Backyard {Halloween Bash}

Before you take your little ones trick-or-treating, throw them a frightful backyard Halloween party with our fun and spooky ideas for eats, treats, and games!

{The Kids Are All Fright!}
Invite the neighborhood kids over for a pre-trick-or-treating Halloween bash! Encourage the kids to come dressed in their costume so they can head out to go collect their candy together!

{Halloween Invitation: Eye-Catching Card}
Lure guests to your Halloween party using our eerie invite! Glue different-size googly eyes onto the front of black bifold cards, write a quick message inside, and deliver to guests before the bash.

{Halloween Decor: Paper Lantern Pumpkins}
Hang orange paper-lantern pumpkins on the ends of shepherd's hooks to guide guests down the pathway to the party.

{Halloween Game: Mystery Bowls}
Fill separate bowls with baggies of pudding, cold pasta, and peeled grapes, then cover each bowl with black felt and place bowls on a table. Have kids take turns closing their eyes and sticking their hands into the bowls to feel the different "body parts" in each one.

{Halloween Game: Bone-a-fied Scavenger Hunt}
Paint a bunch of large dog bones white and one orange, then hide them around the backyard. Start a timer and send kids out to find the bones. The child who finds the orange doggy treat wins a special prize, but be sure to give the rest of the kids a Halloween treat for looking!

{Halloween Game: Build a Haunted House}
Have party guests build their own mini haunted houses out of leftover cardboard boxes. Wrap a few big boxes in black paper and create windows, doors, and a roof with yellow sticky notes. Turn it into a contest to see which team can make the tallest house!

{Halloween Game: Ghostly Bowling}
Put a spooky spin on backyard bowling with these tricks. Wrap a black basketball in gauze and add large googly eyes. Dress up recycled soda bottles like ghosts by gluing white batting to the top of each bottle lid. Kids can take turns rolling the ball into the "ghosts" to score points.

{Halloween Decor: Going Batty}
Cut pieces of wide black florist ribbon about 10 inches long and make a knot in the center of each piece. Attach adhesive googly eyes to each side of the knot and attach to a piece of wire.

{Halloween Decor: Boo Brooms}
Make your own letter stencils using contact paper. Adhere them to the flat surface of the broom's bristles, then fill in with orange spray paint. Lean the finished brooms against the fence in your front yard for a playfully scary message.

{Halloween Decor: Pumpkin Dress-Up}
These decorated pumpkins are simply smashing! To create some "pumpkin people" of your own, stack two to four pumpkins and press a 3/4-inch dowel through the center. Raid your child's costume and crafts bins for accessories you can use to glue or pin to your pumpkin people.

{Halloween Food: Apple Monsters}
Dress up your apples using various candies to look silly or frightful for Halloween. Cut a wedge from each apple as the mouth, then give fall's favorite fruit a Halloween makeover!

{Halloween Food: Creepy Chili}
For an easy dinner dish that's fun and filling, float a piece of bat of spider-shaped cheese on top of a kid-size serving of your favorite chili recipe.

{Halloween Food: Ghostly Hot Cocoa}
For a warm dessert, dress up guests' hot chocolate with a tiny swirl of whipped cream. Add candy eyes and a Junior Mint mouth for a ghostly feel!

{Halloween Craft: Trick-or Treat Bag}
Download a spooky tree image and type Trick-or-Treat or another fun Halloween message into the frame. Print the picture onto iron-on transfer paper (Avery-brand available at amazon.com), and transfer it to both sides of a simple canvas tote. This easy craft can help you distinguish your kid's bag from her friends'!

{Parents Magazine, published in 2010}

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