Many parents throw their kids parties as an alternative to trick-or-treating. Others just make it an addition to the festivities. Make your party one in which crafts play an integral part.
Picking a specific theme, not just "Halloween," pulls everything together. Just one Halloween symbol can do it. Put bats in your belfry or spiders in your web. Whatever you and your child choose, take it to the hilt. Make decorations, costumes, favors, food — everything — follow your theme.
Here are three suggestions.
Serve foods made with pumpkin and carve or otherwise decorate your Halloween pumpkins (if the party is held in advance of Halloween).
You can make lots of little decorative styrofoam pumpkins. Use them to decorate wreaths or even add a pin to the back of one and wear it.
Here are the directions:
Take a styrofoam ball and cut it in half.
Make grooves with a serrated knife that simulate the lines on a pumpkin.
Brush with craft glue and cover with orange twist paper.
Work the paper into the grooves.
Glue on brown twist paper stems and green paper leaves.
For this party theme, everyone could come as a ghost. It would be interesting to see everyone's variations on such a simple idea.
There are lots of ways to make craft ghosts: Take a Styrofoam ball, dab it with white glue, and drape white fabric over it. Make two eyes with a black marker. Or take white wrapping tissue and drape it over a Tootsie-Roll pop, twist at the stick, add eyes, and it becomes a pint-sized spirit.
Project: Starchy Ghosts
Age: 5 and up
Materials needed: A selection of different-sized plastic jugs and bottles, aluminum foil, white gauze or cheesecloth, laundry starch
Take aluminum foil and crumple over the top of each jug and bottle until it forms a ball.
Cut white gauze or cheesecloth into 18-inch squares, one for each ghost.
Dip squares into a bowl filled with laundry starch.
Take each square and squeeze out excess moisture. Drape one over each bottle.
Use crumpled aluminum foil at different heights under each ghost to shape shoulders and arms, draping gauze appropriately.
Spread out the lower edges of the gauze and let dry for several hours. Once dry, lift carefully and place on any flat surface.
Bats make another good theme. Make bats and suspend them from the ceiling with string. Kids could come to the party as bats (or Batman, for that matter) and could make and decorate bat cookies. Read a short story or book about real bats and discover their unique abilities. Make bat puppets.