Family Halloween fun
1. Decorate your windows
3. Have a Halloween costume competition
Challenge everyone in the house to a Halloween fancy dress contest with one rule – they have to make their own outfit! We love these simple costume ideas that use stuff you’re likely to have at home (who wouldn’t want to wear this umbrella jellyfish?) Or encourage everyone to have a go at these fun facepaint designs!
4. Or a pumpkin carving contest
Treat everyone in the family to their very own pumpkin and see who can come up with the best design. A safe way to get little kids involved is to do the cutting for them then let them scoop out the insides with a spoon. This how to carve a pumpkin beginners’ guide is a great place to start.
5. Have a ‘scary' movie night
6. Tell ghost stories
Halloween is the perfect time for a little bit of scary story telling. Pop to the shops or raid your bookshelves for suitable stories (supermarkets often stock them in October) – we love Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s Funny Bones for memories of our own childhood. Then, turn off the lights and don’t forget to hold a torch under your chin for extra spookiness.
7. ‘Boo’ your neighbours
If you’ve never heard of ‘booing’ your neighbour, you’re in for a treat – not a trick! It’s an idea from the USA and it’s the most perfect Halloween activity for social distancing. Simply leave a Halloween treat on a neighbour’s doorstep with instructions that they’re to hang a spooky picture on their front door to let everyone know they’ve been booed. Then they choose a neighbour to boo, as well.
8. Have a Halloween scavenger hunt
Hide treats around your house or garden and challenge children to see how many they can find within a certain period of time. If you don’t want to hide sweets, these cute satsuma pumpkins make a fun alternative – add faces with a black icing pen.
9. Make a spooky music playlist
From Michael Jackson’s Thriller to the Ghostbusters theme tune, you could have lots of fun compiling a spooky playlist to listen to together. You could even print the lyrics and have a Halloween karaoke competition.
10. Create your own haunted house
You might not be able to visit a haunted house experience this year, but you can set up your own sensory version at home. Fill a bucket – or, even better, a toy cauldron – with shaving foam and pop some Halloween-themed items inside, like toy snakes or spiders or even eyeball bouncy balls. Dare the children to plunge their hands into the bucket of doom to see what they can find lurking beneath the scary goo.
11. Trick or treat each other!
If your child can’t bear missing out on the excitement of trick or treat, try this game. One person is the trick or treater, while everyone else hides behind a door in the house. The trick or treater has to knock on each door in turn until they find everyone. When each person is found, they jump out and hand out a little prize.
12. Play apple bobbing plus 4 more great games!
Do you remember these games for your childhood? Revive them for your own Halloween party!
- Apple bobbing – give each person their own apple in their own bowl of water and challenge them to take a bite without touching it. Make it a race and give the winner a prize.
- The chocolate game – ask everyone to put on as many of their own jumpers, gloves, scarves and hats as they possibly can. Sit everyone in front of a big bar of chocolate (the kind with all the squares) then hand each person their own knife and fork. They can eat whatever they manage to chop off.
- The After Eight game – give each person an After Eight mint. Take it in turns to put your After Eight on your forehead. Using only the muscles in your face, the challenge is to wriggle it down to your mouth and eat it without it falling off.
- Mummy makeover – divide your family into two teams with one person in each team volunteering to be the mummy. The others have to wrap them in loo roll from head-to-toe. The fastest wrappers win.
- Dangling donuts – give each person their own donut tied onto a string. Take it in turns to dangle a donut for each other. The challenge is to eat it with no hands.