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Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, which means a whole weekend filled with spooky fun.
And trick-or-treating doesn’t have to be the main event. Kids love a great party, and parents and kids can whip up an afternoon or evening of devilish delight in no time with a few of our festive tips.
Planning a fun activity is the first step to a successful party. Young children will enjoy creating their own Halloween masks using paper plates, glue, scissors, and markers or paint. Help kids draw, cut, or even glitter and glue on swatches of fabric, yarn, buttons or other crafting notions. Adults can help cut out eyes and hot glue masks to Popsicle sticks – showcasing them at the creepy masquerade ball.
For older kids, building scarecrows is a perfect way to collaborate. In teams, kids can create scarecrows using simple household items: A pair of jeans, flannel shirt, and pillowcase on which to paint a scary face. Stuff the scarecrow with newspaper and offer a prize for the funniest or scariest creation – better yet, award a prize to everyone.
For tweens and teenagers alike, scary-character charades is a fun way to start a party. Write names of villains from favorite books and movies beforehand, or simply allow kids to come up with their own ideas. Test kids’ acting ability and their knowledge of literature at the same time. This game is a great icebreaker to encourage mixing and mingling between one another.
Charades are fun, but scary snacks can make the ordinary seem extraordinary. According to Kathi Redmond of La Petite Party Gourmet Small Group Catering Specialists in Granite Bay, there are tons of fun food ideas on the Web, and many can double as kids’ party activities as well.
“Here’s something super simple; take test tubes or beakers and fill them with tomato soup to make ‘blood soup,’” Redmond recommends. Another favorite is a spooky spider’s nest. “It’s basically a five-layer taco dip. Make a nest with chips, and cover with beans and cheese. In the center, where you finish the dish with guacamole – pipe on a spider web design with sour cream. And don’t forget the plastic spider for effect.”
Redmond also suggests making scary cats with Krispie treats, using Cocoa Krispies, black licorice for whiskers, and M&Ms for eyes and a nose. Wiggling worms is another frightening treat that kids will love to help create. Prepare chocolate pudding as directed in small, clear ramekins. Let kids add chopped chocolate cookies and gummy worms, then stir. Top with cocoa powder for a ‘dirty’ treat.
SET THE MOOD
When it comes to fun party decorations, glitter can make ordinary items feel festive. Using purple, black or orange glitter, kids can make masterpieces out of pumpkins, gourds, or paper mache skulls, headstones, ghosts and ghouls.
To prepare for the partying, visit a local pumpkin patch for some fabulous finds.
AREA PUMPKIN PATCHES
Abel’s Apple Acres
2345 Carson Road, Placerville
Amador Flower Farm
22001 Shenandoah School Road Plymouth
Boa Vista Orchards
2952 Carson Road, Placerville
13211 Jackson Road, Sloughhouse 916-682-2658
The Flower Farm
9280 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis
Horton Iris Garden & Pumpkin Patch
7440 King Road, Loomis
6950 Cavitt Stallman Road,
Zittel Pumpkin Farm
6781 Oak Avenue, Folsom