Halloween Party Time

Are you ready? You know it's coming....ready or not! My kiddos are getting so excited about Halloween. They've been writing and sharing all about their costumes. Their excitement is really becoming very evident with each passing day.

Does your school allow Halloween parties? My district not only allows Halloween parties but we get to parade all the students in their costumes through the neighborhood - how fun, right?! The boys and girls LOVE it! The best part is knowing that when the parade is over, they will walk back into the classroom, which has been magically transformed by our wonderful room parents, to enjoy their yearly Halloween party. If you're lucky enough to get volunteers to plan and execute your Halloween celebration - congratulations! Last year, however, I had to plan my own party.  Don't feel too sorry for me - I had plenty of volunteers who came in that day to help out with our stations so everything ran very smooth. 

I thought I'd share with you the activities I planned for my kiddos for their party. We had four stations which meant I had 5-6 kiddos at each station. The stations were 1) Pumpkin Slime (yep!) 2) Pumpkin Pie in a Cup 3) Frankenstein Bookmarks and 4) The Mystery Box.

Pumpkin Slime - yes, you read that right! This was a HUGE hit! Here is what you will need: small pumpkins (one per group), liquid starch, clear Elmer's glue, water, plastic tablecloths, and LOTS of clean-up wipes:)

In preparation of a huge mess, here is my big tip: layer one plastic tablecloth per group. So, I had four groups so I actually laid 4 plastic table clothes down, one on top of the other. I placed the supplies needed on a small table next to the 'work table'.  I gave the adult a laminated direction card that gave her clear directions. Since they were laminated, they wiped clean!

Here is how it works: the adult cuts the top off of the small pumpkin. Mix together 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of clear glue in a small bowl. The adult, with help from the students, use a wooden spoon or toothed spoon to 'scrape' the insides of the pumpkin to loosen up the pumpkin flesh.  The students now pour 1/2 cup liquid starch into the pumpkin followed by the water/glue mixture. Now the fun begins! Each student takes turns sticking their hand inside and giving it a little stir. In no time at all, they are able to pull out a nice big handful of slime. I've also seen clear glitter glue used for this to add a little 'bling'.

Here are my direction cards I provided my volunteers:

 If you would like to download a copy of my direction cards, click {here} or on the image above.

 You can see the slime was a hit!

After they are done, you can put their handful of slime into a ziploc bag to take home. I can promise you, they ALL took theirs home:)

Now for my earlier tip. Use lots of wipes ( I use baby wipes ) to clean/pull all of the slime from their hands. You can just drop the wipes right onto the messy table. Once this is done, you can peel up the top tablecloth. Roll up the used pumpkin, messy wipes, leftover slime, and anything else left on the table, right into the tablecloth and drop into the trash. Easy Peasy! Now, you have a fresh clean tablecloth ready for the next group. Genius, right!?!?

I can tell you that I will forever have Pumpkin Slime as a Halloween Party station. It was such a hit!

Onto Station 2: Pumpkin Pie in a Cup

Once again, I provided my volunteers with a laminated card that gave them clear directions. You will need: milk, vanilla instant pudding, gallon ziploc bags, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, graham crackers, can of whipped cream.

I divided each small group into two smaller groups. The first group completed the following task: Pour 1 1/3 cups milk and one package of vanilla pudding into a gallon-sized ziploc bag, the students take turns kneading the bag until well mixed.  Next, add 1/2 can of pumpkin and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the mixture and continue to knead until well blended. 

The second group places one package of graham crackers into a gallon-sized ziploc bag and the students take turns crushing the crackers. You can provide all sorts of fun tools for this job:)

To finish, evenly distribute the crushed graham crackers into 5-6 cups (one per child). An adult cuts a small hole in the corner of the ziploc bag containing the pie mixture and squeezes the bag to evenly distribute the mixture into the same cups. Top with whipped cream if desired. Yum! Here are my direction cards for this station.

If you would like to download these direction cards, click {here} or on the image above.

You can see they were a crowd favorite!

Station Three: Frankenstein Bookmarks

I didn't need direction cards for this one. All they needed was a paint chip from the hardware store and their imagination! My volunteers did help them out with some of the more detailed cutting to speed things along. When they were finished, we hole-punched the top and tied a black ribbon through it. Sadly, I forgot to snap a picture of a finished product but I think you get the idea. Many students kept them at school to use and some chose to bring them home. Either way, they really enjoyed it.

Station Four: The Mystery Box

I don't have any pictures of this one. My teaching partner's daughter conducted this station out in the hallway. You know the one. They tell a story about something creepy and gross. Tell the students to feel inside the box and they are supposed to think it's brains, eyeballs, etc. Yeah, you get the idea. They loved this as well. This was a nice little break to get one group out of the classroom for a short period. With the pumpkin slime going on, we had quite a bit of excitement. If we had the screaming and screeching from feeling eyeballs and brains in our room as well,  I'm not so sure my volunteers would have stuck around, ha!

There you have it. My most epic Halloween party to date. Truly, many parents expressed how they thought this was the best classroom Halloween party they've been to. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, trust me. Thank goodness for the internet for ideas!  I think they enjoyed it so much because it was different than the regular party games but also well-thought out so it ran smoothly.  The morning went so fast, the party was over with in the blink of an eye!

We are so fortunate because our district schedules an early dismissal on Halloween - YES! So many parents take off of work to help out and this gives them the afternoon to spend with their child and get ready for trick-or-treating that evening. Teachers use this day as a plan day to prep for the upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences - and recover from the party!

I hope you were able to use some of these ideas to host an epic Halloween party of your own! Enjoy!

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