If you'd like a creepy-crawly good time for your guests, then plan a party for your most fiendishly fun friends. We have all the ingredients needed to make such a successful Halloween party that no ghoul or goblin will ever forget.
It's a Party Countdown Planning is the secret to a successful party. Once everything is thought out, your party will not only run smoothly, but you'll have fewer pre-party jitters. To help guide you in your planning, follow this easy-to-use checklist.
One Month Ahead: Decide on the date, time, place, theme, and number of guests for your party. Plan on one guest for each year of your child's age. For a 7-year-old, invite no more than seven guests. Start by making your own invitations. They can be spellbinding or spooky -- it's all up to you. Plan the party length with your child's age in mind. Two hours is enough for your 1- to 3-year-old, and three hours is appropriate for a 10-year-old. If necessary, make arrangements for hiring entertainers, renting a party room, or planning mini-trips.
Two Weeks Ahead: Call your child's best friends to make sure they can make the party date before you invite the other guests. This gives you the opportunity to pick a different date so your child has his special friends at the party. Phone or mail the invitations, but if you're mailing them, be sure to ask for an R.S.V.P. so you'll know exactly how many kids will be coming. Instruct guests to wear their Halloween costumes to the party and to be ready to do a trick -- tell a joke, sing a song, or stump everyone with a riddle. Also make plans for the menu, activities, prizes, and decorations. Plan more games to play than you'll have time for. This allows you to go on to another game if your guests aren't having fun.
One Week Ahead: Make or purchase the party favors, prizes, and decorations. If you've made any special arrangements, check on the final plans. The big night will be here before you can say "BOO" so don't forget to shop for the most important thing -- the FREAKY FOOD! See our recipes on the next page.
Two or Three Days Ahead: Double-check the final guest list and make a tentative schedule for what you'll be doing at the party.
- Here's a fun idea: Take a Polaroid photo of each child as they arrive. Place a photo at each place setting. When you call them to the table, they'll sit down in front of their picture. The photo can go home as a party memento.
- As kids arrive, keep them busy by having them make their own treat bag. They can color small paper bags, then staple on orange or black strips of construction paper for easy-carrying handles. If you have ever hosted a party, you know how important it is to keep your little guests busy.
- Create a spooky sight by filling jack-o'-lanterns with dry ice and a little water -- vapor will float out of the jack-o'-lantern. Be sure that the room where you are using the dry ice is well ventilated, and protect your hands by wearing heavy gloves. Give the room an eerie glow by using a green lightbulb.
- Parents need to remember to dress up, too. Make sure you are having fun and getting involved.
- Use Party Wraps for prizes.