Making This the Halloween the Best Ever!
By Cindy Nurik, Ed.D.

A Haunting Halloween Party from Mommy & Me

This column, produced in partnership with the Mommy & Me organization, provides parents and young children with fun and simple ways to make the most of their time together. Use the activities, tips and resources featured here to help you connect with your young ones.

 A Haunting Halloween Party

Halloween is loads of fun for the whole family. What child can resist the magic of being transformed into something or someone else? And what parent can resist seeing how adorable the little one looks in his or her costume?

For children 5 and younger, consider a Halloween party as an alternative to trick-or-treating. A party allows you to keep the festivities age-appropriate so no one melts down from fatigue, fright or too much sugar. You can start preparing for the party at the beginning of October and carry the arrangements right through to Halloween so that the whole month is filled with spooky surprises. You and your child can make the party invitations, decorations, party favors and snacks together. By the time the party rolls around, your child will feel as much the host as you do.

Your child will learn:

  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Creative expression
  • Halloween traditions
  • Language acquisition
  • Self-esteem
  • Teamwork
  • Social skill
  • Mommy’s materials:

    White, orange and black construction paper


    Novelty eyes

    Safety scissors

    , black and yellow yarn
    Variety of colored markers and poster paint

    Paint brushes


    Black pom-poms

    Box of white tissues

    Paper plates


    Lime or orange sherbet

    Ginger ale or club soda

    Doughnut holes

    LifeSavers® Gummies

    Chocolate chips

    Step-by-Step How-To

    Ghostly Invitations

    Your child’s friends will love receiving these haunting invitations. Trace your child’s foot onto a piece of cardboard. Cut out the cardboard foot shape and use it as your master stencil for the rest of the invitations. Trace the stencil onto white construction paper, creating as many invitations as you need. Draw two eyes, a nose and a mouth on your “ghost.” Write out the party information on the other side and mail or hand out to the guests.


    IZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-font-kerning: 14.0pt">Gloom Room – Create a spooky fall atmosphere by decorating the party room with black and orange crepe paper, fall leaves, novelty spiderwebs and scarecrows.

    IZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-font-kerning: 14.0pt">Pumpkin Faces – Add to the festive look with pumpkins in various sizes that your child has drawn faces on with colored markers. Provide yarn, leaves or other materials for your child to glue on to the pumpkins for hair.

    Dangling Jack-o’-Lanterns – Paint paper plates orange. When they are dry, draw a jack-o’-lantern face on one side. Punch a small hole in the top of the plate and thread a piece of yarn through it for hanging.

    IZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; mso-font-kerning: 14.0pt">Flying GhostsRoll a tissue into a ball, and place it in the center of another tissue. Tie a long piece of yarn below the ball to secure the “head.” Draw two small circles on the head for eyes. Hang from the piece of yarn.


    Haunting Pops – Follow the directions above for “Flying Ghosts,” but use a lollipop instead of a tissue ball. Tie off with a length of orange or black ribbon and curl the ends with scissors.

    Party Hats

    Spooky Spiders – Cut out wide bands of black construction paper and glue or staple them to fit around each child’s head. Now cut a large circle out of the construction paper and transform it into a spider head with novelty eyes and a pom-pom for the nose. Glue to the front of the hat band. Cut out eight strips of construction paper and fold accordion-style, then glue around the crown for spider legs.


    Who Am I? – Each child takes a turn listening to a direction you whisper into his or her ear. Tell the child to hoot like an owl, crawl like a spider, creep like a cat, roll like a pumpkin, float like a ghost or fly like a bat. The other children then try to identify what creature their friend is pretending to be.

    Pumpkin Bowling – Stack four to six plastic pumpkin buckets in a pyramid and try to knock them down by bowling a small rubber or plastic ball.

    Musical Monster Mash – Play a version of musical chairs with spooky music or a traditional Halloween song like “Monster Mash.” Challenge the kids to dance like monsters. Hold a dance contest to see who can do the spookiest dance.


    Swamp Brew – Scoop lime or orange sherbet into a punch bowl. Pour ginger ale or club soda over the sherbet until the mixture is colorful and frothy.

    Bloodshot Edible EyeballsRadiate several lines of red gel icing from the center of a doughnut hole, then “glue” a LifeSavers® Gummies candy on the top. Place a chocolate chip in the center.

    Offers activities, games and “ghostcards” for children, as well as tips on how to raise money for UNICEF.

    Kids Turn CentralFind Halloween music here.


    Bat Bones and Spider Stew
    by Michelle Poploff and Bill Basso, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publications, 1998.

    Halloween Mice!, by Bethany Roberts, Clarion Books, 2002.

    ormal">Maisy Dresses Up, by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick Press, 1999.

    Miss Spider and Little Miss Spider series, by David Kirk, Scholastic Press.

    Patty’s Pumpkin Patch, by Teri Sloat, Putnam, 1999.

    The Pumpkin Fair, by Eve BuntingThe Witches’ Supermarket, by Susan Meddaugh, Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books, 1994.

    See more Mommy & Me Activities.