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Don’t Say Halloween – Taboos and Tokens

Materials Needed

  • Tokens for each guest
  • Your first order of business is to choose a word which will be taboo to say at the party. “Halloween” is the obvious choice but you can pick any word you like as long as it is a word that is likely to come up in conversation often. For example “candy” or “costume” would both work very well.

    Next decide on what you will use for the tokens. Classic wooden clothespins(you can decorate them if you like) work very as tokens since they are easy to remove and clip onto clothing without damaging the persons costume. You can also use safety pins, Mardi Gras style beads or anything else that is easy to remove and wear.

    When you start the game give each guest one token and ask them to wear it. Tell them the taboo word and explain to them that the word is not to be said at all. If someone says the taboo word then the first person to call them out is to be given the token by the offender. Now one quick witted person has two tokens and the person who said the taboo word has none. The person with no tokens can get one back if they are the first to call out someone else who uses the taboo word.

    This continues throughout the party until at some point near the end the person who has collected the most tokens is declared the winner and given a prize.

    Pin the Nose On Jack!

    Materials Needed

  • a Jack-o-lantern(sans nose)
  • black construction paper noses
  • a blindfold
  • tape
  • Jack the Jack-o-lantern is missing his nose and needs help replacing it. To do this you will need a pumpkin of some kind. You can use a real pumpkin or an orange cutout of a pumpkin made from poster board or cardboard taped to the wall. No matter which pumpkin you use, craft it into a Halloween style Jack-o-lantern except leave off the nose. Make a few noses out of black construction paper in the appropriate size and shape.

    One at a time blindfold each player and spin them around three times. Then hand them a cutout nose with tape on the back. It is their task to place the nose perfectly in the right spot on Jack(the Jack-o-lantern). The person who gets closest wins the game.

    Classic Bobbing for Apples

    Materials Needed

  • Tub of water or kiddie pool
  • Lots of Apples
  • Towels or Napkins
  • Fill a large plastic or metal tub with water, usually 2/3 or more of the way filled is best so the apples can “bob” around. Add 5 or more apples to the water and have your guests try to grab an apple out with just their mouth… no hands.

    You can play one of 3 ways.

    Just For Fun: Each player gets a turn until they grab an apple, no winner is declared, but fun is had by all, especially the people watching the game!

    Individually: Let each player go one at a time and use a stopwatch to time them. The fastest time for getting an apple wins.

    If you have a larger tub (a kiddie pool is perfect for this), you can play it as a group.

    Group: Have all the players take a spot around the pool, make sure you fill it with enough apples so everyone has a good chance, and start them off. “Ready, Set, Go!” and the first player to get an apple wins.

    This game can get kind of wet, so make sure you have towels or napkins handy to help the kids dry off with. Also, as with any game with water, adult supervision is needed and not recommended for very young kids.

    ESP Test – Eekstra Spookery Perception

    Materials Needed

  • a Zener deck of 25 cards
  • Pens
  • paper
  • To test the ESP ability of your party guests you will need a deck of 25 cards made up of five cards with each of the following five symbols: circle, cross, wavy lines, square, star. You can make them yourself by cutting thick construction paper into quarters and drawing on the symbols with a marker.

    To start the game pass out pen and paper to your guests and find a spot where you are facing all of the guests and none of them are behind you where they might see the cards you draw from the deck. Shuffle the deck and draw the first card, looking at it yourself but not allowing the guests to see it. Focus all of your psychic energy on mentally projecting the image which is on the card for 10 seconds. During this time the guests should be trying to receive your psychic message and write down their guess at the symbol on the first card. Then place the card face down and draw the next card. Repeat the process until you have done all 25 cards and your guests should have 25 answers.

    To check the results turn the deck of cards you discarded face up so that the top card was the first card you drew to start the test. Show the guests the card which is the correct answer for the first card drawn and write it down on your own answer sheet for reference later if you need it. Continue until you have finished all 25 cards. Whichever guest had the most correct answers wins the game and a prize.

    Tip: Make cheat sheets for the guests with either images of the five symbols or just the words circle, cross, wavy lines, square and star to keep beside them during the test. You would be surprised how often the guests forget the symbols during the game.

    Harvest the Candy Corn

    Materials Needed

  • a large bowl
  • candy corn
  • Chopsticks
  • smaller bowls or plates
  • Fill a large bowl with Halloween candy corn and place it in the center of a medium sized table(a round table if possible). The table needs to be big enough so that 3-5 kids can stand around it with some elbow room and small enough that all of them can reach the center of the table during game play.

    Give each of the players a pair of chopsticks and a small bowl or plate, paper plates work just fine. The object of the game is for the kids to pick up a candy corn from the bowl in the center of the table with the chopsticks and place it on their bowl or plate which is in front of them. Set a timer for around two minutes and turn them loose. Once the time has expired the kids get to keep the candy they collected and the next group gets a chance. After everyone has had a turn the guest that collected the most candy corn is the winner.

    If your Halloween party guests are too young or for any reason unable to use chopsticks you can play the game with small spoons instead.

    “Howl”-o-“Scream” Contest

    Materials Needed

  • Area to get loud in
  • Get back to the fun and funny basics of Halloween with a good ol’ fashion screaming contest. Have all your guests stand in an open area (if outside make sure it’s not too late to upset your neighbors). Have each player come up to the front of the crowd, and on the count of 3 do their best imitation of a Halloween horror scream (think B-movie type thing).

    Now, since many boys may not want to “scream like a girl” you can offer them up their own howling contest. Have the male guests come up and instead of scream, give their most realistic howling at the moon routine. You will be surprised how competitive the guys will get with this, some will really give it their all.

    For a bit of humor you can offer each contestant a “personalized prompt” to get them in the mood to scream, such as for a fashion diva guest you could say “You leave the house and realize your shoes don’t match your outfit! 1, 2, 3… scream!” or for the fanatic book lover in the group you could say “You come home and find all of your book shelves have been rearranged. They are not in alphabetical order anymore! 1, 2, 3…. scream!” Not only will this be very funny for your other guests it makes the game much more personal and fun for the screamers, too.

    At the end either have a select group of judges choose a winner, or have all the guests vote on the winner. You can also make up different awards for the “Best Scream,” “Loudest Scream,” “Most Realistic Howl,” “Most Blood Chilling.” You can be as creative as you want with the awards and winners since the real fun is in the contest!

    Musical Pumpkins

    Materials Needed

  • Orange construction paper
  • Scissors
  • A way to laminate the pumpkins
  • A device to play music
  • (Optional) Crayons or colored makers
  • Cut pumpkins out of orange construction paper and get them laminated, making sure you have one for each of your party guests. Tape the pumpkins to the floor in a circular pattern. To start the game have the kids stand on one of the pumpkins and play some Halloween themed music. As the music plays the kids move from one pumpkin to the next. At a random point stop the music and the kids must race to be the first person standing on one of the pumpkins.

    It is a good idea to start with one pumpkin for each kid just so they have a chance to understand the game before the competition starts. After the trial run remove one pumpkin and repeat the process. The kid that is not able to be the first standing on a pumpkin is out. Repeat the process until you have a winner. Once you are down to one pumpkin and two kids left, place a chair about 5 feet away from the last pumpkin and have the kids circle around the chair.

    If you would like to add a fun craft to this game, provide crayons or colored markers and let the kids decorate the pumpkins before you laminate them.

    The Dizzy Mummy

    Materials Needed

  • toilet paper
  • (optional) a stopwatch
  • Break your party guests into teams of two people. Before you tell them how the game is played ask them to decide which one will be the mummy and which will be the wrapper. After all of the teams have chosen the roles of each member bring out the toilet paper, you need one roll for each team. You can have all of the teams go at once or one at a time and use a stopwatch to determine who is fastest.

    The rules of the game are simple. The wrapper holds the roll of toilet paper with one finger in the hole in each side so that it can be dispensed easily. The mummy take the end of the roll and stands a few steps from the wrapper holding onto the toilet paper. You start the game and the mummy has to spin around in place while holding the end of the toilet paper. The paper should start to wrap around the mummy as they spin, freely coming from the roll which the wrapper is holding. If the paper breaks, the wrapper can help the mummy get started again. The mummy keeps spinning until they are completely wrapped in the entire roll of paper. The team that finishes the quickest wins and is award a prize.

    Disclaimer: This game may not work well with guests who have been drinking adult beverages.

    Make a Mummy Game

    Materials Needed

  • A lot of toilet paper rolls
  • Break the party guests up into teams of 4-5 members each. If you have uneven teams that is okay, since this is a relay race of sorts, one of the members of the team(s) with a lower number of members can take two turns.

    The teams should first decide on which member is going to be the mummy. The mummies stand on one side of the room with each of the teams on the other side. Place a lot of toilet paper rolls on the ground near each of the mummies. Give a Ready, Set, Go! and the first team member runs to their mummy and starts to wrap the toilet paper around the soon to be mummy. After 30 seconds shout Switch! and the first mummy wrapper runs back to the team and the second team member races to the mummy to continue the process. Cycle through all of the team members(with one going twice if the teams are uneven) and then call a stop. The team that has created the best mummy wins!

    Make sure to clearly tell the guests not to cover the eyes, nose or mouth when wrapping the mummies. It is only toilet paper, but some people can get uncomfortable if their face is getting covered.

    Halloween Memory Game

    Materials Needed

  • A large tray
  • A cloth to cover the tray
  • 15-20 small Halloween themed items
  • Pen and paper for all party guest
  • Get 15-20 small Halloween themed object such as small novelty toys(a plastic spider ring, a small rubber rat), Halloween themed sweets(a skull shaped lollipop, a small bag of candy corn) or get creative and make a little ghost out of tissue paper or just write the word BOO! on a piece of paper. Put all of the objects on a tray and cover the tray with a cloth.

    Have your guests gather around the tray and remove the covering. Explain to them that they have 60 seconds to look at the objects on the tray and then it will be removed. Once the time limit is up put the tray in another room and then pass out pen and paper to all of your Halloween party guests. Allow them a few minutes to write down as many of the objects on the tray as they can remember. The person who correctly remembers the most items from the tray is the winner.

    As a prize you can award the winner all of the stuff from the tray in a Halloween candy bag.