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Tips for Planning a Kid-Friendly Halloween Party

Treating Moms to a Few Tricks
A full day of meetings at work, after school activities for the kids and an overflowing laundry basket that needs done. Mom life is busy. On top of it all, you’re expected to be the ghostess with the mostess by planning a spooktacular Halloween party for your child’s friends. Never fear—Shindigz is here! Keep these tips in your purse to jot down ideas and make checklists when you’re waiting to pick up Suzie from practice, or when Johnny is playing at the park. Just remember to keep calm and scare on!

Kid Friendly Halloween Party

Pick a date, time and place
The date of your party can be any day in October, so pick what works best for you and your family. Take it easy on yourself and plan for a time that doesn’t require a full meal—snacks and treats are more fun anyway. And the place? If it’s too much trouble, guests don’t have to haunt your house! Try outside in the back yard or in the garage if you’re fortunate enough to live in a warm climate. For an alternative, consider a country club, local park facility or neighborhood clubhouse.

Create a ghost list
Ask your son or daughter whom they’d like to invite. Consider friends from school, neighbors and teammates. Be sensitive and sensible.

Select a theme
Most children aren’t crazy about the scary side of Halloween, so make it about dressing up or carving pumpkins. Here are some theme ideas:

  • Monster Mash – Have the kids dress up as monsters. They can choose movie or tv monsters, or have them make up their own!
  • Pumpkin Patch Party – The children will have a blast decorating, carving and playing games with pumpkins. Just remember—safety first! Depending on age, kids can draw designs and Mom or Dad can cut.
  • Superheroes by Night – Each child can dress as their favorite superhero. Let their imaginations run wild!

Not into themes? Make colors the theme for your Halloween party:

  • Black and orange
  • Red, black and white
  • Purple and neon green
  • Orange, white and purple

Determine a budget
We know this one can be tricky. Here are some suggestions:

  • Fill extra space with affordable balloons, poly vinyl and gossamer.
  • Think of items that are functional and can be used as party favors, such as pumpkin cups.
  • Invest in reusable decorations, such as artificial pumpkins rather than live ones, or fabric tablecloths that can be washed.
  • Consider buying in bulk. A lot of candy, tableware and favors can be purchased in kits or sets.
  • Say yes if fellow parents ask if they can bring a side dish.
  • Buy off-brand foods. The kids won’t know the difference!
Kid Friendly Halloween Party

Number one rule with your budget? Stick to it!

Send invitations
We usually recommend doing this a month before the party. Whether you choose traditional paper invites or go electronic, make them boo-tiful! This is the perfect chance to get everyone hyped for Halloween! We make it easy with our wide selection of pre-made, themed invitations that you just need to fill out with the name, date and time. It’s also wise to include an RSVP deadline, just to make sure you have a good headcount for planning purposes.

Rally a team
Yes, it’s very tempting to try to be Super Woman and impress all the other parents and kids. Our advice? Don’t. Get other moms and dads together to help! Each person can help with set-up or prepare a dish to share. Is there a craft queen in the crowd? Have her prepare a little something for the kiddos to do. This will alleviate so much stress, and it will give you some much-needed adult time.

Determine tableware
You need fast, easy clean-up. Try using disposable paper cups, napkins, and plates, as well as plastic eating utensils. A tablecloth is also an essential staple in making the table look festive. For kiddos, you may want to stick with disposable plastic table covers.

Kid Friendly Halloween Party Tableware

Plan décor
This can be the tough part, but with our help, you’ll look like the superhero—there’s a costume idea for you! Keep it simple or go all out. And never underestimate the traditional decorations like balloons, hanging decorations, lanterns, garlands and streamers. Consider which of these areas you’d like to embellish:

  • Outside/yard
    • Suggestions
      • Yard sign – Let all the parents know where to drop off their kiddos!
      • Skeleton mailbox balloon – This little guy can greet everyone curbside.
      • Air blown ghost – Nothing says fun like a ghost in motion.
        Air blown Ghost
      • Peeping eyes – These cute eyeballs can be placed in the bushes; they even blink!
        Peeping Eyes
      • Tombstones – Kids are familiar with cemeteries, so these shouldn’t be too haunting.
  • Front porch
  • Front door
    • Suggestions
      • Scarecrow – This guy really isn’t scary, and he has movable joints!
      • Color spotlight – Create just the right ambience with multiple color options.
      • Doorway spider – Make a fun entrance to the party!
        Doorway Spider
  • Inside entryway
    • Suggestions
      • Ghost standees – Don’t worry; these won’t make the kids turn ghostly white with fright.
        Ghost Standees
      • Pumpkin standees – These are great for any fall party and make a nice photo background too.
      • Cauldron candy bowl – Start the night with a few sweet treats!
        Cauldron Candy Bowl
      • Balloons – A Halloween staple in orange and black with an adorable polka dot print.
      • Monster standee – The perfect prop for a monster mash theme.
  • Dinner table
    • Suggestions
  • Bathroom (Yes, we’re dead serious.)
    • Suggestions
      • Black light – Your guests will get their glow on in this room; the kids will especially love it!
      • Long-stemmed pumpkin – Pick up one of these at the local patch and add a spare toilet paper roll to the stem.
      • Flaming torch – This can provide additional light when placed on the counter by the sink.
  • Walls
    • Suggestions
      • Caution tape – Very affordable and simple to hang on the walls.
      • Spider garland – These googly-eyed furry friends can be strung at the top of walls to outline the perimeter of a room.
        Spider garland
      • Pumpkin backdrop – Like a wallpaper; slightly kooky but not too spooky.
  • Ceiling

Schedule activities
The kids may drive you batty if you don’t have enough activities planned. We’ve carved out some ideas for you:

  • Witch Piñata – They’ll love taking a swing if it means candy and prizes!
  • Cornhole – Customize a set in orange, white and gray for the older children to play.
  • Pumpkin toss – Score points by tossing ping-pong balls through this cardboard mural.
    Pumpkin Toss
  • Costume Contest – Don’t forget to give the winner a trophy!
  • Bobbing for Apples – This one’s a classic; dress up the game area with an apple standee.
  • Hot Potato – This simple activity only requires a spud and a stereo.
  • Sweeping Pumpkins Relay – Have a blast trying to sweep a pumpkin down the driveway and back in teams.
  • Flashlight Tag – Grab flashlights and some glow-in-the-dark wearables for this twist on traditional tag.

Determine a flow
The timetable for your boo bash will depend on time of day as well as the number and ages of the children. So, the moral of the story is to be flexible. Here is a suggested flow:

  • First 15 minutes: Guests arrive. Make sure to greet each little pumpkin! A great way to do this is to give them a wearable such as a hat or necklace to get them excited as well as to make them feel like part of the group. While they wait for their friends to arrive, take advantage of the time for a photo op while their costumes are still fresh.
  • Next hour: Play party games! If the kids are really enjoying a certain activity, just keep playing; don’t feel like you have to get to everything on your list. The important thing is that they are havin’ a howlin’ good time.
  • Next 30 minutes: Help the kiddos calm down with some witch crafts. Here are some easy suggestions:
    • Decorate pumpkins – Depending on how little the kiddos are, you may want to stay away from handing them sharp objects. Opt to decorate pumpkins with paint and construction paper.
    • Make ghost suckers - Cover a sucker with a tissue, tie a ribbon around the tissue and sucker and use a black marker to make a ghost face.
    • Create spiders – Paint styrofoam balls black and add chenille stem legs as well as googly eyes.
    • Paint trick-or-treat bags – Have the kids decorate a tote for gathering Halloween candy.

Create a menu
We know you like Pinterest, but if there’s no time to cook, no one has to know your treats are store-bought! Have other parents help bring snacks, too, or buy all orange and black items. Keep in mind that kids can’t eat or drink as much as adults. Here are some staples to consider purchasing:

  • Mini cupcakes
  • Cake
  • Mini candy bars or chocolate kisses
  • Pre-cut trays of fruits and veggies
  • Small juice boxes

Here are some easy ways to dress up food and drinks:

Kid Friendly Halloween Table

Ok, so maybe you really are Betty Crocker. Then work some magic in the kitchen! Here are some wicked good ideas for you.

  • Food
    • Make white chocolate boo-nana pops. Cut bananas in half, add a popsicle stick to each, dip in white chocolate, add chocolate chip eyes and freeze.
    • Use a black permanent marker to draw pumpkin faces on mandarin oranges. Make sure the green stem is face-up.
      Orange Pumpkin Faces
    • Create hot dog mummies from hot dogs wrapped with thinly-sliced crescent roll dough. Bake, then add eyes with either ketchup or mustard.
      Hot Dog Mummies
  • Drinks
    • Serve up Jack O’ Lantern floats made with orange soda and vanilla ice cream.
    • Make green potion using green punch, pineapple juice and ginger ale.
      Green Punch
    • Mix milk, yogurt and bananas for ghostly white shakes.

Determine favors
It’s important to say fang you for coming when your ghosts are leaving. A great way to do this is to offer them a party favor. Here are some kid favorites:

Want to give away more than one goody? Have the kids decorate their own favor bag as an activity, or give them a favor box full of treats.

Kid Friendly Halloween Favors

Shop for supplies, food and drinks
Here are some other tips for making the shopping process as easy as possible:

  • Make a list. You may even keep this list on your phone so you have it everywhere you go and you won’t lose it.
  • Shop from the comfort of your home at, where you can do most of your shopping in one place.
  • Pick up your groceries during off-peak hours to avoid the mad rush and to save time.

Decorate and set up activities
Don’t get spooked! Here are some tricks:

  • Draw a rough map or write a checklist for each area you’d like to decorate or set up an activity. The sooner you put this together, the easier it will be the day-of.
  • Rally your team of friends to help get everything done. Don’t be afraid to delegate! Each person could take one area or station.
  • Start the decorating the night prior. Leave sticky notes around the house or in the serving bowls so you and your helpers know what goes where once it’s party time.
Pumpkin Standees

Prepare food and drinks
We recommend doing as much food prep the few days before the party as possible. For the fresh items, make sure you leave plenty of time for set-up.

Have fun

This is the part where you just relax and enjoy the time with your child and his or her friends.

Congratulations! You survived this to-do list! Just for that, we’re giving you 10% off at using promo code TIPZ.

Kid Friendly Halloween Party