- Organization is Key: My favorite way to run class Halloween parties is in “centers.” If you have, say, a game, a craft, a snack and an activity, the students can move in small groups from center to center. This requires about five or six adults (depending on how large the class is) but makes every activity more manageable.
- Pumpkin Bowling: Cover about nine 2 liter bottles with decorative Halloween paper. Set them up like bowling pins. Use a small, very round pumpkin as your bowling ball. This game works best in small groups in the hallway.
- Spook Alley: Make a touch and feel spook alley. Blind fold one or two students at a time and walk them through touching various “gross” items. Wet speghetti noodles are goblin guts. Peeled grapes are witches’ eyeballs. Celery sticks are skeleton bones. (Once you get going, it’s pretty easy to think of ideas.) Whisper each description in your spookiest voice as you guide the students through. One year we had a box like a “coffin” that the students would take turns putting their hands in. Another year we used a puppet curtain and the students put their hands in one at a time. It requires a nice big bottle of hand sanitizer, but is always a huge hit.
- Hogwarts Halloween: One of my favorite mentor moms did this with her son’s class last year. At the start of the party, she used a sorting hat to sort the students in to Harry Potter type “houses.” Their houses were their groups for the party. They had a broom decorating contest, wrote funny spells, served “pumpkin juice,” and watched a clip from the movie.
- Mad Scientist: Make “bubbling blood” by demonstrating what happens when you mix vampire blood (red colored vinegar) and garlic (baking soda.) Give each student a zip lock of “slime” to experiment with for a few minutes. Here is a good recipe.
- Meet the Monster: Play a form of Halloween Taboo by giving students a card with a monster name and words they can’t use to describe themselves. For example, the WITCH card could exclude the words BROOM and WART. The student would then describe a witch using any other words. This can be played in small groups as a competition or with the whole class.
- Donut on a String: Last year, we hung a donut on a string from every single desk in the second grade classroom. At the signal, it was the funniest donut eating competition I’ve ever seen. A classic.
- Use great resources: My first go-to site for things like this (after Today’s Mama of course) is Family Fun. They are especially helpful with creative crafts and snacks. I also like BirthdayParty Ideas–which I have to thank for the ”Bubbling Blood” and ”Meet the Monster” ideas. ( “Halloween” is listed on their big list of party ideas.)
I don’t mind Halloween Bingo. Word searches can even be pretty fun if you have good prizes. But with a few keystrokes, and much the same effort, you can create a the class party that everyone leaves school talking about.