Halloween Party Ideas

This is one of my favorite times of year.  The air is crisp and the leaves are turning all these beautiful oranges, yellows, and reds.  I’m changing out of my shorts and tanks and getting all cozy in my pants and long sleeves.  Everything is pumpkin and spice and it’s oh so nice.

It’s also Halloween time and it’s the perfect time to get my creative juices flowing.  I was so excited when my kids wanted to have a Halloween party this year.  I couldn’t wait to turn our basement into something fun and a little on the spooky side.  It couldn’t be full out gore and mayhem but a hint to the dark side and all kid appropriate.

Since I didn’t have enough party supplies to decorate the entire basement, I shopped at Spirit Halloween, Dollar Tree, Five Below, BJ’s and Amazon to get what I needed.  Dollar Tree and Five Below were the perfect places to get a lot of supplies and it was really inexpensive.

I created different scenes in the rooms of our basement.  Some of which were a crime scene, an evil surgery, a coffin, and chained skeletons all lit with black lights to create an eerie feeling.  We had different activities throughout the basement to keep the kids moving and entertained.

Once I had the party rooms planned out and decorated, it was time to focus on the food.  The food had to be fun, creepy, and delicious.  I made chocolate spiders, witch’s fingers, mummy donuts, eyeball cookies, monster mix, bone breadsticks, and two Halloween punches to go along with other snacks.

Monster Punch

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz package frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2 liters ginger ale
  • 2 liters sparkling apple cider
  • gummy or rubber snakes, plastic eyeballs, or any other creepy items you wish to add
  • rubber glove, cleaned inside and out

Directions:

  1. To make the frozen hand:
    1. In a 4 cup measuring cup, combine thawed raspberries and cranberry juice.  Pour 2 cups of mixture into small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over it.  Let sit 2 minutes.
    2. Over low heat, stirring constantly, heat mixture just until gelatin dissolves.  Pour mixture back into the reserved measuring cup.
    3. Pour raspberry mixture into glove.  Tie the end securely and freeze until solid or several days.
  2. To serve:
    1. Carefully cut glove away from frozen hand.  Pour ginger ale and sparkling cider into punch bowl.  Place hand leaning on side of punch bowl or float in center of punch.  Add gummy or rubber snakes, plastic eyeballs, or whatever you wish.

Bug Juice Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon rainbow sherbet
  • 2 liter bottle ginger ale
  • gummy worms, bugs, frozen brain, etc.

Directions:

  1. Place sherbet in punch bowl.
  2. Slowly pour in ginger ale.
  3. Float frozen brain (freeze water in brain mold) and add gummy worms and bugs.

Bone Breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. Unroll dough and cut into 14 even rectangles.  Tie ends into a knot to look like bones.
  3. Place bones on cookie sheets.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 12 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Serve with warmed marinara sauce.

Mummy donuts

Ingredients:

  • Premade donut holes
  • 48 Mini chocolate chips
  • 5oz white chocolate chips or candy melts

Directions:

  1. Melt white chocolate chips per package directions.
  2. Dip a fork into the melted white chocolate and drizzle over donut holes to create mummy bandages, leaving a space for the eyes.
  3. Insert two mini chocolate chips peeking out through the bandages.
  4. Cool completely before serving.

Monster Munch Mix

Ingredients:

  • Chex Mix, original
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Fall color Plain M&Ms
  • White Candy Corn M&Ms
  • Brach’s Candy Corn and Candy Harvest mix
  • Caramel, cheddar, butter popcorn mix

Directions:

  1. Mix the all ingredients in a large bowl.  Use as much as you like of each ingredient to create the mix just right for you.  This is so simple and you can easily add other ingredients to your liking.

To keep the kids entertained, I created some Halloween games and the kids played ping pong with eyeballs and watched Halloween movies.

Some of the games were the Coffin (which I’ve actually brought to past classroom parties and blogged about before), Dive or Dare, Creepy Clown Bowling, and Balloon Pop.


Balloon Pop

This is so ridiculously easy and fun.  Just take regular latex balloons and stuff them with a prize.  Then blow them up, not with helium as you want them to stay on the ground, and tie them.  You can decorate them if you like.  Couple of ideas: Make spiders by using black balloons and glue black streamers on for legs and paint or draw on eyes; Make ghosts by using white balloons and draw on black eyes and mouth.  Next, put them in large plastic bags until you are ready to bring them out.  When you are ready, cover the floor with balloons and tell your guests to start popping or stomping the spiders/ghosts.  They will love it and will be excited to get their prizes.  Unfortunately I didn’t a good picture of this activity as the kids went a little wild popping the balloons, but you get the idea.


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The Coffin

This is really fun.  I used a shipping box from something I had ordered and spray painted it black.  Then I cut holes, large enough for your hand, along the top where body parts would be.  I had the body parts in Tupperware container bottoms spaced with the holes for a head (cauliflower), eyes (peeled grapes), ears (dried apricots), tongue (cut banana peel), teeth (sunflower seeds or popcorn kernels),  heart (peeled bell pepper left whole stem removed), intestines (noodles sprayed with oil), toes (cut mini hot dogs).  I also created a little story to go along with the coffin and body parts.

coffin-mystery-box-2016


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Creepy Clown Bowling

This is real simple.  I used an outdoor blow up bowling set and glued on faces of creepy clowns that I printed and cut out.  Then I used a foam pumpkin for the bowling ball.


 

Dive or Dare

This is super fun for all the senses.  Have your guests dive for creepy items or dare them to eat it.  I used cauldrons filled with red orbeez type balls and hid witch fingers, spiders, snakes, and eyeballs in them.  Then I placed edible versions of the same items next to the cauldrons.  Snakes are just gummy snakes I bought in the store.  The spiders are chocolates that I created using a candy mold.  The eyeballs and witch fingers recipes are below.


Eyeball Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese
  • 22 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed into fine crumbs
  • Lifesaver gummies
  • Chocolate chips
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips or candy melts

Directions:

  1. Combine cookie crumbs and softened cream cheese until well combined.
  2. Roll 1/2 tablespoonfuls of mixture into about 1-1/4″ balls and place on waxed paper.  Use your thumb to make shallow depression on the top of each ball.
  3. Chill cookie balls until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Stretch Lifesaver gummy over chocolate chip with the tip side down.  Set aside.
  5. Melt white chocolate per package directions in microwave or double boiler.
  6. Dip cookie balls in chocolate and set on tray.  Immediately set the “irises” (Lifesaver & chocolate chip) on top and slightly press into the depression.
  7. Repeat with remaining balls.
  8. Allow chocolate to cool and harden before serving.  Chilling them on the tray in the refrigerator will speed up the process.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.

 

Witch Finger Cookies, by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fine salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 28 large sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam or other red jam that you prefer

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray baking sheet with vegetable oil or line with silpat.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture until a dough forms.
  5. Use about 1 tablespoonful of dough and roll into 5″ long fingers and about 1/2″ thick.  Firmly press a sliced almond into the end of the finger for fingernails.  Then make several horizontal cuts to create the knuckles.  Arrange the fingers on prepared baking sheets and bake until lightly golden, about 16 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. In small saucepan, heat jam over low heat until warm.  Dip the blunt end of the fingers into the jam and arrange on platter.
  7. One variation you could do is add a couple of drops of food color to color the cookies.  Maybe use green for witch fingers or possibly blue for monster fingers.

I hope you liked some of these ideas.  I’d love to hear how it went if you try any of them or if you’ve made your own variations.  Hope you all have a very Happy Halloween!

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Teacher Survival Kit

After what seemed too short of a summer vacation, it’s back to school.  My daughter was so excited and could not wait for all the back to school shopping.  Actually, she was ready for the shopping even before the school year ended!  Picking out new supplies, backpack, lunch box, new clothes, etc.  So much fun going through the aisles and seeing the vast number of choices.  It can be overwhelming, but she was focused and had her list of needed supplies but of course there are always items not on the list that she just absolutely must have and make their way into our cart.  For instance, a cute little two colored stapler.  This I can’t say ‘no’ to as it really didn’t cost much and, I have to admit, it is super cute.

Now, I thought we were all set.  We got all our supplies, new clothes picked out for first day, knew what we were going to pack for lunch.  Then, my daughter has a brilliant idea.  Let’s do something special for the teacher.  What a great idea and is really sweet of her to think of her teacher.  But what do to.  My daughter came up with the idea of a Teacher Survival Kit.  It is such a great idea for a back to school gift.  She did some research online and we came up with a list of items to pack into a craft supply box.  All items a teacher may need and enjoy.  We also came up with an instruction list (see below) so that her teacher would understand the meaning behind each of the items.  We packaged it all up and tied it with a nice sparkly bow that my daughter picked out.  I think this looked so nice when it was all put together.  All items were easy to find in our local stores like Target and Walmart and it didn’t cost much or take much time to do.

 

 

teacher survival kit

At the end of the day, as I was waiting to pick up my daughter in car line, her teacher made a point to walk over and thank us for the wonderful gift.  She was so surprised and appreciative of the kind and thoughtful gift.  What a great way to start off the year!

This is a nice way to do a little something for the hard work that our teachers do each and every day.  The Teacher Survival Kit can be modified to the “likes” of your teachers and can be done anytime during the year.  It would make a great teacher appreciation or holiday gift as well.  Please write back and let me know how you like this idea and how you might use it.  Thank you and have a great school year!

 


Laced Fingerless Gloves

I recently purchased the craft book Generation T beyond fashion by Megan Nicolay.  She is amazing.  Who knew there were so many ways to bring life back into an old T-shirt.  The laced fingerless gloves or, “gimme some glovin” as Megan Nicolay calls it, was the first project I tried out of her book for my daughter, although I didn’t use a T-shirt but an old pair of her leggings instead.  She needed something a little extra for her Halloween costume, she was half an angel and half devil, and these laced gloves were just the ticket.  She thought they were cool and a little bit rocker that fit the devil side of her costume. Read More