JMJ42 *Limit the amount of crafts and party games, otherwise, it may get overwhelming just going from one activity to the other. Follow the “KISS” principle which I learned in my classroom days, which translates to “Keep it simple, silly”. Actually silly is not quite the word that was used, but rather st_ _ _ _. I just want to keep this G-rated!
Ring the School Bell 42/180 days
We might as well have made this a school holiday this year, as we basically partied all day! I don’t think the kids minded one bit, and the rest of us enjoyed the festivities also.
For the questioning mind, here are some real world skills we covered today: In this case, math skills were reinforced while figuring out the supply needs of our different activities. We did not want to run out of googly eyes or pom-poms, to the dismay of a guest. Leadership and self-confidence skills were enhanced by the responsibility of planning and directing the party. Research skills were practiced by searching far and wide for inspiring ideas. Team-building and cooperation were needed by the party planners at times, while discussing ideas and sharing our vision of the Halloween party. Compromise was also necessary in a couple of instances.
Our party turnout totaled 24 kids and their mothers. Ultimately, we decided on three crafts: Felt pumpkins, paper bag owls, and pom-pom spiders on yarn-woven popsicle stick webs, which turned out to be the most popular. (See above)
Games included: A candy skittle relay, where the kids would fill a cup with skittles by using the suction power of a straw. We also had a competition where teams would select a person to wrap as a mummy, by using toilet paper. A winner was selected by the parents by silent ballot. Finally, we also had a cup-count competition, a tad crazy I’m afraid. Over the years, Melissa collected 756 water cups from those nights I had tucked her in, and of course, she had requested water. The cups had become quite a towering monument in her room. She agreed to get rid of most of them, if we would use them in a guessing game at the party. The winner would be the closest amount guessed to the actual number of cups. Life is about letting go in a lot of respects, and this did require some letting go on her part! The deal was that we would recycle them after the party.
And a Halloween party would be not be complete without some scary story telling. We used Mad Libs for that one. If you are not familiar with Mad Libs, or would like some spooky-themed ones, just “google” Halloween mad lib images, and a whole bunch will pop up on your computer screen. We split the group up into 4, and each group made up a scary story to share with the entire party.
Among the food items, we had breadstick bones, and hotdogs disguised as octopuses and crabs. For drinks, mummy water bottles. Many of the activities were outdoors and we were blessed with beautiful weather. I have to say it was a FUN PARTY!
Some big clues to a successful Halloween party:
- Get the kids involved and use lots of their ideas, even if they may not be quite what you had in mind. And make sure they are a big part of the preparation, as well as leaders of some of the activities. Oh, and then there is clean-up. Definitely, insist on help for restoring the house!
- Limit the amount of crafts and party games, otherwise, it may get overwhelming just going from one activity to the other. Follow the “KISS” principle which I learned in my classroom days, which translates to “Keep it simple, silly”. Actually silly is not quite the word that was used, but rather st_ _ _ _. I just want to keep this G-rated!
- Plan activities that may be adapted for all age ranges.
- Go with the flow. If you over-planned a bit, send the activity home with the child, or just skip it all together.
- Give yourself a few weeks to plan and prepare for the party. That way you can actually enjoy the process!
What ideas do you have, for a successful Halloween party?
My day did not culminate with the party, however. I put on my chauffeur hat and drove to College of the Canyons for Sabrina’s Interior Design class. I guess not everyone gets the day off today! The professor was merciful in letting the class out early, so it was back to the house for pumpkin-carving and trick-or-treating. Fr. Jim, our parish priest, served margaritas down the street out of his garage for weary parents of trick-or-treaters. Yes, I had a taster, then went back home to collapse on my couch after a very successful and fun and exhausting day!
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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.
May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine. Annette