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Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooctacular Party

The big Halloween party for my son took place this weekend and I'm happy to report everyone survived (and by that I mostly mean the parents who stayed to help). I'm unhappy to report, however, that my camera is on the fritz so I'm unable to share all of the pictures. Booooooooooooo

That aside, we had a lot of fun!! Most of the kids were able to make it so we had a pretty hearty crew of 13 kids and a fair amount of adults too.

As we prepared for the day, my job was to work on decorations, spooky treats, game ideas and prizes. My husband was working on other activities to keep guests busy.

With a sunny weather report ahead of us, things were looking good for some of the things we planned -- including my husband's idea to have the kids help stuff a scare-a-crow. It sounded like a great idea until I went outside an hour shy of party time to find him frantically sawing and piecing together PVC pipes so he could make a "standing" scare-a-crow (which he had yet to purchase straw for). *head slap*

I threw my hands in the air and said, "can't we just have a normal scare-a-crow like everyone else???" Apparently not. Instead he just stuffed about eighty yards of burlap into my hands and said "I need a head!" "Need a head?" I said. "You can have forty heads with this much material; what the heck were you thinking.?" His reply ... "I've never needed a head before." Good grief.

Whatever, I had string cheese fingers to make so this conversation was going to have to wait for another day. Speaking of those, they were one of the simplest snacks I made ... and also one of the many I didn't photograph. But basically they looked a lot like this, mostly because it's where I got the idea from, found here. I believe they used green peppers for the fingernails; I sliced pieces of red grapes because I had them on hand.
Fingers Made Out of Cheese Halloween Recipe

I also used cupcake pics (because they have blunt ends instead of sharp) to make summer sausage and cheese kabobs as well as fruit kabobs that skewered grapes, pineapple slices and strawberries. The cute little pics I found made these snacks look extra special ... if only I had a picture to show you!! Ugh. You'll have to take my word for it.

I also doctored up a few black plastic bowls I had from previous parties to put out a few simple and healthy treats. I made a little sign for each using scrapbook paper and scrapbook stickers. One was labeled "spider eggs" (A.K.A. black olives) and the other "ghost babies" (known the rest of the year as yogurt covered raisins).

For an on-the-go snack, I filled small Halloween treat boxes with mixed popcorn: cheese, plain and caramel. This was a quick snack for busy parents too.

For something sweet, I made two ghoulish treats, including graveyard pudding cups with crushed Oreo dirt and white chocolate dipped ghouls. And the kid favorite ... white chocolate dipped donut holes turned eyeballs. A heavily requested treat!

I gave you a sneak peek at the beverages I prepared for the party, shown again below.

To make the mummy juice boxes I simply wrapped them with gauze or medical tape. A single roll yielded about six. As I wrapped, I let the tape gather in places to give it a more dimensional look. I also left a little gap where the eyes were placed. These were a huge hit!!

As you can see in this pic, it's not one of my parties if the water bottles don't get in on the fun too. I think it's such a simple way to incorporate your colors or theme, and it doesn't take a lot of time or money to do it. While I used a variety of Halloween colors to make several different versions, the ones shown above were definitely my favorite.

I simply cut scrapbook paper into strips, wrapped it around the bottle and used hot glue to keep them in place. The "Boo" used in this version was actually from a set of glittery shapes that were sold as confetti. And the small eyes were part of variety pack I bought for eyes on the juice boxes. The mini bottles provided a perfectly portioned and healthy beverage option for my little party goers.

As I alluded to in my scare-a-crow prelude, we planned a variety of activities to keep the kids busy including broom races. Participants mounted their brooms and dashed around witchy hats in the hopes of winning a prize from my cauldron.

Each party goer was also given their own pumpkin that included some pre-stocked goodies but also offered a place to keep all their treasures. I used a special paper punch and more of the glitter confetti to make name tags so pumpkins didn't get mixed up.

Though the weather was beautiful, I had planned some indoor games just in case -- including a pumpkin scavenger hunt that lead to some Halloween treasures. The clues were all written on foam pumpkins and those were hidden throughout the house. Many included "instructions" to up the fun factor. For example, one clue read, "Crawl like a kitty as low as you're able, now make our way under the table." In an instant I had 10 little kitties on their knees, meowing as they peeked under every table they could find. These kids were good!

The next clue (found under our dinning table) read, "snakes and toads and big brown mice, go to the place where we keep the ice." And like a flash of magic - you guessed it - I had a brood of rodents and snakes slithering and squeaking over to my refrigerator. This game was as fun to watch as it was to play!

The day concluded with some cookie decorating (to take home and save for later) and pizza for everyone. It was admittedly exhausting but it was fun all the same.

Here's to a safe and fun Halloween for all!

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