I Know It's Early But..........

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Since Nana's Halloween party was such a hit and the kids asked if it could become a tradition..........I've begun planning for this year's party.

    Now since my budget can't get any tighter, the girls will be helping with at least the food part. I still have the decor from last year and am slowing increasing it. I figure at the rate I'm going by the time they're much older Nana's house will turn into a haunted type house each year for the party. lol

    I've already picked up a brain, heart, and liver. Yup. Oh and some icky eyeballs and dismembered ears. Plastic realistic versions but put into various types of jello made a certain way it ought to have the right effect. Travis remembers how to make fake blood that looks realistic from drama class. If I get creative, I'm sure we can put that skill to use. Since I have metal wash tubs, as long as it's not too cold......they'll bob for apples. I might have pin the tail on the donkey and come up with a halloween design for it. The egg toss was a hit, so that will happen too. Trying to think of other old fashion type fun games that I can include the littlest ones on, cuz I have Brandon 3, Connor 2, and Oliver 1 and I don't want them excluded if I can help it. Although there is one game that is really fun IF it's not too cold and if the kids bring a change of clothes or something. You fill water balloons and tie them onto a string that ties to the child's waist, then with folded newspaper......they try to pop each others balloons (balloons are set to rest over the fanny, newspaper is so it doesn't hurt)

    If it's cold, and since we're already having major fall weather who knows, I'll have to think of inside activities.

    Of course pumpkin carving is the highlight, not to mention the treats. But I'm thinking thinking maybe........if I can find the right kind of like toddler clothing at yard sales.......then pick up some straw (will be doing it for decor anyway) they could make their own scarecrows. (at least the older kids) But like I said, that idea just hit me so we'll have to see what I can find clothing wise at yard sales. lol

    And this year, it will be on the patio and back yard instead of out front. Because the jungle is no more.........which means I can get a bit more creative with decor.........hmmmm

    So......toss me some ideas

    Katie and kids will be invited. If they come, they come, if not........whatever. She's playing a game that I don't play well if at all so who knows. Her loss, not mine. I've detached to the point where I keep forgetting to put my reply to her letter into the mail. So either that is my cruddy memory or full blown detachment. lol
  2. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I want to come. Sounds like so much fun!!!!
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds awesome!

    What about that old game where you drop cothespins into a jar, but make them look like fingers? Make the jar look like a head and the opening a mouth?

    For a fast, fun treat, put large marshmallows on popsicle or lollipop sticks and then use icing to glue on m&m's for the pupil and food color for the iris and for veins to make the eyeballs look boodshot. Use a toothpick dipped into red icing for the veins.

    I will post other ideas later. I adore Halloween and have tons of ideas/books on crafts/foods for parties etc...
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I like the scarecrow idea. You could maybe do it with toddler clothing, then it wouldn't take too long and they could easily take it home. You could probably use a large tube sock for the head.

    Love the clothespin idea, too. That was always a game that we'd play at parties when we were kids. There must also be some sort of "Pin the broomstick (tail) on the Witch (donkey) game out there, and maybe a pinata if you have the room for it without putting a stick through a wall or breaking anything.

    Honestly, I think that fairly well fills up the time you'd need to do. A couple of hours is all your planning, right? Those three games and time for cake or whatever, and it's time for you to put your feet up! ;)

    You're a wonderful grandma to do this for them. :)
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Nana's Halloween party last year was a hit with Jett and husband, too... Maybe I can convince husband to part with some of his Halloween decor... LOL!
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, Jett is certainly invited this year. Darrin would be terribly disappointed if he didn't come. Those two really hit if off. lol

    Witz, I like the broom/witch idea. Too cool. Yes, only a few hours is what I'm thinking. Don't want overly exhausted little ones or Nana for that matter.

    One change, I think. I believe I'll nix the party favors. They weren't expensive, but I'm somewhat sure most of them somehow either remained in parents cars or at my house. :rofl: And the kids didn't have time to really play with them anyway. So I will take money that would be used for that and search around for some spooky type recipes for things kids like to eat.

    I just grew so tired of tagging along for trick or treat.......and thought there just had to be something much more fun I could do instead. I still get to see them in costume too. win/win for me lol

    The grands said that they liked the party more than trick or treating, which at least here wasn't so hot last year. I figured it's also a way to introduce them to some very old holiday favorites too like carmel apples and popcorn balls (someone with more patience than me would have to make those) and old time fun. Oddly enough, although my grands enjoy tv and video games........seems the old fashioned type fun wins out whenever given the chance. And that is something I try to reinforce whenever possible. Let's face it, when we were kids, we had a blast.......and we didn't need video games and a zillion expensive toys to do so either.

    I think I'll do the cloths pin in the jar thing. I like that one. Now I have to think up some cool prizes for the games. :)
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For food try Worms in Blood Sandwiches: Cut hot dogs long ways into thin strips, 9 of them per hot dog. Then lay out a bunch of open hamburger buns. Boil a pot of water and lower the hot dog strips into the water for about 2-3 min, until hot. They will curl up and look like worms. Put them on the bun bottom and add ketchup or barbeque sauce (whatever you like). You can add the top bun or skip it, but they look great.

    Also, try melting butterscotch chips and chocolate chips together and pouring over chow mein noodles and peanuts. the chow mien noodles will wiggle like worms or similar yucky things. It is really tasty, and creepy looking even if you don't see it being made. But you could set out little bowls of the chow mein noodles, or even disposable cups or plastic souvenir cups to take home (thinking the ones sold 4 for about $1 in the Halloween aisle at Walmart) and add the melted chips to them as the kids watched. Of course you can use any combo of chips you like. Just DO NOT get ANY water into the melted chips.

    You can cover nutter butter cookies in white frosting or melted white choc chips or almond bark and then put eyes and a mouth on them for fast, easy ghosts. Also if you take refrigerator biscuits or homemade ones and put a layer of ham on the top and then take and cut out a face from a slice of american cheese, and melt the cheese onto the cooked biscuit over the ham, you get jack-o-lantern biscuits (with some protein). I did three dozen of these with homemade biscuits for a church party and they were the first thing gone!

    If you bake 2 bundt cakes (any kind that you can frost) and make the bottom flat, you can make a big pumpkin cake. Put one bundt cake upside down on a serving platter (rounded side down) and cover the flat surface with icing or filling. Put the other cake on top of that and frost the whole thing like a pumpkin.

    And EASY way to make pumpkins to decorate is to cut a big circle out of orange fabric or tissue and then put a toilet paper roll in the center. Bring up the fabric around the roll and tuck into the center of the roll. Twist a paper lunch bag or some green paper to make a stem and push into the center. Instant pumpkin to decorate or not. After the party, just put the tissue back into the bathroom to be used.

    You could fairly easily decorate cheap tshirts. If you get the little 2 oz bottles of acrylic paint and a bottle of textile medium and mix them in equal parts, the paint will last for a long time. Or just use sharpies. You can use the new ones for fabric, but the regular ones work just fine. If the kids have shirts, they can sign each other's shirts for a souvenir of the party that will last for years (much cooler than party favors that are ignored or pitched in 2 hours!).

    You can easily cut out bats and pumpkins from construction paper and decorate the entire house iwth them for almost no $$.

    Another fun thing to send home would be homemade playdough (or to play with at the party, whatever). I often mix up the dough and use koolaid powder for color and scent. You can mix the dry ingredients and then put it in a ziploc with instructions and let the parents mix it with water at home. I did this for an entire head start group (four classes) for xmas once and it was the biggest hit around. I was amazed at how many parents raved over it and said it saved their sanity over winter break because the older kids loved it too.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Susie, wonderful ideas!! Thanks! :)

    Your grandkids will adore you, you realize that right? LOL
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was thinking a bit simpler. Things like the little games that the kids play here at carnivals. Tossing a ring over a coke bottle for candy. Fishing for a prize. Throwing a ball into a small net. Pin the spider on the net.

    If you can find one of those kids cotton candy machines, they really work and you could have your own spider webs to eat...lol. I think they cost about 20 bucks and probably less if you can find one used. check ebay.

    You could make some sort of spiders out of a marshmellow and chocolate covered pretzel legs.

    Oh and most of all....find someone you can get a large wagon, you could put a bit of straw in there and put the little kids in there and take them for a "Hay Ride" around the block with the older ones walking the dogs and pulling the wagon.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm good ideas Janet. :)

    Although you do realize that cotton candy is my absolute favorite thing in the world and owning a machine to make my own is down right dangerous. :rofl: No joke. I have a severe weakness for cotton candy that started probably before I could walk, that my grandma indulged me in every chance she got because it gave her an excuse to eat it too. Shoot, I don't need such excuse. Found containers of it at dollar tree and well.........I finally had to force myself not to walk down that isle anymore. LOL Cute idea though.........IF nana can figure out a way not to eat all the spider webs before the kids even arrive. :rofl:
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have a church here that does a carnival instead of having the kids trick or treat in the neighborhoods. They call it trunk or treat...lol. Its a large church and all the members line up their cars and trucks and sit there and hand out candy as the kids walk by. They also sell popcorn for like a quarter and canned drinks for a quarter. They have a train ride pulled by a huge John Deere. Then the carnival is held inside. Its great.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can mke a cool, and kind of gross, spider cake fairly easily. Bake a cake in a big bowl and a smaller bowl and get a box of Twinkies at the day old store. Put the cakes upside down next to each other on a big piece of plastic wrapped cardboard or board (whatever you have, I use a bread board). Cut 1/3 off the small side of the biggest bowl cake (put them largge side down on the board, small side up)and then hollow out the center of that cake. Make some red or green or blue jello. After the jello sets, stir it up and put it in the hollowed out cake and put the top back on. Arrange the twinkies as legs and then ice it all with black icing (ask at a grocery store bakery and usually for $2 you can get a ton of black icing which is far easier than trying to tint it yourself - black is a PITA to get even with paste food color, in my opinion). Use candies to make the face on the spider - m&ms work well.

    When you cut the body of the spider, the jello comes out and is gooey and many adults are grossed out and kids LOVE it. Or that has been my experience. Red Devil cake and blue or green jello gets a HUGE reaction from the moms for some reason.

    I adore Halloween and have done some pretty wild things for parties along these lines. We won't even go into the 3 weeks I spend making pokemon costumes one year. Wiz was some pokemon with a turtle shell that shot water - I did draw the line at making his costume shoot water, but ONLY because it was cold that year.

    by the way, this started early. When I was 4 my mom made a witch costume for me. She was NOT amused when she learned that Dad let me wear it to go Xmas shopping the week before Xmas. He and I were both confused as to why. it was a great costume. He even put the makeup on my face for the occasion (xmas shopping, not halloween. Mom did Halloween.)

    I bought those fleece costumes every time I could find them, the ones old navy and Land's End used to sell, and my kids wore them all winter for jammies and sled riding and whatever.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Susie, over the years I tried hard to make Halloween fun for my kids. My mom refused to have anything to do with the holiday based on her own twisted religious philosophy when we were growing up. (somehow with grandchildren that magically changed??) I didn't even get to enjoy the costume parties at school, at least the dressing up part. I don't think I went crazy when my kids were little, but they did have fun the whole month......and I did decorate quite a bit for it. And the same mom who refused to let us do Halloween, kept busy trying to find the grands awesome costumes for the next year. Go figure. lol And what she couldn't find at yard sales, I often did, or we bought them.

    My kids tend to make Halloween a big deal, along with xmas. :)

    Back when the holiday was taking off in this country, kids didn't trick or treat. They attended Halloween parties in which adults also participated. These parties were a huge deal. Good safe fun. Now I hope the kids don't lose the special fun of getting to trick or treat, as that now is part of the classic tradition, (and I'm all for tradition) but I want them to experience the party atmosphere the way it used to be and enjoy that too.

    Not to mention......things are really getting pretty down and out around here. There won't be very many porch lights on this year. People will not be able to afford it. Businesses are trying hard to pick up the slack and all of downtown open their doors on beggar's night and passed out candy.........which turned out more popular than the "safe" trick or treat held out at the college. I'd hate to see the door to door trick or treating die off all together. That would be a sad thing.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Find a wealthy neighborhood and trick or treat there. that is what people do here. We have one neighborhood known for giving full size candy bars away each year.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Due to the fact that we live in a weird 3-street neigborhood bordered by 2 superbusy roads and woods, trick-or-treating has been just about pointless. For the last 2 years I've taken Jett to a small town about 40 minutes away, where the BFFs live, and their 5 kids and mine have a blast. (I went with them in 2009... Bio had Jett that year for Beggars Night.) This year I hope it's nice weather so I can take him and Bean up... I can always sit in the car with Bean if I need to!
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Trick-or-treating is practically dead around here.
    When I was a kid? having 200 kids at your door that night was considered a slow night. We just about needed traffic control on the sidewalks.
    We quit even trying to give stuff out, two years ago... after only having 3 kids show up at the door.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Susie........well, our "rich" neighborhoods stopped handing out candy years ago. Most of their children are grown now and the parents don't want to mess with it anymore and we don't have a younger generation of "rich" people taking their place. Unemployment is just too high and too rampant.

    Now for years there has been a "safe trick or treat" at the college. (why on earth someone thought this was needed in a small rural community is beyond me, it's absurd) Local businesses buy candy and set up booths on the field and the kids go around for candy. Pathetic in my opinion but I'm old fashioned.

    One year I thought I'd take Nichole and Kayla (she was a baby) and see what the fuss was about...........a disaster. Traffic getting into the place was outrageous! Forty-five minute wait to just turn into the college, parking? forget it, classes were still being held. Each year it has deteriorated. Crowds kept going until the past two years........even though businesses were dropping out because it was such a PITA to do it there. easy child took the boys last year because her mother in law owns subway and sets up at it (so she can see the boys) .......and they didn't even stay, they happened to pass through town and discovered those businesses that had pulled out of the "safe" trick or treat were doing the same type of thing in front of their own shops downtown, a much more fun way to do it. Kids could easily branch off into neighborhoods from there if they wanted..........although finding a porch light on was scarce last year. So the boys trick or treated downtown instead.

    I also noticed that where walmart, kmart, and the food stores would be basically nearly sold out of candy by the day of beggars night.......the past 2 yrs they had so much left to clearance after halloween they had issues getting rid of it.

    easy child noticed many kids were trick or treating without costumes as well, although no one remarked on it when they saw it. :(
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lisa that is just sad. We are a pretty poor and rural area with unemployment averaging at least over 10% and that is the stated rate. The real rate is much higher. We have several neighborhoods that still go all out for halloween. They make sure they have candy for the kids that come in from the county. They know its not just gonna be the few kids that live in their subdivision that will come but all the kids from out in the county where they cant walk from house to house.
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I don't even want to think about the unemployment rate for this particular county and the surrounding ones. At least while I'm job hunting. It's just too depressing.

    I'm already watching for notifications of various groups taking donations and asking for help getting items gathered for kids for xmas.

    Here, we're right smack dab in the middle of the new Great Depression. It ain't pretty, for sure.

    We have a new fb group. Porch gifting. If you see a neighbor in need or just have something decent you no longer have use for and think someone else might enjoy it........then you gift it to someone by leaving it on their porch.
  20. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Here's a simple game: guess how many candy corn are in the jar. The prize is the candy corn!

    You can also use paper lunch bags to make simple Halloween theme hand puppets and have a puppet costume contest.