Halloween is right around the corner, which means it's time to finalize all the details for the frightening festivities. While kids will be mapping out which houses they want to stop by (like ones known in the neighborhood for handing out king-size candy bars), you'll be planning the post-trick-or-treat celebration. Here are some creative games to put on your party agenda:
1. Bowling game
You don't need to go to the bowling alley to roll a strike on kid-approved fun. Just craft Halloween-themed pins for a do-it-yourself game. This idea featured on Good Housekeeping involves painting mischievous monster faces on cleaned-out tin cans. Stack them in a pyramid, and have guests take turns throwing a tennis ball to make the structure tumble down. Not only will it provide entertainment for the party, but the DIY aspect makes it a great pre-holiday activity to occupy your kids!
2. Bobbing for donuts
Have you ever heard of bobbing for donuts? It's an equally fun but more sanitary alternative to the classic game of bobbing for apples. Grab a dozen of your favorite flavored pastries from your local bakery, and use a long piece of string to hang each donut on a tree in the backyard. The kids must eat their donut without using their hands. This way, your little ghouls and goblins will only be touching their own sweet treat.
3. Skeleton relay race
After gallivanting through the neighborhood filling their bags with treats, your young guests will no doubt be on a sugar high. Help them burn off that energy with a skeleton relay race. According to Family Education, to create the equipment for this game, you need to draw two skeletons on a thick poster board, and cut out each bone.
Next, separate the children into two lines, and lay both sets of bones on the other side of the yard. Players will go one at a time to run to the pile, grab a bone and hurry back. They then tap the next person to take his or her turn. The goal is to be the first team to collect all the bones and assemble them correctly.
4. Gourd games
Featured on the blog My Life and Kids, gourd games is another activity guaranteed to run the kids out of their sugar rush. You'll need two brooms and two pumpkins. Players can compete in pairs or set up relay teams. The goal is to use the broom to roll the pumpkin to the finish line first. This activity works better on a smooth surface, like a stone pavers driveway, as opposed to artificial grass, which can make rolling the gourd difficult.
5. Pumpkin tic-tac-toe
Create an outdoor tic-tac-toe game with some pumpkins as game pieces and a few large sticks to make the game board. Or, if you have a life-size chess board made out of stone pavers, you can play this game on a three-by-three square space. Simply paint big Xs on some pumpkins and Os on others, and use the gourds to play this game with its traditional rules. Just make sure the pumpkins aren't too heavy for little ones to lift!
Adjust games depending on the age group.
6. Pin the face on the pumpkin
A twist on an old classic, pin the face on the pumpkin is exactly like pin the tail on the donkey. Instead of trying to attach an item to the mule's hindquarters, this game requires assembling a jack-o-lantern face while blindfolded. Parents just need to cut out spooky faces from construction paper beforehand, including several sets of eyes, goofy grins and noses. Set the bare pumpkins on an elevated surface, like a table or retaining wall, and have the children walk to the gourds and attach the facial features. Be sure to snap some pictures of the results!
7. Gross-out game
Ready for some hilarious and horrifying conversation? Gather the kids up around the fireplace and play the gross-out game. As This Full House explained, have the first child start by saying "For Halloween dinner, my mom made me … " and let him or her come up with the grossest menu item possible. Pumpkin guts, troll boogies and witches' warts are three terrific examples of disgusting meals. The next child begins with the same sentence and includes the answer of the first player, then adds his or her own item to the list. By the the time you go around the whole circle with this memory-testing activity, you'll have an imaginary buffet of everything gooey and gross that you could imagine.
These games are all easily adjustable depending on the age group. For example, you might add an obstacle for older kids playing the gourd game, or especially young kids won't have to repeat previous items on the gross-out game food list. Cater the activities to your Halloween party's needs, and you're guaranteed a spooktacular time.