Most kids love Halloween. They love to dress up as their favorite character, get free candy and trick-or-treat with close friends. But once middle school hits, many kids would rather have a fun, Halloween bash at home.
If you're hosting a party this year for Halloween, we rounded up some fun games for tweens that are sure to keep everyone entertained. From a spook-tacular "fear factor" game to jumping for doughnuts, we've got you covered. Take a look.
Halloween fear factor
Young boys and girls love to be surprised. This fun guessing game punchbowl.com is a spooky spin on “Fear Factor.”
How to play: Blindfold guests and have them put their hand into a bowl or jar filled with something gross to the touch. Then have them guess what they just touched. Some ideas include Jell-O, peanut butter and crushed Oreos. Award prizes for the people who have the most accurate guesses.
Bobbing for apples
That’s right — although this classic game may seem childish, it’s actually fun for kids of all ages.
How to play: Punchbowl.com suggests filling a big barrel (a large kiddie pool or bucket works, too) with warm water and apples. Tie each participant's hands behind their back with a bandanna and see if they can pick the apples up without using their hands.
Jumping for doughnuts
Woman's Day put a new spin on bobbing for apples — jumping for doughnuts. Same concept, but no one gets wet.
What you'll need: Two 4-foot-high poles, orange and red Krylon spray paints, blue painter’s tape, permanent black marker, two eye hooks, 5 feet of cotton string, small powdered doughnuts.
How to make it:
1. Paint poles orange; let dry.
2. Apply strips of tape to pole to mask off areas to remain orange. Paint poles red; pull off tape to reveal stripes. Let dry. Outline stripes with black marker.
3. Attach an eye hook to one end of each pole. Tie string to one hook.
4. Slip doughnuts onto string and tie string to other hook (use slipknot that can be easily untied to add doughnuts during game).
How to play:: Two people hold poles several feet apart. Each player tries to grab doughnuts (teeth only; no hands!) while the holders move the poles a bit to make doughnuts sway. Add more doughnuts as needed.
You won't strike out with this fiendishly simple game from FamilyFun Magazine.
How to play: To make the targets, wrap 10 toilet paper rolls in 12- by 18-inch strips of construction paper. Use a glue stick to secure the ends and to attach construction-paper eyes, mouths, hair, bat wings, and other features. Stack the rolls as shown, then take turns trying to knock them down with a small pumpkin.
Kids can burn off energy (and build their leaf-raking muscles) with this fast-paced fall game from FamilyFun Magazine.
How to play: On a flat surface, use chalk to draw a racecourse with lanes about 2-feet wide and a start and finish line. Give each kid a broom and a mini pumpkin. At “Go,” players use the brooms to push their pumpkins to the finish line and back. If a player’s pumpkin rolls out of the lane, she has to retrieve it and continue from where it rolled out. The first to complete the course wins.
Remember the game Clue? Punchbowl.com came up with this live action version of the traditional game, which requires a lot of thought and planning.
How to play: You’ll have to create a story, character list and solution to a murder mystery. Just be sure not to tell any guests about it. Assign everyone at the party a “part” and hide clues around the house. Have them act out the story as they figure out who’s the murderer together.
This entertaining scavenger hunt is a cinch to set up and is great for kids of all ages. Woman's Day suggests choosing a fun Halloween toy or gadget or a special treat as a prize.
What you'll need: Small prizes, plain index cards, brown medium-point permanent marker, small pumpkins and tacks.
How to play: Hide prizes around the yard, selecting places that can be easily identified in a few words (behind a broom, under a flowerpot, etc.). Write clues on cards to guide your partygoers to prizes. For example, “Look behind the broom” with a simple sketch of a broom. Make sure clues follow each other to form a sequence kids can follow. For example, the clue behind the broom can lead to a clue under a flowerpot, etc. You can make several sequences to lead to several different hidden prizes. Use tacks to secure each clue to a small pumpkin and place in sequence around yard. Then, let the fun begin!
Make the most unique charm bracelet
If your tween is more crafty, host a bracelet-making party. Here's a fun idea from Disney Family:
What you'll need: Scrapbook paper, scissors, pencil, colored pencils or markers, thin jeweler's wire or craft wire (flexible enough to bend without pliers), glue stick or glue dots, beading elastic, pony beads, drop of craft
How to make it:
1. For each charm, you'll need to cut out a matching pair of miniature Halloween symbols, such as mini pumpkins or skulls, for example. An easy way to accomplish this is to put two squares of paper back-to-back so you can cut out both at once. Then, use colored pencils or markers to embellish the charms.
2. Cut a 2 1/2-inch length of wire for each charm. Loosely bend each length in half and twist the ends together a few times about 1/8 inch below the bend to form a small loop.
3. Use glue dots to sandwich the ends of one of these little hangers between the two pieces of each charm (you can trim the wire ends with scissors if they are too long). Firmly squeeze together the two layers of the charm to make sure they are well adhered to the wire and each other.
4. Cut a length of beading elastic that is several inches longer than the circumference of your child's wrist.
5. With each charm, slide a pony bead down over the wire loop so that it rests just above the charm and then string the charms onto the elastic, spacing them apart with several pony beads.
6. When the bracelet is the desired length, tightly tie the ends of the beading elastic together with an overhand knot, leaving a little bit of slack so the charms will dangle. Use a dab of glue to secure the knot, if needed. Trim the elastic ends about 3/4 inch from the knot and thread them back through the adjacent beads to hide them.
How to play: Have each child create one charm for a friend. The most unique charm, wins. Then, divvy out prizes for creativer runners' up.
Pumpkin patch toss
Kids will love this fun twist on a traditional tossing game, from Woman's Day.
What you'll need: Real or artificial pumpkins, carving tools, orange tablecloth, table (an inexpensive folding card table works well) and Ping-Pong balls.
How to make it:
1. Cut tops of pumpkins (if using real pumpkins, scoop out insides).
2. Cover table with cloth; arrange pumpkins on table, placing smaller ones at front.
How to play: Stand several feet away from table; toss balls into pumpkins to win prize tickets (collect tickets to redeem for prizes or candy at end of party). Give more tickets for balls tossed into smaller pumpkins.
Left and right pumpkin story
Donna Pilato of TheDeliciousDozen.com created this fun game for tweens.
How to play: Create a Halloween story that repeatedly uses the words “left” and “right.” For example: “On Halloween night, Susie left for trick or treating. Right away she ran into her friend Billy as she made a right turn at the corner. He was holding his trick-or-treat bag in his right hand.” At your party, have the children sit in a circle and give one of them a pumpkin. As you read the story, they need to pass the pumpkin to the person seated next to them as the words left or right are spoken. Read the story quickly and watch them giggle as they try to keep up with the directions.