Halloween Party Activities & Crafts
Character Treat Bags
Need a supersimple kids' party craft? Make these treat bags the kids can take home after the party. Give the children a lunch-size sack in white, black, or orange, and let them use their imagination to create a skeleton-, bat-, spider-, or pumpkin-theme bag using paper cutouts, paint markers, googly eyes, chenille stems, and other crafts supplies. When kids have finished decorating their bags, fold and trim the tops of the bags with decorative-edge scissors. Punch two holes in the folded top and secure the folds by threading ribbon through the holes. Let kids choose a Halloween sticker saying to add the front of their bags.
If you're looking for an easy project to craft at school or a home party, this creepy-crawly fellow will fit the bill. Wrap a 2-inch-diameter plastic foam ball with black yarn; secure the end with hot-melt glue. Coil eight black chenille stems around a pencil. Add a black pony bead to one end of each curled chenille stem and poke the opposite end of each stem between the yarn strands and into the ball. Finish the spider with googly eyes and a red bead nose.
Masks are always a hit with kids, and purchased masquerade masks from crafts stores are great blank canvases for creating a variety of characters. From top left: Spray-paint a mask black and add patterned-paper whiskers and ears and a pom-pom nose for a simple cat. Spray-paint a mask with olive-color paint, add red dimensional paint squiggles, glue on googly eyes, and attach curled chenille stems for an instant alien. Or, spray-paint a mask purple, and add crafts foam wings, self-stick gems, and neon-yellow dimensional paint details for a bejeweled bat.
This merry mummy will have your kids wrapped up in laughter. Help them make their own character by securing a bouncy ball to the end of a crafts stick with tape. Fold one end of a neon-yellow chenille stem back and forth in small increments to make fingers; wrap the other end around the stick. Repeat for the other arm. Wrap the entire ball and stick with 2-inch-wide first aid gauze that has been cut in half lengthwise; tuck the end into the back of the body. Complete the look by gluing googly eyes between the head layers.
The funny face and rattling sound of this Frankenstein noisemaker are sure to scare away everything that goes bump on Halloween night. Adults can prep the plates by punching the holes around the edges and cutting a hole in the bottom for the dowel. Kids will have a blast putting noisemaker filler inside and decorating the outside with dimensional paint and cutout facial features. See the download for detailed instructions.
Haunted House Luminary
Dig into the recycling bin and pull out an empty juice carton to make this happy haunted house centerpiece. Kids can cover up the carton sides with black crafts foam and create a roof by covering the carton top with strips of scalloped-edge glitter sticker paper. Adults should cut out the windows and door using a crafts knife, but kids can help decorate the house with cutout crafts foam shutters and chimney and a collection of wired crafts foam bats. Insert a kids-safe, battery-operated tea-light candle and illuminate the finished creation as shown here.
Haunted Forest Centerpiece
Black licorice, threaded with wire and shaped to make a forest of spindly trees, makes this creative nonedible Halloween table topper. Snip off the ends of six pieces of black licorice and push heavy-gauge wire through the holes of each piece. Holding the pieces together in the middle, bend the ends to form a tree trunk. Bend the opposite ends to form gnarled tree branches and wrap black wire around the center of the pieces to hold it all together. Repeat for each tree. Place each tree atop a chocolate-frosted graham cracker, add a candy-corn fence, and arrange mini artificial pumpkins under the trees to complete the landscape.
Lifestyle Editor Taryn Mohrman uses black licorice to create a spindly tree centerpiece for your Halloween table.
No peeking! Make this box and place mysterious items inside for an old-fashioned game of guessing fun. Using a large hatbox from the crafts store, cut a hole in the lid; make sure the hole is large enough for your hand to fit through. Then cover the lid and the box with Halloween-theme scrapbook papers and add a decorative-edge border on the sides. Glue fringed garland around the opening to discourage peeking. Spell out "Mystery Box" on the top with stickers. What you put inside is up to you, but anything gooey and slimy is sure to be a hit!
Pin the Bow Tie on the Skeleton Game
This take on the classic party game uses a skeleton and bows rather than a donkey and tails for a Halloween twist. To make it, download the template and enlarge as desired. Tape the pattern to a window or glass door, cover it with the canvas, and transfer the pattern onto the canvas with a pencil. Paint the skeleton and background, referring to the photo for color placement; let dry. Sew a rod pocket across the top to accommodate a dowel. Paint the dowel with black and white acrylic paint; let dry. Insert the dowel into the pocket and tie a ribbon onto the dowel ends for hanging. Make a ribbon bow tie for each guest. Place repositionable adhesive on the backs of the ties so they can be stuck and restuck onto the canvas.
It's no secret most kids' favorite thing about Halloween is the candy. So why not incorporate a festive piñata game into your party? (You can even use the same ribbon blindfolds from the Pin-the-Bowtie-on-the-Skeleton game featured on the previous slide.) To kick off the game, line guests up in order from youngest to oldest or shortest to tallest. Let the youngest (or shortest) member go first and proceed down the line. Spin each child around 10 times, and then allow three swings of the bat. If you're planning to give away treat bags, now might be a good time to hand them out so your guests can use them to collect the candy from the game.
Jack-o'-Lantern Bag Toss
Put a Halloween spin on the classic bean-bag game by creating a jack-o'-lantern themed board out of wood or foam core. If you have enough time, make two so your guests can play a side-by-side timed match.
Set up a cookie decorating station at your Halloween party where kids can design their own edible party favor. You can either use pre-made sugar cookies, or make your favorite recipe ahead of time. (For a delicious pumpkin-spiced cookie recipe, check out the link below.) On the day of the party, set out different colors of icing and candies along with kid-friendly decorating tools. Have plenty of plastic bags on hand so that kids can tote their treats home with them.
Pumpkin carving can get messy, plus it's difficult to accomplish in larger groups. Instead, give guests a chance to paint a jack-o'-lantern with the face of their choosing. Use muffin tins to separate paint colors and keep spills at bay.
Spooky S'Mores Bar
You don't need a campfire to serve up this kid-friendly microwave treat. Make the experience more interactive (and spookier) by setting out "renamed" recipe ingredient options and letting little trick-or-treaters customize their own dessert. For example, let them choose between "white-as-ghost" (regular graham crackers) or "bat-wing crackers" (chocolate graham crackers); "werewolf spread" (chocolate hazelnut spread) or "monster-butter" (peanut butter). Then add three tablespoons of marshmallow crème, microwave for 30 seconds, and sprinkle with magic fairy dust (nonpareills).
Try this super easy trick for creating ghoulish goodie containers perfect for any Halloween party. Simply amp up the fright factor by adding black paper bat wings to plastic pumpkin pails. You could also attach the wings to your favorite everyday servingware to take its spookiness to the next level.
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