As with most events, you should try and give yourself about four (4) weeks to plan your party. This timing allows plenty for ordering or purchasing any party supplies, catering or cake orders and for invitations to be sent with enough time for guests to respond and clear their schedules. Planning a Halloween party is much easier than most, because you already have your theme selected.
Whichever style you choose—simple or complex—needs to fit into your schedule, party space and suit your guest age range. Try not to stress about the décor too much as most of the kiddos will be focused on the games and food! Older children may enjoy a scary backdrop with Halloween props, cobwebs, gravestones, skeletons, spiders and such. If hosting younger children, keep your decorations simple with a black and orange color scheme, pumpkins, balloons, streamers and non-scary Halloween images. Cover your table with a Halloween tablecloth, fabric or even a white sheet and create your own festive table centerpiece by tying a bouquet of Halloween balloons to a pumpkin. Group a few smaller pumpkins in various sizes around the larger pumpkin. Use may also add color by scattering candy corn down the center of the table. Provide small pumpkin treat holders or pumpkin cookies with the guests’ names at each place setting if you go the sit-down meal route. No rule states that you must stick with black and orange, so feel free to try adding purple, green, or yellow to the mix. Pick up several yards of fabric in a variety of patterns to use as table runners, to drape on chairs, or cover your door and even furniture. This is a easy, cost-effective way to set the mood.
If you’re hosting several children such as a classroom or scout troop, consider purchasing a prepared craft kit. The kids will have just as much fun, but it will keep the chaos down to a minimum. However, if you have fewer children or are the plan-ahead type, you may choose to arrange one of the following simple crafts:
Masks: Use paper plates, hole punch and scissors. Cut a spider, ghost or cat shape out of the plate. Decorate with glitter glue, gel pens, markers, sequins, fabric, feathers and more. Use yarn or string to secure the mask in place.
Silly Hats: Pick up old hats from a thrift store. Allow each child to decorate with glue, ribbon, glitter, pom poms and buttons.
Play Dough: Make a batch of orange play dough. Set it out on a table with Halloween cookie cutters and wooden dowels for rolling. You may even try some cinnamon spice scented play dough!
Be sure to serve lots of fun, finger-style, creepy fare for the little ones. For a sweet treat, try edible eyeballs, pretzel pumpkins or Jell-O swamp cake. As an interactive snack or take home food favor, try making monster hands with your crew. You’ll need clear disposable plastic gloves, popped popcorn, red or green small gumdrops and plastic spider rings. Place a gumdrop into each finger of the glove, to act as the fingernails, fill the glove with popcorn. Tie off the end with rubber bands or ribbons and include a spider ring for added fun.
If all the planning becomes overwhelming, consider hiring an event planner to aid in your preparations. Share your Halloween party tips and photos with us on Facebook or Twitter! For even more inspiration, check out our Spooky Halloween Parties board on Pinterest.