The leaves are turning and pumpkins are sprouting up on porches up everyone. Even though I still cannot decide which side of the Halloween fence I fall on, we will continue to throw a Halloween Block Party in order to socialize with the neighbors, show kindness to others, and to invite trick-or-treaters to church. It’s the perfect night to get out in the community and share the love of God!
For those of you who have been following along with the 31 Days of Bible-based Crafts series, I understand this doesn’t TECHNICALLY count as part of the series. However, since I do this series every October, I never get a chance to post my fall related stuff! And maybe you could use some of the ideas. 🙂 So, let’s just say this is Day #11, okay?
Here’s some of the highlights of our party last year in case you’re looking for some inspiration of your own! To read about how we go the candy ready, head over to this post! Some important things to remember are also found at the bottom of the post.
Our main push at the party is HOT CHOCOLATE! Both parents and kids appreciate this, especially on cold evenings. Often, we find that parents stop for a cup and then the kids stay around to play games a bit. Make sure you have plenty of hot chocolate to begin and keep more brewing in the house. Also, provide plenty of trash cans for throwing away cups. One year, we also did hot dogs, but we ended up with a line 10 minutes long just for a hot dog and we ran out within an hour (300 hot dogs!). It was a little too costly for us, but a great draw if it fits into your budget!
LILY PAD LEAP
This was one of my favorite games. Maybe because I got to use a staple gun while constructing it. 🙂 The game itself is made on a piece of plywood, but we placed it over our corn hole board to give it a good angle. Want to make your own? Here’s a quick tutorial.
What You Need:
- Thick Paper Plates
- Plastic Bowls (I got mine at Dollar General)
- Plywood (I’m a little sketchy on the measurements)
- Blue Tarp (Value Home Center)
- Green Spray Paint
- Staple Gun (oh yeah!)
What You Do:
It’s best to begin with green plastic bowls. However, if you’re like me and can’t find any, you can spray paint the bowls green.
Next, spray paint the plates green and cut little slits in them to resemble lily pads.
While those are drying, staple a blue tarp to your piece of wood. Here’s where the staple gun fun comes in. Do not use a staple gun if you’re not mature enough to handle it.
I just wrapped mine around the wood like a present and then stapled away.
After your plates and bowls are dry, screw them onto the tarp board. The object of the game is to have kids throw frogs into the bowls. Make up your own rules, but I think we gave kids 5 mini frogs and they had to get 3 to land in the bowls. Winner gets a glow stick.
NEXT UP: HOCKEY HIT
For this game, we just set up a hockey or soccer net in the driveway and let kids hit a ball into the net with a stick. We marked a couple of lines on the driveway for different ages and let them hit away. As for the sign, I just glued Dollar Tree letters onto a thick black poster board.
NEXT UP: TOILET TOSS
This game was a total delight both to construct and to watch people play. It probably would have been more fun if it wasn’t raining all night (like every year!). People didn’t especially love the feel of wet toilet paper. Want to make your own? Here’s a quick tutorial.
What You Need:
- Large box about waist level high on adults
- Even larger box to serve as a backboard on the game
- Sharp knife
- Kid Toilet Seat
- Toilet Paper
- Packing Tape
What You Do:
Cut a hole on the top of the box. Insert toilet seat. You may also want to cut a hole in the back (or side) of the box so you can retrieve the tossed toilet paper. Or you could just reach the seat if that’s the kind of person you are.
You may need to use a few 1/2 full toilet paper rolls so they fall into the toilet easier. Don’t have one handy? Just lock your cat in the bathroom for an hour. Problem solved. Use the packing tape to tape around the toilet paper and keep it from unraveling when tossed. This method, however, does not prevent the paper from getting wet and disgusting. Just so you know.
Set up the bag board and have kids toss away. Three good tosses wins you a glow stick!
NEXT UP: PHOTO BOOTH
We set up a photo booth, but had no takers. It did serve as a nice decoration though.
Right behind our candy table was our vinyl sign taped to another table sitting on it’s side. Not the best set up, but at least the people know who was throwing the party (we also put an invitation to church in the candy bags). Of course, candy is essential at the block party and it would be GREAT if your party could be known as the house who “give the best candy!”. We put about 10 pieces in each of our bags and handed them out liberally.
MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Don’t forget to have good lighting! If you want to “light the night”, make sure you’re the brightest house on the block. Especially if it’s your first year, families will feel a lot more comfortable sticking around and playing games if they can actually see the games and the people running them.
Have some lively music playing. Get a great playlist on Spotify with some modern Christian music and some more mainstream fun stuff (maybe even some oldies!). Set the mood for fun!
Make it easy for people to come to the party! Put out a sign “Everyone invited!” or better yet, hand out invites around the neighborhood the week before. Play games in the front yard and make sure you have something really different to draw people in, like unique games, great prizes or food!
What About You?
Do you through a block party or fall festival? I’d love to hear more about it!