We had some great Halloween traditions while our girls were growing up! The Saunderstown community banded together to create incredible memories for the kids and adults alike!

When the girls were young (toddlers) we'd set up in the basement and have classic Halloween games like pin -the stem on the pumpkin, and guess what the spaghetti in the bowl was. and invite families over for spaghetti and meatballs and bobbing for apples. We even brought Curley, our horse, out to join in the apple bobbing!

As the kids got older, this gathering grew to almost 100 people and included pumpkin carving, individual and family costume contests and a haunted walk through our wooded property. Many families set up spooky stations which were manned by all generations, and included sound and visual effects found in many commercial haunts.  My girls still talk about our neighbor’s giant spider and my husband’s makeshift graveyard.

Thinking back on these wonderful moments made me realize how we were developing healthy associations for us and our kids! Halloween became about so much more than the candy.

Whether you’re throwing a party or having a simple night handing out goodies from your porch, snag these great ideas from our neighborhood crew! Here are 6 activities that will help you bring health, fitness, and fun to your guests of any age:  

  1. Stick-the-stem-on-the-pumpkin. Great for toddlers! All you need is a bandanna, a cut out pumpkin, cut out stem, and a couple pieces of Velcro. Bonus: it helps develop motor skills and keeps the kids moving.

  2. Spooky tent. This worked great for our kids’ basement party, but could be fun outside, too. Fill a tent with weird sensory objects, like cornstarch mixed with water and red dye (include a few eyeballs: peeled grapes cut in half), slimy spaghetti (brain), gummy worms, soft stuffed dates (Roaches) to name a few!

  3. Funky foods guessing game. Choose some strange but harmless foods, like peeled grapes and canned red beets. Have the kids (or guests) cover their eyes, eat and guess the items (make sure to know about food allergies before diving into this game!).

  4. Bob for apples. Such a classic! It never ceases to entertain me how kids and adults alike go crazy for this one. Simply fill a large tub with lukewarm water and apples and time each participant to see who can bite and retain an apple the quickest!

  5. Trick-or-toy: If you’d like to participate and give something out but feel too tempted to finish any leftovers, try out stickers, books, or small toys from the dollar store. The kids still get something they love, and you get the fun without the temptation of leftover candy!

  6. Mummy contest: For a minimalist game, bring out toilet paper and tape (and even tape is optional). Tag a few judges, and have guests choose teams to create the best makeshift mummy.

Check out details on these and more Halloween Party Games at www.familyfun.ie/halloween-party-games. Good memories will last longer than any trick, treat, or costume. I hope you’ll steal a few of these ideas and make some of your own!

What’s your favorite Halloween memory or idea? Send me a note in the comments below.

Kathy ONeel WebsterComment