The Hanging Tree
Libor Fousek/ShutterstockIn the original game, there were 12 red apples and 1 green apple to match a poem said while spinning the children around. For a small group of children, you don’t need so many. Hang the apples by long strings from a tree branch (by twisting the strings you disguise where the green apple is). For each child’s turn, blindfold him or her, untwist the apples, and set the youngster toward the branch. If he or she picks the green apple, he or she wins a prize (and the apple). Put up a new green apple and give another child a turn. Give these DIY Halloween decorations a try to make your home look super festive.
Pass the Pumpkin
Mikhaylovskiy/ShutterstockHave one fewer small pumpkins than players. Sit youngsters in a circle. Play Halloween music while they pass the pumpkins around the circle. When the music stops, the player without a pumpkin is out, but he gets to take a pumpkin with him. The rest of the players continue to play until there is a winner, who will get a prize. Once you're done playing it's time to carve the pumpkins! Try these pumpkin carving patterns to take your jack-o'-lantern to the next level.
Balloon Sweep Relay Race
Anna Nahabed/ShutterstockSet up a course that zigzags across the yard (or playroom). Use colored rope tied to stakes (or chairs) to mark it. Divide the guests into two teams. Give each team a small broom and a blown-up balloon. Each member of a team must sweep the balloon around the course and back before the next member goes. The team to have every member finish the course first wins. Having trouble coming up with a costume idea for your kid? Try these cheap DIY kids costumes that basically anyone can make.
Pin the Tail on the Black Cat
CHALITSA HONGTONG/ShutterstockHang up a large picture of a black Halloween cat without its tail. Give each guest a tail with a piece of sticky tape on its base. One by one, blindfold the guests, turn them around, and then set them off toward the cat picture and see where they put the tail. The guest who gets the tail closest to its rightful place wins. We bet you didn't know these mind-blowing facts about Halloween candy.
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Halloween Story Game
Yuganov Konstantin/ShutterstockInclude the beginning of a ghost story in your party invitations and ask each child to come to the party with an ending to tell. Hear all the endings and let the guests vote for the funniest, the weirdest, and the spookiest.
Guess the Ghost
Elena Nichizhenova/ShutterstockHave one child leave the room to be “it.” Then let another child hide under a white sheet. The remaining children will change places with each other. Call in the missing child and see if he or she can name the ghost by figuring out who in the group is missing. The child who played the ghost then becomes “it” and leaves the room.
Build a Scarecrow
OH studio image gallery/ShutterstockDivide the guests into teams. Give each team a pile of old clothes (including hats), pillowcases for heads, newspapers or hay for stuffing, ropes for tying, and markers for making faces. Give each team 15 minutes or 20 minutes to make a scarecrow. Give prizes for the silliest and the scariest and hang them outside. This is what Halloween looks like at the happiest place on earth.
Nomad_Soul/ShutterstockDivide guests up in pairs; give each pair a roll of toilet paper. One team member will be the wrapper, the other will be the wrapped mummy. The first team to use up its roll wins. Or you can give each team two rolls of toilet paper and after the mummy is wrapped, he or she must wrap his partner. The first team to empty both rolls of toilet paper wins.
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Identify What You Feel
RoberG/ShutterstockThis is everybody’s favorite game from childhood. Line up five opaque plastic dishes and cover them all with a black cloth. Let each guest stick a hand in each dish, under the cloth so that the contents can’t be seen, and try to guess what it really is. You can tell the guest that the first dish holds guts (the insides of a pumpkin) and see what he or she guesses. The second dish is said to hold brains (damp coarse sponge). The third is said to hold veins (cold, cooked spaghetti). The fourth is said to hold cut-off fingers (cocktail sausages) and the fifth to hold skin (pieces of a soft flour tortilla). The person who guesses the most actual contents wins.
Purino/ShutterstockDivide guests into teams and line each team up. The first in line for each team is given an apple under his or her chin. Without using any hands, the apple must be passed to under the second team member’s chin and from that chin to the next until all the members of the team have held the apple. If the apple drops, it must start at the beginning again. The first team to successfully pass the apple down its row of members wins.
Maddas/ShutterstockDivide guests into teams. Hang as many doughnuts as guests from a tree limb or a clothesline by a string. Without using hands, each guest must catch and eat a doughnut. The first team to finish its doughnuts win.
Bobbing for Apples
Sean Locke Photography/ShutterstockThis is probably the oldest Halloween game on record. You fill a large tub with cold water and set it on the ground or the floor of a porch. Float some clean, stemmed apples in the tub and invite guests to try to catch an apple with their teeth—no hands allowed. Anyone who gets an apple deserves a prize.
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What Am I?
Dragon Images/ShutterstockHave the kids draw Halloween-themed pictures on a piece of paper and tape them to each guest’s back (without the guest seeing what it is). While others can only give yes or no answers, each guest must guess what he or she thinks is drawn on the paper on their back.