This spooktacular guest post of Halloween games for kids was written by Katie Bugbee, senior managing editor and resident parenting expert of Care.com.
Since becoming a parent, Halloween has gone from my least favorite holiday to the one I look forward to most. I even make DIY costumes each year, which I NEVER thought I’d do. And our nanny has hosted a Halloween party with a few of our kids’ favorite friends for the past three years. It’s a great way to combine pretend play with food, music, friends and fun games.
Whether you’re planning a Halloween party or just want a ghostly game for afternoon fun, here are some great Halloween games to keep the trick or treat spirit alive!
1. Halloween Treasure Hunt
Take a cardboard box, cut it along the front so it opens like a hinge, and draw a treasure chest-style lock on the front. Using paints, markers, beads and other goodies from your craft bin, decorate your “treasure chest” using an orange, black and gold motif. Fill it with treat bags (enough for each child) and hide it inside or out. Leave clues for the kids to know they’re on the right path — like a spider ring trail (for small kids) or harder to find tracking devices (a small owl in a tree, a spider on a plant leaf).
Show kids the first clue and start the hunt. The final destination awaits!
2. Pin the Tail on the Monster
Say goodbye to the classic donkey and play this game with a haunted twist. Take a monster puppet or drawing and adhere him to a wall or door. As an activity, you can have kids draw their own “Monster Tails.” Cut them out and stick tape on the top — or something a little stickier, like a command strip. Blind-fold and spin each child in turn, who will attempt to stick the Monster’s tail to its “spooky” body.
3. Who’s Who?
Supply each child and grownup with a ghost-like sheet that will cover their entire body, leaving a hole for eyes. As an activity, each person decorates their sheet with glitter, markers, feathers and whatever might stick. Sheets are then collected. One pile is created for kids, while another is created for parents and nannies. Mix them all up, and without anyone saying a word, each person chooses a new sheet from their pile, and puts it on (helps if all shoes, socks and identifying pants are also hidden).
Without making any noise, each pair must find each other again, in their newly decorated sheets.
4. Look Ma, No Hands!
Remember how soaked you’d get bobbing for apples? Hilarious fun, but not house-friendly. Play a few more hands-free games, without the slop. Try a round of Pass the Apple, having the children run a relay race with an apple tucked under their chins. Hang apples, marshmallows or doughnuts from strings and see which child can finish first. Or, enjoy a slightly messier (and sweeter) no-hands, mini-apple pie eating contest. Supply bibs and disposable table clothes.