Young children have a hard time distinguishing between what is real and what is fantasy, so scary Halloween costumes and party decorations could frighten younger party guests. Be sure all aspects of your Halloween costume party are age-appropriate for children. Aim for cutesy rather than spooky to ensure the children have a good time.
Cartoon Character Party
Most children have a favorite television cartoon character that they would enjoy dressing up as. From Cat in the Hat to Barney, costumes for popular children’s shows are widely available. Decorate your walls using large character cutouts and play games singing theme songs from various cartoon shows. Sing a line from a theme song and the first child to sing the next line correctly wins a small prize, such as a character sticker. Serve cupcakes topped with different plastic character decorations, and if the children get wild, watch an episode of a cartoon show. Use Mylar character balloons featuring different characters for additional decorations, as they can double as party favors. Serve food associated with cartoon characters. Spinach, for example, would be a good choice since it is Popeye’s favorite food. You can also serve individual snacks that have character packaging such as fruit snacks or breakfast bars.
Games can bring structure to a party. Hide small plastic pumpkins or individually wrapped chocolate candies around the yard and let the children find them. Give each child a pail and the child who collects the most pumpkins or candies wins a prize.
Playing tape the face on the pumpkin is also an age-appropriate game. Cut out a large pumpkin from orange paper and eyes, a nose and a mouth from black paper. Affix double-sided tape to the facial features, then blindfold each child as he has a turn to tape a face on the pumpkin.
Children like familiar and simple foods. Using a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter you can turn any sandwich into a festive party treat. Use orange food coloring to change white fruit, veggie dip or cream cheese into pumpkin colored dip. Serve the dip with fresh fruits or vegetables.
While Halloween cookies and candy are what children may most enjoy, serving something more substantial will balance out the children’s sugar and candy intake.