Setting the scene
Achieve a stylish creepiness with these gory ideas:
- Also see: Lots more birthday party ideas!
With a bit of imagination and not too much money, you can create a brilliant Halloween feel.
Here are some ideas:
- Brooms (buy small ones from the side of the road)
- Cauldrons (black, threelegged pots)
- Plastic spiders
- Fake spider webs
- From coloured card, cut out black cats and bats
- Nothing says Halloween like a huge carved pumpkin
- Put a tea light candle inside for a striking centrepiece
- You can also use a hollowed-out pumpkin to serve soup or ice cream
- To make one cup of blood use one cup of glycerine and a few drops of red food colouring. Mix together in a small bowl.
- Adding a small amount of milk will make the blood appear darker and thicker. Use sparingly!
- Choose a large, plain glass jar.
- Half fill it with a pale coloured jelly made from powder or gelatine and allow to set.
- Drop in a plastic eyeball (you should be able to find one at your local toy store).
- Fill up with more jelly.
Make it glow
Give an eerie glow to the décor by hiding plastic, non-toxic glow sticks (available from toy shops) under the edges of the food plates.
Print out scary road signs
- Place the signs around your garden or create a scary trail with spiderwebs in the trees that kids can “accidentally” walk into.
- A tape of scary night sounds (owls’ hooting, witches’ cackle, monster noises) will lend added atmosphere.
Halloween party food ideas
Fill a martini glass with purple grape juice. Float a Cape gooseberry on the top and pop in a piece of liquorice for a “straw.”
Cook black squid ink pasta. Cut cheese into cubes and sprinkle on the pasta. This is the one time you’ll want to search out that bright orange processed cheese!
Depending on the age and sensitivity of your guests, go even yuckier and make spaghetti intestines using regular pasta, chopped up tomato and sliced sausage.
They are always a popular treat and they seem to shine and glow on the table.
Fill a big three-legged pot with prizes wrapped in black and green paper. Top with shredded paper or similar, and let each child choose a mystery prize.
Dressing up is a key part of the Halloween fun.
- A cape is simple to make and can be adapted for Dracula, a witch or various other characters.
- You’ll need about one metre of plain coloured cotton fabric cut into a square.
- Fold the square of fabric in half lengthwise, then crosswise.
- Pin the layers together.
- Measure around the base of the neck and make an arc on the fabric for the neck opening that’s big enough for a head to fit through.
- Cut along the arc to make the hole for the cape.
A witch’s hat is cheap to buy or easy to make from a roll of black cardboard.
- A mummy is easy to create out of loo paper or crepe bandages.
- Creepy hair looks stunning, but is very easy to achieve. Start off with loads and loads of gel. Spike up the hair and let it dry.
- Cover with spray-on hair colour and when it’s all dry, affix your decorations – plastic spiders, insects and so on – using eyelash glue.
Games and activities
With a bit of imagination, most party games can be adapted to this theme, for instance, pin the wart on the witch instead of pin the tail on the donkey, or pass the pumpkin instead of pass the parcel.
Make a monster
- This is a good ice-breaker.
- Divide the guests into groups of about 6 or 7 kids.
- Each group has 20 minutes to create a really fearsome monster from a collection of odds and ends.
- Give each team a large piece of card.
- For decoration, provide different colour paper, magazines, fabric off-cuts, googly eyes, glue, markers, loo paper, bandages, wool and so on.
- When they are finished, you can award prizes for the funniest or scariest and hang them up as part of the decoration.
- Create spiders and ghosts to hang in the trees and send the children out into the twilight to find them.
- For ghosts, cover lollipops with white tissue paper and draw on the eyes and mouth.
- Use black tissue paper over lollipops to create spiders and use pipe cleaners for legs.
Pass the apple
- Line up kids in two teams, close together, hands behind their backs.
- The apple is held under the chin, and passed to the next person in the team.
- If you drop the apple, your team starts again, and the first team to complete the line wins.
Bite the doughnut
- Glaze shop-bought doughnuts with orange icing and hang them from a tree or horizontal pole.
- The challenge is to eat them while keeping your hands behind your back!
Trick or treat
- On 20 pieces of paper, write “trick” or “treat” (there should be mostly tricks and just one or two treats).
- On the back of the trick papers, write a silly thing to do – roar like a monster, cackle like a witch, walk like Frankenstein’s monster, name three things you’d put in a witch’s brew.
- Put all the papers into a witch’s hat and pass it round the children, who should be sitting in a circle.
- Each child pulls out a paper and either collects a treat, or has to do the trick in order to get a treat.
Pass the parcel
- Give the game a Halloween treatment.
- In between each layer of paper include a trick or a treat, written on a piece of paper.
Have you ever planned a themed birthday party for your child? How did it go? If you'd like to show off your party organsing skills send pictures of the celebration set up to email@example.com and we may publish your photos.
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