With Halloween just around the corner it may be time to start thinking about getting ready for a children's Halloween party. Kids love Halloween because it gives them a great chance to laugh at the bogey monster, and at the thing in the cupboard or under the bed, to jump out at the things which go bump in the night and scream back at the shadows which only move in the dark. Of course many children have picked up on the American game of Trick or Treat, and whilst this can be fun it's not ideal.
Clearly it needs an adult to go with them from door to door simply from the point of view of safety, and then not all neighbours appreciate being disturbed all evening by gangs of children knocking at the door. The idea of tricking a neighbour can also frighten some elderly people, and so it's not always a good idea.
In fact you don't need to go outside, or at least no further than the garden to have a really great Halloween party, and to help things along here are a few Halloween party game ideas which have proved popular with children in the past.
Bobbing For Apples This is a classic, and as long as it's supervised kids still enjoy this. Just have a large bucket or even a big mixing bowl and fill this with water, and drop in some apples. The children then have to hold their hands behind their back and try to pick out an apple. It's simple, but great fun. Of course a twist on this is to have the bowl filled with custard (with a little red food colouring of course, to look like gooey blood!) Just make sure you have plenty of towels handy!
Winking Murder For this game all of the children sit in a circle, and one person is chosen as the murderer. The easiest way is to have an adult or older child walk around the outside of the circle, placing their hand near the back of each person as they pass them. Whenever they like they gently tap one person, and this is the murderer. Just so no one knows who it is it's best to have the person walking around the outside carry on for a bit. After the murderer has been selected everyone has to keep a beady eye on everyone else to try to spot who it is. The murderer has to manage to kill as many other people as possible by winking at them. Anyone who is winked at then has to die (with all due dramatics of course!) If anyone suspects they know who the murderer is they have to make an announcement. If they're right then a new murderer is selected, but if they're wrong, they die.
Dem Bones Dem Bones This does take a little more preparation, but for larger parties with lots of children it's good fun. Draw, trace or print a skeleton, including a skull, rib cage, arms and legs, and separate these items, hiding them around the house or garden. The children then have to hunt the bones, and reassemble the skeleton. For more children and more competition have several skeletons prepared, each a different colour. Then divide children into coloured teams and get them to try to find the bones of their team's colour, assembling their skeleton before the other teams.
It Was A Dark And Stormy Night This is great fun for children of all ages, and the adults may want to join in too! Get everyone to sit in a circle, and turn the lights off. Have a torch or a candle in the middle. It's best if you're using a torch to have this handed from person to person, with them holding it up under their chin for a spooky effect! The first person starts off by saying "It was a dark and stormy night". They then carry on to complete the first sentence of a spooky story. When they have finished their sentence they pass the torch to the next person who then makes up the second sentence of the story. Carry on going around the circle until the story either gets too ridiculous or people run out of ideas, and then begin again. Alternative beginnings can be suggested such as "The coffin lid slowly opened" or "Suddenly the lights all went out." Use your imagination, and you'll find the kids using theirs with much enthusiasm!