Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Eyeball Cookie

I made these cookies last night for a Halloween party/potluck. I had these gummy eyeballs that were completely round. I cut off the bottoms so they would lie flat on the cookie. Then I baked regular sugar cookies. When the cookies came out of the oven, I placed the eyeball on top of the warm cookie. The gummy stuff melted a bit on the cookie which made it look cool and helped attach itself. These were quite a hit with the kids and moms.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween Party Schedule

Ok I have firmed up my activity plans for the Halloween Party this year.

I purchased a Haunted Gingerbread House decorating kit from the store for kids to do as guests arrive.

Craft - Make your own trick or treat bags. I purchased plain white paper gift bags and I have all sorts of stamps and rub-ons (which I bought all on clearance last year) to decorate them with

Bob for apples - be sure to have plenty of towels and encourage the kids not to backwash in the bucket with the apples

Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt - I found sponge pumpkins on clearance last year, so I bought a ton. I came up with a scavenger hunt for the kids. Each pumpkin will have a word and a number. I'll think of a cool Halloween saying that will be said if they fill it out properly. (#1 Have #2 a #3 Happy #4 Halloween) Then I'll hide all the pumpkin sponges and when they can tell me what the phrase is they get a small prize.

Food - I always have some cool food, usually cupcakes and popcorn balls. If you don't schedule time to eat, then your food won't get eaten and you wasted your time making it. Don't go overboard though, there are so many cute recipes online now, limit yourself to only a few.

Hay-find - take a bale of hay and scatter candy and make the kids find it

Pumpkin - our Halloween version of Torpedo - Name on side of the yard Trick and the other side Treat. Tell the kids to run towards whatever side you call and when you yell PUMPKIN, everyone must touch the ground. Last to touch the floor is out. This is a great game while waiting for parents to come and it wears out the kids pretty good.
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Friday, October 12, 2007

$50 Halloween Party for kids

Every year I host a Halloween party for my son. He has a summer birthday and with all our moves it seems like there isn't enough friends for a birthday party. As a kid my parents used to do the same for me and I loved it. Since I have almost a lifetime experience at hosting a Halloween party I have it down to under $50.

$20 - 2 bales of hay
$5 - Tableware

$5 - bag of apples
$2 - outfit at a Thrift store
$10 - candy
$5 - craft supplies
$3 - Misc. stuff

The hay is used for two activities, but if your budget is tight you can reuse the hay from the first activity. The $20 estimate is based on $10 a bale, which is the most expensive I've found hay.

Depending on the size of your party, you have two options. For a small party go to the dollar store and pick up a tablecloth (paper), plates, napkins, and cups. You can usually find them in a Halloween theme. For a larger party you will need the same supplies, but go with the plain black and orange tableware because you get more for your money.

Craft supplies
Every year I change the craft, but I try and stick with something cheap. The craft will probably go in the trash eventually, so no need spending $5 per kid on some knick-knack. There are some exceptions to this, but as a general rule don't go overboard on the craft. Oriental Trading has a lot of great craft kits. You can purchase one or just use the site for ideas.

Misc. Stuff
There isn't really anything I buy extra, but I find it is good to have some extra money in the budget to cover unexpected details. Perhaps you could use it for a bag of chips and kool-aid. Typically I have my parties at 2pm so I don't have to worry about feeding people. For $3 you could buy a box mix of cake and icing, make cupcakes, and still have some change left over for kool-aid.


My formula for good parties is to have: 2 games/activities, 1 craft, and a means of getting mass amounts of candy/toys/misc. at the end.

After all the guests arrive I start with the classic game of bobbing for apples. The best way to play is to have a plastic tote that is long, and only fill half way up with water. Also make sure you have towels lining the floor and a wipe off towel available for the kids.

Next we go outside and I show the kids the bale of hay and a pile of clothes. It is their job to build a scare crow. Usually I have a chair outside for the scarecrow to sit on. For the head I use our jack-o-lantern, but if you don't have you can get an orange plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin for less than a dollar. It is nice to have the kids build a scarecrow for my front door, makes a great decoration for trick-or-treaters.

When they are done I have them come inside for the craft. As I said earlier, I vary my crafts, so this gives you some freedom.

While the kids are working on the craft, I have another adult (usually my husband) go outside and scatter half of the second hay bale in a big pile. Then they toss candy all over, sometimes I add some goodie bag toys I've collected over the year and sometimes pennies too. Then the other half of the hay is scattered on top. I give the kids grocery bags or brown lunch sacks to turn them lose to find stuff.

If time still remains we play a game to run the kids energy out. The original game is called Torpedo (in case anyone has heard of it), but we change it to suit our needs for every party. For this purpose we will call the game Pumpkin. You tell the kids the left side of the yard is the trick and the right side is the treat. You will shout out directions (either trick or treat) but when you yell Pumpkin everyone has to touch the floor. The last person to touch the ground is out. The last person standing gets to be the caller.
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Monday, October 08, 2007

Awesome Sand Castle

Hopefully I can start posting more regularally now that we have finally settled in. Here is a picture of an awesome sand castle we found on the beach. There was a big festival about a week before we went, so I assume they had a sand sculpture contest.

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