Halloween Party at home/ forest

Appropriate age: 4-7

My son was born on the 30th of October so the Halloween theme really suits his birthday party. Last year I decided to have the party at home rather than in the forest because I was not sure what the weather was doing. However, you could also have this party in the forest. I printed invitations from a free website: http://www.greetingsisland.com/printables/holidays/halloween/1. You can even customise them before printing. Obviously, we asked all the kids to dress up in their scariest costumes. When everybody had arrived we all sat down in the living room and I started telling them the following story: Long time ago there was a little house in the forest in Ennis. In the house lived a little witch. She was a friendly witch and she was called Jammie.  On the other side of town lived a wicked wizzard in a haunted house. His name was Wark. 

One day the Wark came over to the Jammie’s house. Jammie was scared and would not open her door. Wark got very angry and told her that he would come back an put a spell on her.
Jammie decided to scare Wark and put a scare crow in her garden.
For the following activity, I divided the kids up in two teams.
Activity number 1: 
Find a bag with clothes and pick one person in your team to dress up as a scarecrow. The fastest team,  wins!
I used old clothes , a hat, a tie, big boots. The kids were asked to button up the shirts completely, if not they could not win.
When we finished playing the game we all sat down again and continued the story:
But one day Jammie came home and found the scarecrow tumbled over and the door of her house was open. She went inside and noticed that a few of her belongings were taken. Her crystal ball of all things was taken as well.
For the following activity, I had a good few Halloween themed items (small pumpkin, small bat, ghost, candle, etc.) You can also used pictures instead of items. that the kids had to remember. One person was asked to wait in the hallway and we would take one item out. The person who was waiting in the hallway had to guess what item was missing. The older the children, the more items you need to make it challenging.
Activity 2:
Memorise the items under the towel and guess which one is missing …
 
The story continues:
Jammie really wanted her crystal ball back and decided to go on a journey to Wark’s house to find her crystall ball. One morning she got up early and made a little picnic for the road. 
Activity 3:
Find a box with the picnic that Jammie made for the road.
 
I filled a bag with snacks (popcorn and crisps) which I hid under a big sheet that was hanging from the top of the stairs in the hallway to look like a ghost.It looked more like a Halloween decoration …
Then the story continues:
Jammie walked all day to get to Wark’s house. The house was deserted, nobody was at home. Jammie tried to get in but she did not manage. She walked around the house and found a little trail to the ened of the garden where she found her crystal ball, hanging off a tree.
Activity 4:
Find the crystall ball in the forest …
I used a pumpkin covered in tin foil as a crystal ball and hid it in the garden.
Once the crystal ball has been found, the story continues:
 
Jammie quickly got the ball out of the tree and ran off. However, Wark just came back from one of his evil missions, just in time to see Winnie run off with the crystall ball. He quickly put a spell on her. Jammie kept on running, but started to feel itchy all over her body.
Activity 5:
Bingo
Although it does not really relate to the story I always try to slot in a bingo because the kids really love it. This is a bingo that even the very young can play, since it uses pictures instead of numbers. I printed (free of charge!) from the following website:http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2011/10/halloween-bingo-free-printable.html
You can print 6 different cards as well as one page with all the pieces on it.
You can buy some small halloween-related prices. Kids love erasers, pens, bubbles, …
After this we continue the story:
Jammie arrived home with the crystal ball but she could not stop scratching herself. She was itchy under her toes, behind her ears, under her finger nails, everywhere. She got her magic spell book and looked up the formula for the potion to stop the itch. She found it and started making the potion.
Activity 6: 
Find the ingredients for the potion to help Jammie. There should be 8 bottles hidden. Once you have found all the bottles, put it all into a cauldron to make the potion!
Halloween party in the garden

Halloween party in the garden

The ingredients were hidden everywhere in the garden. For example, there was golden syrup which was ‘snake’s slime’. Nutella was renamed ‘owl’s poo’, vinegar was called ‘snails tears’ , bread soda was called ‘magic dust’, Red food colouring was called ‘mouses blood’. Once all the ingredients were found we put them into a metal bucket and added the vinegar at the end. The result was a sizzling red potion, thanks to the combination of vinegar, bread soda and red food colouring …
 
The end of the story follows:
Jammie is very happy that the potion worked so well, and wants to thank you all for helping her. She has a few treats for everybody …
Find the treats
You can hide a box with treats. You can also first have something to eat and hide the goodie bags somewhere instead. I love to make pancakes for birthday parties. You can do it beforehand and most kids love it …

Shopping list (for ten kids): 

1. Some snacks for activity number 3 (crisps/ pop corn and drinks) : €8,-

2. A pumpkin for activity number 4: €3,-.

3.Some prices for the Bingo (activity number 5): €15

4..Ingredients for the potion: Vinegar, Bread soda:, food colouring, (blue and yellow to get green or just red), nutella, Golden syrup: total: €9,-

6. Pancake ingredients: eggs, flour and milk: €5,-

7.Cake/ cake ingredients: €10,-

Total: €50!

Obviously you can add goodie bags and more sweets/ popcorn as well …

Preparations:

  1. Print out the the invitations here.
  2. Fill two bags with the following items: trousers, button-up shirt, tie, shoes, hat, jacket.
  3. Collect items for the memory game. To save money, you can also use pictures. It might be handy to use the pictures for the Bingo in activity numero 5.
  4. Make a bag/ box with snacks and hide them. I used a big towel and pinned two black eyes to it and a big mouth and hung it up in the hallway off the stairs …
  5. Cover a pumpkin with tin foil and hide it.
  6. Print the bingo card and the form with all the pieces on it. Cut out all the pieces and put them in a box for the game. Get some pencils/ markers for the game.
  7. Discard the labels of the magic potion ‘ingredients’, replace them with homemade labels with the following names:

Golden syrup = snake’s slime, Nutella=’owl’s poo’, vinegar=’snails tears’, bread soda= ‘magic dust’, Red food colouring=’mouses blood’.

Or whatever you can come up with …

8. If you decide to go for pancakes, make them beforehand. You will only need to heat them up when the kids are going to have their food.

Advertisements
Aside

Witches and Wizards party

Appropriate ages: 5-8

After numerous fairy and princess parties, I was delighted when my eldest daughter Abby opted for a change and wanted a witches and wizards party to celebrate her birthday. First we made up the invitations. These were invitations to a witches and wizards course. The invitations had a sweet enclosed, which was a magic pill that would help you grow a wart on your nose if you are to be a witch or a beard for the wizzards. All kids were asked to dress up and to learn a magic word by heart that was going to give them access to the party. We gave all the future witches and wizards a ‘witchy’ name …

Invite to the witches and wizzards course

Invite to the witches and wizards course

When they arrived we made sure that all the kids had a costume and did some facepainting and we all made a magic wand. I used bamboo stick that I got in the hardware shop/ garden centre, put coloured tape around it and a silver tip of tin foil.

Then we continued outside, where we had to catch jelly snakes off a wire , while blindfolded.

One of the skills to learn to become a witch or wizard was to eat snakes while blindfolded …

After that we had a broomstick race to improve on the broomstick skills. We had laid out an obstacle course and the future witches and wizards had to run the course while sharing a broomstick with two other kids. Needless to say that whoever finished first, had won the race..

The next task was to find the ingredients for the magic potion. The ingredients were hidden everywhere in the garden. For example, there was golden syrup which was ‘snake’s slime’. Nutella was renamed ‘owl’s poo’, vinegar was called ‘snails tears’ , bread soda was called ‘magic dust’, Red food colouring was called ‘mouses blood’. Once all the ingredients were found we put them into a metal bucket and added the vinegar at the end. The result was a sizzling red potion, thanks to the combination of vinegar, bread soda and red food colouring …

Ingredients for the magic potion: Owl's poo, Snake's slime, Mouse's blood, Pickled fish eyes, Snail's tears, Magic dust ...

Ingredients for the magic potion: Owl’s poo, Snake’s slime, Mouse’s blood, Pickled fish eyes, Snail’s tears, Magic dust …

We finished the day with some delicious pancakes with ‘owl’s poo’ and ‘snake’s slime’ and everybody received a certificate for passing the course …

Certificate of completion

Certificate of completion

Shopping list (for ten kids): 

1. Bamboo sticks from the garden centre/ hardware shop. I bought 3 big ones, which I cut up. About €6,-

2. Coloured tape from the hardware shop €3,- And tin foil: €2,-

3.Jelly snakes from the sweetshop €4,-

4.Blindfolds, the cheapest way is to get ties from the second hand shop. About €5,-

5.Ingredients for the potion: Vinegar, Bread soda:, food colouring, (blue and yellow to get green or just red), nutella, Golden syrup: total: €9,-

6. Pancake ingredients: eggs, flour and milk: €5,-

7.Cake/ cake ingredients: €10,-

Total: €44!

Obviously you can add goodie bags and more sweets/ popcorn as well …

Preparations:

  1. Print out the certificates here. Complete them before the party. Write down the ‘witchy name’ that you made up for everyone.
  2. Make the magic wands. Cut the bamboo sticks up into piece of about a foot each. Tape some tin foil at the end (about 2 inches long). Wrap the coloured tape all around the stick, so that it is all covered.
  3. Discard the labels of the magic potion ‘ingredients’, replace them with homemade labels with the following names:

Golden syrup = snake’s slime, Nutella=’owl’s poo’, vinegar=’snails tears’, bread soda= ‘magic dust’, Red food colouring=’mouses blood’.

Or whatever you can come up with …

4. Make the pancakes beforehand. You will only need to heat them up when the kids are going to have their food.

The kids can help you with these:

  1. Print the invitations here, if you like the ones I used. Complete them and hand them out together with a sweet …
  2. Prepare the wire with the snakes. I used kitchen wire, attach the snakes to the wire with a knot, leave a bit of space in between.
  3. Set up the obstacle course. Get two broomsticks, so that two teams can compete at the same time. You can start with a few meters of slalom, then a blanket where they have to crawl under, a little step they have to step over, at the end leave a marker that they have to touch before running back … Or anything else you can think of.