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10 Steps to Kid-Friendly Halloween Parties

Add More Fun Than Fright to Your Children's Halloween Parties

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Severed limbs and the living dead may be fine for adult Halloween parties but young kids (and their parents) usually prefer age-appropriate fun over a horrifying fright night. Whether you're planning a Halloween party before children go door-to-door in the neighborhood or as an alternative to trick or treating altogether, host kid-friendly and budget-friendly Halloween parties that show guests a howling good time.

1. Invitations for Halloween Parties

Rubber stamped invitations for Halloween parties
Photo © Kate Pullen / About.com
Great parties start with the invitations. Your kids can help create beautiful rubber stamped invitations or you can simply hit the print button with ready-to-go theme invitations for your party. Design your own party invitations on computer with Halloween clip art and festive fonts or try one of these free templates for Adobe Illustrator.

2. Decorations

Dry ice pumpkin centerpieces for Halloween parties
Photo © Mike Bowler / Flickr
Decorating for Halloween parties is half the fun of throwing them. Use a jack-o-lantern with dry ice fog as your centerpiece to wow kids of all ages. Instead of ugly plastic spiders, place cute crochet spiders in webs around your house. Bring some of your Halloween yard decorations in to complete your party scene.

3. Fun Foods for Halloween Parties

Choose fun foods for kid-friendly Halloween parties
Photo © Elizabeth LaBau / About.com
Devilish dishes are a must. You can go for the gross-out factor with bloody eyeballs and brains on the half skull or tone down the menu by offering witch hats candy and freaky fudge. Oh, the horror of trying to narrow down your Halloween food choices!

4. Party Drinks

Igor-Ade is a kid-friendly drink for Halloween parties
Photo © Anne Helmenstine / About.com
Soda from a plastic bottle? Not at your party. Turn orange soda, gelatin and ice cream into Igor-Ade. Brew a batch of Alienade out of lemonade and a couple of drops of food coloring. Offer a slippery sip of slime juice or give kids the chills with a Halloween milkshake to fulfill your evil drink plan.

5. Costumes

Halloween costumes make parties more fun
Photo © bmendez68 / Flickr
What's the fun of a Halloween party without the costumes? Even non-crafty moms can shop around the house to make easy Halloween costumes on a budget. If you're handy with a needle and thread, look through 150 free costume patterns you can sew yourself. Prefer to buy a costume? Hit the stores for the must-have costumes of the year.

6. Music

Choose age-appopriate music for your kids' Halloween party
Photo © Liz Henry / Flickr
The party atmosphere won't be complete without spooky music. While older kids may enjoy the spine-tingling screams from scary movie music, lighten up the playlist for everyone with Halloween songs just for children. Even the tiniest ghost or goblin at your party won't be afraid of songs like "Five Little Pumpkins" or "No Costume, No Candy." Many songs and sound effects for your Halloween party can be downloaded for free.

7. Games

Plan Halloween games for your children's party
Photo © Apryl Duncan / About.com
After everyone's been fed, your party may turn into a night in Sleepy Hollow. Keep everybody on their feet with Halloween games that get your guests moving. Burn off some energy in a mummy race or play a party-long game of Halloween jinx to earn the most candy. Games for younger children include "Who's the Ghost?" and "Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin."

8. Halloween Crafts

A ghost and pumpkin tree is the perfect party craft.
Photo © Apryl Duncan / About.com
Bring an eerie silence to your party with Halloween crafts kids can keep as mementos. A ghost and pumpkin tree can be scaled down to a tabletop decoration kids can display each year. Tiny scarecrows can be made with popsicle sticks and glue. Try bat crafts, cat crafts or have everyone make mini haunted houses out of recycled materials.

9. Treat Bags

Make your own treat bags to give your guests party favors and treats
Photo © Sherri Osborn / About.com
Give children a treat bag just for coming to the party. Make a felt treat bag they can use every Halloween, print a party favor bag from a template or decorate a paper bag with stamps, paper and ribbon.

10. Halloween Treats

Halloween rice crispy treats put a new twist on an  old favorite.
Photo © Stephanie Gallagher / About.com
Once you've made your treat bags, fill them with Halloween treats for the road. Homemade gummy worms, Halloween rice crispy treats, cobweb cookies and Halloween candy sushi will hold up well when carried to and from the car in the treat bag.
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