Halloween is a time for giggles and guffaws. A time for kids and former kids to join together in fun appreciation of the autumnal season. With this in mind, here are some easy games for kids both young and old alike.
Universally regarded as one of the most fun puzzles around, word search puzzles are now easy to create on your own. There are a number of educational sites like http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com that allow you to input your words and the site generates a word search puzzle for you. Use a little clip art on your page for added festive fun. There are also sites with ready-made word search puzzles in various themes and for different holidays. One of my favorites is www.familyfun.com.
Pumpkin Carving Contest
For the older set who safely can use knives, a pumpkin carving contest is a natural. If you have many entrants, break up the awards into different categories, such as Funniest, Most Scary, and Most Unique.
Prizes can be simple items such as loaves of homemade pumpkin bread! Here’s my favorite Pumpkin Bread recipe:
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 3-1/3 cups flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 15 oz. can pumpkin
- Combine all ingredients in order, mixing well after each addition, especially the flour.
- Divide the batter into two 9×5” loaf pans.
- Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for approximately 1-1/2 hours. Check doneness with a toothpick.
- Serve warm, cold, with powdered sugar, ice cream, or just plain. DELICIOUS and (obviously) rich!
One of my favorite memories from Girl Scouts was a spooky game in which all participants sit on the floor with a large blanket, each person tucking their crossed legs under the blanket and holding the blanket down on their laps with hands. The leader, with all story items under the blanket, starts out with dramatic voice and gestures with a story such as this:
One time, not so long ago, on a stormy, dark Halloween night, two children decided to go along a rarely used path near their home. They did it as a dare to one another and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Neither willing to admit fear, the two proceeded down the path, filled with bushes and spider webs…
(pass fake spider webs under the blanket, person to person, then pass a hairy fake spider)
The two went deeper and deeper in, until it was sheer and total darkness.
(turn off the lights in the room)
Very, very slowly – so slowly that the children weren’t sure they were even hearing anything – a sound started to emerge…
(play a recording you’ve made of “whoooooooo…. Whooooooo” along with rustling leaves)
By now, the children had come to the conclusion that they were too far in and that they’d best turn back. Still refusing to admit that they were scared, the two started walking faster… and faster… and faster still.
BAM!!!!! The children tripped. Feeling around on the ground, both children felt a strange object before them.
(more playing of the scary sound)
What could it be? At the top of the figure on the ground before them, they felt something soft, cool, mushy….
(pass around two peeled grapes, the “eyes)
(Talking faster and more breathlessly)… Oh my heavens! They felt just like EYEBALLS! Ewwwww. Surely it was their imagination. Feeling around further, something even slimier was felt…
(pass around cold, boiled spaghetti, the “guts” of the monster)
YUCK! Could it be? Is it? GUTS?!?!? Oh no! The kids wanted to run but then their hands felt something even worse. Could it be brains????????????
(pass around a handful of cold, squishy gelatin)
Turning now, the kids began to run, run, and run. Back through the bushes, through the spider webs….
(pass more spider webs around, this time even more than before)
RUN, KIDS, RUN! They could hear footsteps behind them!
(pat the floor in rhythmic fashion under the blanket)
They must HURRY! Back they go… until —– finally……. (major, scary pause)…. They reach the comfort of home. Phew!
(pass around a teddy bear)
This activity never fails to create a fun, albeit a loud, time! Happy Halloween!