Following on from our Halloween pumpkin gallery post yesterday we've been asked for any ideas for games and activities children can do at a Halloween party. So we've put our skulls together, and come up with a few ghoulish ideas to help you get things ready. Here's our list of frightfully good Halloween party games and activities your children will love.
The classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey can easily be adapted to suit a whole range of occasions and party themes, and Halloween offers a range of choices. From Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin to Pin the Wart on the Witch, there are plenty of different images to choose from. Simply print off, or draw, a large picture of a pumpkin with a classic scary face, and then cut out a duplicate of its nose and mount this on some stiff cardboard. By putting a blob of BluTak on the back of it, children can then be blindfolded and challenged to position it in the right place.
The two biggest problems when playing musical chairs is that you need such a lot of room, and so many chairs, both of which aren't easy in the average living room. An alternative, and a great idea for a Halloween party game, is to play Musical Pumpkins instead. Simply print off or draw several large pumpkins, on either A4 or A3 sheets of paper. Make sure that to begin with you have enough for one per child participating in the game. Scatter these pumpkin pictures around the floor, and then start up the music (perhaps something like Michael Jackson's Thriller!) While the music is playing, remove one of the pumpkins, and then when it stops the children have to find a free pumpkin and stand on it. Each time the music plays, remove another pumpkin, until you end up with two children and one pumpkin sheet which will determine the winner.
This is a simple twist on the traditional Duck, Duck, Goose game. Get all of the children to sit in a circle, and then have one person chosen to be the ghost. This person walks around the outside of the circle, tapping each person on the head or shoulder saying 'Boo'. Whenever they like though they can choose someone so that when they tap them on the head, instead of saying 'Boo' they say 'Ghost'. At this point the person sitting down leaps up and has to chase after the ghost, before the ghost makes it all the way round the circle to sit back down in the vacant place. If the person giving chase does catch the ghost, they sit back down (winning a prize) and the ghost has to carry on, otherwise if the ghost reaches the other person's spot in the circle, and sit down without being caught, the person tapped becomes the ghost and carries on. They can then choose anyone they like to be ghost, except the previous ghost (who will have won a prize).
No, this has nothing to do with keeping your old mum warm! This is a hilarious game, and one of my personal favourites. Pop to the shop and pick up a pack of the cheapest loo rolls you can find. Don't bother about triple quilted aloe vera infused delicately tinted perfumed and environmentally kind rolls - just the cheap stuff will do. Oh, and white is best. Divide the children into teams of about three or four, and each team chooses one person to be the mummy. No, not like playing mummies and daddies - this is the mummy from the tomb! Each team is given either one, two or three loo rolls, depending on how generous you are, and then when the whistle goes they have to use the rolls to wrap up the mummy from head to toe (making sure they can still breathe though!). The winning team is the one who uses up every sheet of their loo rolls and cover their mummy completely. Messy, yes, but brilliant fun!
This is simply Pass the Parcel but with a Halloween twist to it. Instead of using pretty wrapping paper, use alternate orange or black sheets to wrap up the parcel. You could also sprinkle some Halloween table confetti into each layer as well. A simple twist I have used for this is to include a slip of paper into each layer which the children have to read and act out. Last year each slip of paper had a different type of 'death' which they had to act out. It's amazing how the children love pretending that they're being eaten by a werewolf, bitten by a vampire or stabbed with a wooden stake!
You might well remember something like this from when you were little (if you can remember that far back, he he!) Start off by switching off all the lights so that it is as dark as possible. If you can't make the room dark then just have each child blindfolded instead. You then start to tell a story, whilst passing around items 'from the story' for the children to feel. The story can be as gruesome as you like (and we may publish out own version on here in a few days). You can easily start off by saying how on one dark, spooky Halloween night you got lost and ended up going through the woods, when you came across an old haunted house. You stepped inside (as you do) and discovered lots of weird things as you went from room to room. Hand out a couple of hard boiled, shelled eggs as 'eyeballs' (freakily realistic when blindfolded or in the dark), the inside of a cauliflower serves as a good 'brain', cooked and cooled spaghetti works as intestines, a wig of course as the scalp, sticks from the garden work as dried bones, and a pot of slime will work brilliantly as zombie blood.
This is a great game for slightly older children. Get a few lengths of rope, white if possible. You can get this very cheaply if you buy washing line rope (you can sometimes get 30 to 50 feet of this for a couple of pound at those shops with the word 'pound' somewhere in their name!) Cut this rope into two or three lengths of about 5 or 6 feet, and then tangle them all up. You don't want any tight knots, but something that looks like a box of cables is good. Then get the children into a circle, and each child is to hold out one hand and grab an end of the rope. It doesn't matter which end they grab, as long as they are the only one holding that particular end. The challenge is simply to untangle the web of ropes, without ever letting go of their end. They will need to squirm, duck, climb through loops and twist around to untangle themselves completely! The older the children the greater the tangle of rope, but obviously smaller children will need only a fairly simple tangle. Make sure children are supervised well when doing this!
This is of course a classic Halloween game, and is very simple. This is usually best either done outside, or in the kitchen where it doesn't matter if a bit of water goes on the floor. Get some apples, the smaller type are usually best, and simply drop them into a bucket of water. The children must not use their hands in any way, but must try to grab an apple between their teeth. Obviously it is important to make sure that children are very well supervised when doing this.
Children love ghost stories, and they love making up stories, so here's a great way of getting the children to calm down a bit before or after the food. Get everyone to sit in a circle, preferably with the lights down really low, and possibly even with just a single candle in the middle. Someone then starts telling a ghost story, but stops after just the first sentence. When they have said their sentence, they stop, and the next person in the circle picks the story up and carries on with it, again making up just one sentence before the next person starts, and so on. You can either have each child say one sentence, or you could get them to stop halfway through a sentence for a change. This can often encourage children to create unusual, impossible or bizarre cliff-hangers, challenging the next person to keep going. These stories can become really funny, but if it gets a bit silly or the whole plot gets stuck in a corner simply stop the story and start a new one.
This is a popular children's party game, and ideal for Halloween. If you're not familiar with this, it's very straightforward. Simply have all the children sit in a circle, except one. This child is the Zombie Hunter, and steps out of the room for a moment. While the Zombie Hunter is out of the room, the rest of the group elect a Zombie. No one must give away any clues as to who this is as the Zombie Hunter comes back into the room. The Zombie Hunter then has to walk around the outside of the circle, trying to decide who the Zombie is. Meanwhile, the Zombie tries to 'kill' other people sitting in the circle simply by winking at them. If one of the children in the circle is winked at by the Zombie, they must enact a graphically gruesome death, and lie down. If the Zombie Hunter thinks he or she knows who the Zombie is, then they must say that person's name. If they are right, then the Zombie is dead, and the Hunter wins. The Zombie then becomes the Hunter. However, if the Zombie Hunter is wrong, then the person they accused dies. If all of the members of the circle die except for the Zombie, then the Zombie wins. Prizes are awarded either to the Zombie or the Zombie Hunter, depending on which one succeeds in their aim.
For this game you either need small pumpkins (no larger than a small melon) or alternatively orange balloons, or balloons which are suitably decorated for Halloween. Divide the children into a number of teams, and line each team up. The person at the front picks up their pumpkin, and tucks it under their chin. From this point on, no one is allowed to use their arms or hands in any way at all. When the game begins, each team must pass their pumpkin down the line without dropping it, and without using their arms or hands. if a team member does use their arms or hands then the team must start all over again, and if they drop their pumpkin, they must also begin again. The winning team is the one who successfully manages to get their pumpkin to the person at the back.
This is simply a Halloween version of Simon Says. Have all of the children standing in front of Wilomena Witch (or whoever, feel free to make up your own name or even use one such as Severus Snape!) If Wilomena Witch says to do something, then everyone has to do it, but if the person standing at the front says to do an action but doesn't begin their instruction with "Wilomena Witch says..." then anyone caught doing the action is out. Of course, actions can be appropriately spooky such as flying on a broom, mixing a cauldron, casting a spell and lurking.
This isn't a game so much as an activity, but one the children will really enjoy. Pumpkins these days are ridiculously cheap - my local supermarket was selling them at two for a pound last year. If you've got a dozen children coming over then for six pounds or so it is possible to have every single one of them carve their own pumpkin. Of course, depending on how old the children are you may need to do the actual cutting out yourself, but the children can still have fun drawing the face on with pen for you to cut out, and scooping the insides out. If you have a few older children on hand they can help the younger ones with the carving. Once they're all done you can set the pumpkins out as a display, with candles in each one, and it will look fabulous. The children can then take their own pumpkin home with them as a treat - and it's cheaper than a goody bag! Remember that, as with any children's party, one of the main priorities when organising and running Halloween party games is to make sure that everyone gets a chance to win a prize, and that the prizes are worth having. We hope that you and your children enjoy these games, but if you have any other suggestions do please feel free to add them to this page using the comments box below.