For me, I love to have the beautiful candy tables and great decorations, but let's be real - the kids could care less about that. They want to have fun! Kim at Party Frosting calls parties that look good but offer nothing fun 2x2 parties. I completely agree. So, I try to have some fun activities for the kids, knowing I can only hold their attention for so long.
When I was planning for the party, I thought about doing bobbing for apples. But my week long stint with the Swine Flu last year at this time made me think twice about that. (I literally missed all of Halloween last year due to the nasty Swine Flu.) Being the germ freak that I am, the idea of 30 some kids putting their cute faces in a bucket of water and opening their adorable mouths in said bucket, attempting to bite an apple their friend had previously tried just didn't sit well with me. Just as I was ready to rule out that fun activity, Ethan's daycare provider, Heather (my savior) to the rescue!
I don't know if you your children are in daycare, but I am a working mom so I've had to rely on daycare providers all of my children's lives. We have been blessed to have absolutely fabulous ones - and every time we have to switch providers, they get better and better! I tell everyone that my children are mostly the well-behaved kids that they are due to our daycare providers! Goodness knows that they wouldn't be like that if they were stuck with me all day :)
Anyway, back to the activities... In lieu of bobbing for apples, Heather suggested bobbing for donuts which they had done with the daycare kids. For this game, each child gets their own donut - no swapping of germs. You will need a rod of decent length so 4 to 6 kids can stand next to each other. You also need the smaller sized donuts that the kids can get into their mouths and some string. Put the string through the hole (if there is not a hole, use a knife or toothpick to make one). Tie the string around the donut. Leave enough string that you can later tie at the child's height and to tie around the pole.
To play, I had the kids line up and then tied their donuts to the pole at their height. If you tie it too tall, they can't reach the donut. I tied between 5 or 6 donuts on the rod at a time. The object is to be the first one to eat your entire donut - but you can't use your hands to eat the donut.
This game was hilarious to say the least. Not too surprising, the boys figured out how to get the entire donut in their mouths rather than nibbling on it daintily as the girls did. Here are some pictures of the fun and games:
(Okay, so the "no hands rule" was not strictly followed.)
(These cuties are triplets!)
One of the other activities I attempted with the kids was fortune telling, of course to go with my costume...
By the time we got around to this, I had lost most of them. But for the kids that played, it was fun. I bought a Magic 8 ball, but they weren't too into that. What they loved was the Fortune Telling Fish.
They were fun for the adults too!
We also played pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern - another fun, inexpensive game for the kids. It was also a great way to get Grace involved in the party planning. I traced the jack-o-lantern and used puffy paints to go over what I traced. After that dried, she colored the picture.
And, I had pumpkins for each of the kids to decorate.
I purchased these pumpkin foam kits from Oriental Trading.
I also had some other craft supplies for the kids to use to decorate their pumpkins, including glitter glue, pom poms and sequins.
In addition to the pumpkin decorating kits, I also had these Halloween scratch ornaments from Oriental Trading. My kids love to do these.
I hope the party didn't fall in Kim's 2x2 party category and the kids had fun. Unfortunately, we didn't get to the other activities I had planned including Halloween Bingo and Toss the Ring on the Witch's Hat. I'll have to save those for next year!