By Kathy Ross for Real Families, Real Fun
If you need some easy ideas for creating a Halloween party with
atmosphere that is fun for older children and not "too much"
for the little ones, read on! Whether you need ideas for a school
or community party, or you want to invite others to have Halloween
"out" at your house, here are some cool decorations and
games to play. (And don't forget the meringue ghosts in What's Cookin'
for treats--and doll costumes at Get Crafty!) With these few simple
ideas, you can convert your party place into a delightfully spooky
place suitable for all ages.
For a unique table centerpiece, place an inflated round balloon
on a small, square carton (like a FedEx box) with an opening that
is small enough to support the balloon on top of it. Cover the table,
balloon and all, with a white sheet or paper tablecloth. Add two
large black construction-paper eyes to the cloth where the balloon
is. It will look like a ghost is rising up from the center of the
table. "I can't believe that something this easy to do could
look so great! The kids love this idea and won't let me take it
off the table. We now share dinner with a ghost!" said an Iowa
Hang pairs of free-floating eyeballs around the room to peer at
your guests. Hang sets of eyes from the ceiling, and set them on
the table and around the room. Make the eyeballs from pairs of two
round balloons held together with a sticky-side-out loop of masking
tape. Tape black pupils to the knotted end of each balloon. "We
have a pair of white eyes hanging from a plant with fishing twine.
Ryan (12) said it was "cool," Peggy LaClair reported.
If you want to have "goodie" bags, try this sock-bat idea.
For each bat, fill the foot of the sock with candies and small toys.
If you need to fill out the foot, add some crushed tissue paper.
Close the foot with a piece of thin ribbon tied around it near the
heel. Tie the two ends of the ribbon together to make a hanger for
the bat. The excess cuff on the sock can be trimmed off. Glue black
construction paper or felt wings to the back of the bat. Add paper
or wiggly eyes and some pointy white rick-rack teeth to the front
top for a face. Hang the bats on a line strung over the table for
decorations until it's time for the guests to take them home. When
the bats have been emptied of their bounty, they can be used for
An Ice-Face Cooler
Make an ice face to float in the punch using a plastic or rubber
facemask for the mold. Close off any openings, such as eyeholes,
with plastic packing tape. Place the mask in a dish (because the
tape is not totally leak-proof!). Fill the mask with water colored
with food coloring, and freeze it. When you are ready to use the
ice face, release it from the mask by running it briefly under warm
water. "We do something similar to this using a rubber glove
to make an ice hand," said our Iowa mom.
Turn plain doughnuts into owls by adding gummy LifeSaver eyes and
a candy corn beak to one side with a dab of store-bought tube frosting.
Stand a bare branch in a can of children's play dough in the center
of the doughnut tray. Perch a doughnut owl or two on the branch
for display. To make a serving container for the doughnuts or for
cookies, cut the top third off of a pumpkin. Clean out the pumpkin,
and line it with foil. Prepare several pumpkin containers to use
on the table. "This is a cute and easy food craft to do with
a large group! I can do this one with my class!" said a N.Y.
Bats in the Bathroom
For a nifty bathroom bat soap dispenser, use a rubber band to hold
two pump soap dispensers together side by side. Cover them with
an old black sock to look like a bat. Cut a tiny hole in the sock
so that the white spouts of the two soap containers can poke through
the sock to look like the two teeth of a vampire bat. Glue on two
paper or wiggle eyes above the teeth. Glue a strip of white rick-rack
between the teeth for the mouth. Cut paper bat wings to glue on
the back of the bat. Your guests will be clamoring to wash their
hands before snacks with the bat soap dispenser.
TAKE IT FROM ME:
1) Sprinkle plastic spider rings over your party table. Later, the
children can take a spider ring home with them. 2) Light your pumpkins
with light sticks or flashlights for your party. 3) Store-bought
cobwebs and a tape of spooky music are both wonderful additions
to the Halloween atmosphere.