It is that time of year! Fall leaves are blanketing the ground, pumpkins can be seen on most porches, stores are stocked with spooky costumes and more candy then any youngster could imagine. That's right; Halloween is just around the corner. This means fall parties at school and costume parties at home. Every little kid dreams of turning their house into the spookiest house on the block and having all their friends over for scary games and a huge junk food fest. If you are feeling brave and want to host the best Halloween party but aren't sure of where to start read on.
The first thing to consider is the age of your children and their friends. The party games and themes are going to be different for older children, scary blood and gore really doesn't have a place at a party for 5 year olds. Then you are going to need to think about how many guests you are going to have your child invite, and for the younger kids you need to think about whether you want their parent(s) to stay with them.
You can buy invitations for your party, or you can get creative on the computer and create your own and then let your child color the invites. Remember this is their party, so letting them color with markers and glitter can be a lot of fun… and for the older kids stopping at WalMart and hitting the Halloween aisles where they can find fake blood, cob webs and other gross items they can even have fun making the invites. I recommend that on the invitation you put a start and end time this will help eliminate any confusion about how long the children are welcome to stay.
Now decide if you are going to convert your whole house into a Halloween spectacular or just a room? Actually if the party is for a younger crowd and the weather is nice you can even covert your backyard into the Halloween playground. Thankfully, stores like Target, WalMart, Meijer, Hobby Lobby, Michael's and the Flower Factory make decorating for Halloween cost effective. If you are going to host the party outside you can create your own backyard ghosts from old white sheets, which you can get at your local Salvation Army or Goodwill or you can get left over fabric from a fabric store. Buying hay, "spider webs" and pumpkins will also add to the decorations.
If you are going to hold the party inside, again depending on the age of the guests, the stores listed above can offer excellent party ideas. I have seen screaming ghouls, talking witches, huge black spiders that not only blow up but they move… and my personal favorite the candy bowl with the talking hand that grabs you when you stick your hand in the bowl.
I believe that it is the goodies that make the party. You don't have to spend a lot of money buying the store made goodies, you can easily make your own. This will help control cost, and honestly sugar content. Consider making monster eye balls, which are peanut butter balls dipped in white chocolate with an M&M in the middle. You can also make monster fingers which are made out of breadsticks and use sliced almonds for the fingernails. If you want you can frost the breadsticks with homemade frosting.
You can also peel grapes, make spaghetti and break up jello and hide them in a box for kids to stick their hands in and tell them that they are feeling eye balls, worms and monster brains. My munchkins also liked to make dirt cupcakes with worms, we would make blue kool-aid and mix it with seven up and call it our magic potion that turned all the kids into Halloween monsters. Granted that won't work for the older kids, but if you are having a party for kids that are older than 10 I recommend that you talk to them to see what it is they want at their party. I know if they are like my older two then being scared out of their mind is what they want.
Another option to consider for the older kids is taking a look around in your area and finding a corn maze or haunted hayride and hosting the party there. Most places will offer a group discount if the group is large enough and in some cases it can be more cost effective to do it that way then hosting it at your house.
Don't forget your costume! This is the one time of the year that it is okay to dress like Brittany even if you are 40 something! Find the costume that fits your alter ego and dress up for the Halloween party, just remember that you are hosting the party for your children. Have a spoo-tacular time!