What will your kids be doing this Halloween? Keep tabs on their safety -- and fun -- by hosting a terrific party for kids.
We've come up with four tons-of-fun games to get the party rolling. These brightly colored contests -- Pin the Tail on the Cat, Witch's Ring Toss, Twist-and-Turn, and a Ghostly Pinata -- do double duty as party decorations. Orange, black, green, purple, and yellow in bold geometric patterns give extra punch to the easy-to-make game boards and pieces.
Make the games a week or two ahead of the party so you'll be able to concentrate on the food, the costumes, and the fun of the event.
This is no ordinary Halloween black cat. Our cool cat is jazzed up with orange, green, and purple polka dots; a yellow star marks the spot for pinning on brightly colored craft-foam tails. Repositionable tape, instead of pins, makes a game of Pin the Tail on the Cat safe and kid-friendly. Wide green scallop trim and orange foam stars finish the playing board.
Make blindfolds from Halloween-theme fabric, then give each child a twirl. Whoever gets the tail closest to the star gets a big round of applause. Remind your youngsters: No peeking!
Who will be brave enough to capture the starry, spooky witch's hat?
Line up the kids so they can try their hands at this bewitching version of the classic ring-toss game. Trim a purchased witch's hat with self-adhesive stars and moons and weigh it down with a plastic container filled with dried beans or rice. Make a ring from white foam-core board with a different pattern of brightly colored electrical tape for each child. For added fun, construct and toss rings of various sizes.
Draw around the brim of the witch's hat to make a large circle on foam-core board. Draw a second circle 2 inches inside the first.
Cut on the drawn lines, making a ring. Randomly wrap various colors of electrical tape around the ring to completely cover the foam-core circle. Repeat to make more rings as desired.
Bend the poster board into a cone to fit inside the hat. Cut off any excess board and tape to secure the shape. Insert the poster-board cone inside the hat; tape in place.
Embellish the outside of the hat with self-adhesive stars and moons.
Fill a plastic container with dried beans or rice to use as an anchor for the hat. Cover with the lid, and securely tape the lid on top.
Invert the container and set the hat with the poster-board cone over it.
With plenty of twists, turns, and tangles in store, kids will delight in a close-up look at the stars, spiders, jack-o'-lanterns, and ghosts lined up on this themed Twist-and-Turn game board. Make the mat from pre-primed canvas and paint the figures using the patterns below.
Coat the finished game board with a layer of polyurethane for extra protection, and secure it to the floor with a rug pad or temporary spray-adhesive product.
Make this ghost pinata the centerpiece of the party. It's crafted of common materials: newspaper, balloons, aluminum foil, thick craft glue, and liquid starch. Floating crepe paper streamers give a ghostly presence to the figure.
Fill the pinata with Halloween goodies, then let the fun begin. Blindfold the guests one by one and see who has the most accurate arm. To keep overeager partygoers at bay, hang the ghost out of reach until it's time to play.