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“Next Halloween I Think I Will Be…” Memory Game

Materials Needed

  • A good memory
  • If you have a sharp and focused group of players this game can last a surprisingly long time. Try to keep the pace of play rapid, sometimes guests will take forever trying to get it right.

    The Set Up: Have your guests sit in a circle in a large open area and select a random player to start.

    The Rules: The first player will say, “Next Halloween I think I will be __________” filling in the blank with whatever Halloween costume they choose. It can be realistic like “a ninja” or outrageous like “a private jet”. For purposes of example the first person said ”a ninja”. The person to the left of the starter(clockwise) goes next. They will say, ” Next Halloween I think I will be a ninja or __________” filling in the blank with whatever they choose. The third person would say the entire phrase including both of the previous answers(in order) and add a third.

    This continues moving left around the circle with each person repeating what the previous person said and adding an additional Halloween costume until someone forgets a costume, messes up the order or in some way makes a mistake. That person is out and leaves the circle. The person to the left of the person that is now out starts the game over again from scratch. Continue playing and eliminating players until only one person remains. That person is a very deserving winner.

    If the Game is Taking Too Long: Sometimes this game can bog down with guests taking long turns. If your game starts to slow down or even from the very beginning you can add a five second rule. So if any player on their turn goes for more than 5 seconds without adding to the list they are eliminated.

    How Many Worms Are in the Graveyard Dirt?

    Materials Needed

  • A big glass jar
  • Orea cookies
  • gummy worms
  • pens or pencils
  • scraps of paper
  • a bowl or basket
  • The preparation for this game takes a little bit of time but it is simple and well worth it. Take a bag of Oreo cookies and break them down into crumbs. Take a big glass jar and sprinkle a layer of the Oreo crumbs on the bottom and then add some gummy worms on top of the cookie crumbs. Add some more crumbs and then more worms. You repeat this process until the entire jar is filled taking care to keep exact track of how many worms you are adding.

    Place the jar on a table with pens or pencils, scraps of paper and a bowl or basket. Explain to your guests as they arrive that while preparing for your Halloween party you where of course collecting some dirt from a graveyard and where surprised to see how many worms where in the dirt. Challenge your guests to guess how many worms are in the jar of graveyard dirt. Each guest should put their name on a piece of paper and their best estimation of the number of worms. The person who makes the most accurate guess wins the jar.

    If you do not want to use Oreos and gummy worms you can substitute gross candies like gummy eyeballs, severed fingers, insects or any other nasty Halloween themed candies that are available at party shops and online. Or you can just go with the basics and fill the jar with regular Halloween candy.

    Scarecrow Building Contest

    Materials Needed

  • Old clothes - shirts, pants, hats, gloves.. etc.
  • Straw or newspaper
  • Poles, broomsticks or chairs
  • The object of the game is, of course, to build the best scarecrow. The type of scarecrow (scariest, funniest, most creative) is up to you.

    Break your guests up into teams of 4 or more. Have a pile of old clothes available with pants, overalls, shirts, hats, and other pieces of clothing for the players to use to build their scarecrow. Make sure to have enough choices of clothing, about 1-2 per team is good for variety (4 teams = 6-8 shirts, 6-8 pants… etc). You will also need to make sure that each team has a good supply of newspaper, or straw, to stuff their scarecrow with as well. If you want the scarecrows to stand you will need to supply the teams with broomsticks or poles, too, otherwise chairs for sitting scarecrows will be needed.

    Players are given a set amount of time, 15 minutes is usually good, to create the best scarecrow using the items you’ve given. You can have everyone vote on their favorites, you can make a single judge, or or if you prefer, let everyone be a winner and give every team an award for the “Best WHATEVER Scarecrow” (Such as “Best Dressed Scarecrow,” “Worst Posture Scarecrow”… just make it up as you see them).

    At the end of the contest set all the scarecrows on your lawn for a real Halloween scene everyone will appreciate.

    Pumpkin Pass

    Materials Needed

  • one miniature pumpkin per team
  • Break your party guests into teams with as close to six to eight member per team as possible and have each team stand in a line. Give the first member of each team a miniature pumpkin and have them hold it under their chin (using your hands is not allowed). Make sure you are using the small pumpkin/gourds so they can be easily held with your chin without hands.

    The game plays like a relay race, as the first person attempts to pass the pumpkin to the next person in the line while only using their chin to hold onto it. Once the pumpkin is securely under the chin of the second person, that person attempts to pass it to the third person and so on. The first team to successfully pass the pumpkin to the last person in the line and then back to the first person in reverse order is the winner.

    Pumpkin Pop

    Materials Needed

  • 4x5' piece of foam board
  • Felt, burlap or heavy cloth
  • Duct tape
  • Bunch of 12-inch orange balloons
  • Confetti
  • Candy
  • Pushpins or darts for older kids
  • Cover a 4×5 ft (or bigger) foam board with heavy cloth, felt or burlap. For ease of construction you can secure it in back with duct tape. Using hooks adhere it to the wall where you will be playing.

    Using a funnel, fill a bunch of “pumpkin orange” colored balloons with confetti and candy (leave a few empty to add to the suspense when popped), and inflate them. Thin candy is easier to get into a balloon, and confetti can be left out of you are worried about a mess. A balloon pump will make this go much, much faster, also, and make sure to make extra to replace the popped balloons if you have a lot of guests.

    Attach the balloons to the covered foam board in a pumpkin shaped arrangement using “T-pins” or push pins. You can add a green pumpkin stem made of paper to the top of the board to give it a more realistic pumpkin look, too.

    Take push pins and tie ribbon to the ends to make it easy to hold and find if dropped. These will be used for popping the pumpkin balloons. For older players you can use darts instead of pins.

    Have each child, one at a time, take a pin and go up to the board and pop 1 or 2 “prize balloons.” They then get to keep what was inside. If you are using darts, have the kids stand 5 or more feet away (depending on their ages you can adjust) and toss the darts at the balloons, giving each child a couple darts each turn. Take turns in this way until the balloons are gone.

    Because of the pins this game is best for kids over 6.


    Materials Needed

  • A player who can wink
  • This game is really simple game many might have played in school, and it’s really fun for kids. Anyone playing will need to be able to wink in order to play the “Slasher”, but most kids old enough to play can wink.

    Have the players sit in a circle and have them close their eyes. Have one person who is not playing walk around the circle and silently, without anyone else knowing, tap one player on the shoulder, this person is the Slasher. The players can then open their eyes.

    When everyone has their eyes open they should be looking at each other to try to figure out who the slasher is. The slasher will need to wink at different players (one at a time) in the circle without anyone else but the selected player seeing the wink. That player has just been murdered by the slasher. When a player has been winked at, he or she should make a big dramatic effort of dying (this is the best part of the game, people really get into it sometimes).

    The object of the game is for the other players to guess who the killer is before they get killed themselves. Whichever player guesses the identity of the killer first, or is the last person not dead becomes the next “Slasher”. This is a great Halloween type game and since there is no need for props or setup it can be played anytime or anywhere.

    Donut on a String Race

    Materials Needed

  • Rope or clothesline
  • ribbon or string
  • donuts
  • Tie a good size length of rope between two trees, a clothesline would be perfect for this. While the players are standing under the clothesline tie ribbon or string to a donut and attach that to the clothesline. Each donut should be placed so it hangs just slightly above the mouth of each player (one donut per player only).

    Give the players a good “ready, set, GO!” and have them begin. Their mission is to eat the entire donut hanging in front of them without letting it fall off the string… with NO hands. First person to eat the entire donut wins.

    With this game everyone’s a winner since all players get a yummy donut to eat so no need for a prize. To add a little more humor to the game use powdered or chocolate covered donuts… the mess on the kids (and adults!) faces will be picture worthy and very funny!

    Spooky Scrabble

    Materials Needed

  • A traditional Scrabble board game
  • Spooky Scrabble plays exactly like the traditional board game except that all of the words played on the board must fit into the Halloween theme. For example you could play the word ghost or candy. Obviously this seriously limits the potential words so there is one more adjustment and this is where the fun starts. Any word can be ruled acceptable if the player(s) can demonstrate through acting out a scene how the word can be fit into the Halloween theme.

    So if a player or a team wants to play the word sofa, for example, they will have to come up with a way to demonstrate that sofa can be a spooky word. The point of the game is to have fun so rulings as to if the word is acceptable should be generous as long as the player(s) are making a good natured committed to selling the word.

    Scrabble is designed to have a maximum of four players but you can double up party guest into teams of two if you have more than four that want to play.

    Halloween Who Am I?

    Materials Needed

  • adhesive backed peel away stickers
  • Gather a list of easily recognizable terms that relate to Halloween (pumpkin, ghost, candy, Dracula) making sure that you have one for each of your guests. Get some adhesive backed peel away stickers and before the party put one term on each. Be sure to keep the stickers out of sight as your guests arrive. Once the party is getting started have the guests get in a row, facing the same direction and go down the line placing a sticker with a Halloween term written on it on the back of each guest. It is okay if they see other people’s stickers, just not their own.

    Once everyone is stickered up, start the game. The guests move amongst themselves asking the other guests one yes or no question about who(or what) is written on their tag. Examples of questions might include: Am I a person? Am I a place? Am I a thing? Am I real? Am I imaginary? Am I scary?

    Once they have exchanged a single question with a party guest they then need to move onto another guest and ask another question, and so on. At any point a quest can make a guess but if they are wrong they are out of the running. The first person to accurately guess wins the game and a prize.

    Here is a sample list of suggested terms:

    Black Cat

    Ouija Board Game

    Materials Needed

    A Ouija board

    When most people think of a Ouija board they imagine the mass produced game from Parker Bothers. While that game will certainly work, there are now many other Ouija boards available with options like a built in light or glow in the dark board. Select any board you wish, but keep in mind that the whole point of the Ouija board is to sell the Halloween experience and having a nifty board that people have not seen before helps create the spooky atmosphere.

    To use the Ouija board you need at least two people sitting facing the board and touching the planchette (the pointer). One person asks the board a question and then hopefully the spirits will move the planchette across the board to answer the question. There are no winners and loser in this game, just good natured fun that fits in perfectly with Halloween.

    Be warned that while most people will accept the Ouija board game as a fun experiment with the paranormal, some people might be uncomfortable or even scared. Make sure you have an area available to people who do not want to participate.