws – then you don’t even need to get to a shop!
At the party:
Depending on how much space and how many spiders you have, you could have a number of children in a row, blowing their spiders from the start to the finish line. You might want to put some masking tape on the floor to mark both.
This is a very quick and easy game. My guys loved it so much, they continued playing it even after the party had ended!
Put some Halloween-themed confetti and put it on a plate between each pair of players (you could have more kids sharing a plate, but they can start knocking-heads if it is too much of a squeeze!).
At the party:
Give the players a plate or bowl each and tell them their mission is to ‘suck up’ as many skeletons, pumpkins, bats (and whatever shapes you have in your confetti) with their straws as they can and transfer them onto their plate/bowl as possible in a given time – no hands aloud! I have used a 2 minute egg timer for this, but depending on the age of your children, you can decide how long.
To raise the stakes, you could ask for a particular number of the different types of confetti (e.g. ‘5 pumpkins, 10 bats’ etc) if you have older children to entertain alongside younger ones.
I tend to do a dry-run of the games with my guys before the party starts so I can work out how the games are going to go. They are always up for this as they want the party to start as soon as possible! It also means that they know the deal, so they are two less to worry about when the party is in full-swing. I then ask them to demonstrate to the others, or help them once it’s on the go.
This is one of my favourite things that I’ve made: quoits for Halloween! I think I saw this done somewhere, thought it impossible to re-create, then was surprised (and happy!) with the result. Looks great, lots of fun to play for all ages and surprisingly easy to make!
To make the base: You first need a ‘base’ for your game. I just used the side of a cardboard box, covered in orange paper to add a bit of colour. As I’m a bit OCD, I then put black electrical tape around the outside to give it a ‘finished’ look (but obviously kids won’t care about such details!).
To make the hats: Make a cone-shape out of black card (I used a party hat as a template for this) and more black circles for the base of each hat (side-plates are a good size to draw round). I did this 5 times to create the witches hats that you see on the photo. Alternatively, if you don’t have black card, but have time and energy, use a cereal box & paint it black. This is more effective than you think as the card is thicker, so creates a stronger structure (I tried a bit of both with mine!).
Then attach your cones to the hat bases by man-handling it with parcel tape to secure the inside of the cone to its base circle. It needs to be pretty strong, as they get a lot of knocks and bumps with the rings being thrown at them.
To make buckles for the hats: I then cut out rectangles, with the middle cut out in shiny card to make buckles for the hats & put a circle of yellow paper around each to add a bit of detail and colour (as well as to hide the join between the cone and the circle!).
How to raise the stakes for older kids: You could add numbers for scoring purposes on the hats, but my guys (and me!) found it hard enough to get any hoops on hats as it was, without adding more complexity.
At the party:
Use dive rings that you can get for swimming as hoops to throw over the hats. Give everyone 3 goes to see how many hoops they can get on hats. I put one colour sticker on the floor for older kids and another (closer to the game) for the younger kids.
Get the party going with this Halloween-themed treasure-hunt, and make a ‘Happy Halloween’ sign in the process. Just what you need to get the party started!
The set up:
Print out some small black and white letters to spell ‘Happy Halloween’ and stick them onto larger black card squares. These are your prompts for which letters to find and where they go. Then print out the same letters (I did them in a larger size) on orange card and hide them around the wherever the party is being held. You may want to put some double-sided sticky tape on the back of the card (or put white tac on your black and white versions if, like me, you want to re-use them). This means that when the individual letters are found by the children, they can stick them on to build a colourful version of the sign.
At the party:
This is a great ‘starter’ game to get everyone warmed up! When the party starts, tell the kids that “someone has stolen the letters from the ‘Happy Halloween’ sign, can you help to find them?”. After the game is complete, the children will have created their own sign and got the party underway! Even kids who don’t know each other all muck in and forget their shyness when they are racing around trying to find the letters.
When my guys were younger, I split the children up, with the younger ones tasked with finding the letters and the older ones at the wall, putting the letters on. If your kids are older, you could have blank black boxes for the letter prompts (depending on what your guys are like at spelling!).
However you do it, the general running around and mayhem means it’s a whole lot of fun!