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Planning a Halloween Party with Children

Carved Pumpkins and Tissue Paper Lanterns

If you measure how well a party went by the state of your house once everyone has left, I can safely say that Jumpy’s second birthday party was a roaring success! This is entirely based on the cupcake my friend Loraine peeled off Beanie’s duvet, the crisps I have been finding in the toy kitchen and the sticky floor, well… everywhere!

On a more serious note, we all had a great time and I left Hubby in charge of ‘Operation Rescue our Home’ as I took Wriggly for her injections after the party. I got the better deal and he did a pretty good job.

Whenever I plan a party for the children, I get them involved. It means the preparation itself becomes a series of creative activities. It also forces me to stop what I would otherwise be doing and focus on my children.

Party Invitations
When I started designing the invitations, Crevette suggested using pumpkins. We kept it simple with a pumpkin silhouette over an orange background.

Free From Halloween Party Invites front

Decoration
In terms of decoration, we did not go over the top and only focused our efforts on the middle room. We started by displaying Halloween images in all our frames. I printed them a couple of years ago and I now keep them inside the frames (behind our photos) for the following year. All other decorations were from the pound shop and included lanterns, cobwebs, spiders, rats and bats.

We also made lanterns, carved pumpkins and used food as decoration, with our spooky fruit basket, pumpkin jelly as well as labelled bottles and jars.

Beanie Drawing on Jars

Tissue Paper Lanterns
Last year, we made tissue paper lanterns and they were brilliant! I thought I had kept them but I could not put my hands on them so we made new ones. It is pretty straightforward and does not take long.

All you have to do is cut strips of orange tissue paper and stick it to jars using PVA glue mixed with water. You just have to make sure you cover the jars with a couple of layers of tissue paper and add glue on top for a nice finish. It does not require precision and looks better if it is done in a messy way. The children did a fantastic job.

Tissue Paper Lanterns

The next day, the glue was dry and we used Pinterest as an inspiration for the Jack O’Lantern faces we drew on the jars.

Carving Pumpkins

Carving Pumpkins - Our Pumpkins
In the past, I have carved our pumpkins ‘freestyle’. By that, I mean I had no plan, no idea what I was carving or how I was supposed to do it. Year after year, our pumpkin ended up with three triangles and some sort of a mouth.

This year, we worked on our technique and we achieved our best results yet.

I started by cutting off the lids. The children scraped the seeds off using ice cream scoops and large spoons.

Carving Pumpkins - Beanie Scraping Seeds off

They lost interest really quickly so my mum and I finished emptying the pumpkins. We saved as much of the flesh as we could to make pumpkin soup.

Carving Pumpkins - Pumpkin Flesh

I then printed the designs the little ones had chosen for our pumpkins. I stuck them on the pumpkins with tape and used a paper piercing tool to make holes every few millimetres. My little man was really keen to get involved and he took charge of the outline for one of the pumpkins.

Carving Pumpkins - Outline by Crevette

My mum used the dots as a guide to carve the pumpkins.

Carving Pumpkins - Mamie working on the Details

Best carved pumpkins ever!

Carving Pumpkins - a Finished Pumpkin

Activities
To be completely honest, the little ones did not need any entertainment other than each other’s company. I had left the dressing-up basket out in the children’s bedroom. Some accessorised their costumes, others got changed.

‘Pass the parcel’ with Halloween music is the only structured activity we did. Most of the children had a jelly monster when it was their turn to tear the layer of wrapping paper. We also included four fun books I bought from Allergy Adventures. There were also Moo Free chocolate bars for our little guests who do not eat gelatine.

a Halloween Party - Pass the Parcel

I thought about making a papier mâché piñata but ended up filling a paper lantern with sweets. It was torn quickly and served its purpose.

Party Bags
It is not something we do in France and I love putting together the little bags our guests take home. I never put birthday cake in the bags as we always eat it all together at the party. Our party bags contained a small bar of dairy-free chocolate, Goody Good Stuff sweets, bubbles, a pumpkin straw, a balloon, a small toy and a loom band bracelet made by my mum.

a Halloween Party - Party Bags

 

36 Comments

  1. lauracymft
    03/11/2014 / 10:32 pm

    This looks like such a fun party!

    • Mel
      Author
      05/11/2014 / 10:59 pm

      It was!

    • Mel
      Author
      05/11/2014 / 11:11 pm

      She was beaming all day! Happy girlie.

  2. Fiona Chick
    04/11/2014 / 4:46 pm

    Mel, you are actually amazing! I’m in awe of the amount of teeth you gave your pumpkins alone, let alone all of the rest of the crafting and making that you did (with FOUR children to look after). I bet you’re THE BEST mum! (o: For Halloween, I carved two pumpkins with very basic faces. The only ones I could get were the ones with the very tough green skin. They were a PAIN to carve, hence the basic faces. However, those pumpkins have the most delicious flavour, and I made a Trinidadian dish with it. It was very yummy. Hope you’re well, my dear xx

    • Mel
      Author
      11/11/2014 / 12:36 am

      Ha ha, you are too kind, Fiona! My mum was in charge of the teeth actually. I cannot take credit for them! Are you going to share your recipe? I love pumpkin. I bet what you cooked had lovely flavours in. xx

  3. lystramaisey
    04/11/2014 / 11:02 pm

    Happy birthday to little Jumpy! I loved this post, and everything you made looks amazing. We made a tissue paper jar and I had no idea how much little man would enjoy putting it together! Really glad you all had a lovely time. #magicmoments

    • Mel
      Author
      11/11/2014 / 12:16 am

      Those tissue paper jars are so quick and easy… love them!

      • lystramaisey
        11/11/2014 / 2:58 pm

        They are great, and anything which can hold a pre-schooler’s attention for more than three minutes gets my vote! x

  4. 05/11/2014 / 11:41 am

    Oh Mel, you are seriously cool. Seriously. You have 4 kids and still manage all this?!?!

    • Mel
      Author
      05/11/2014 / 1:01 pm

      I had my mum around for a few days. I would never have managed that otherwise! x

  5. 10/11/2014 / 9:39 pm

    Oh I love this! Another super party! I think Elsie’s first birthday might be Halloween themed so will keep this post in mind 🙂 x x x

    • Mel
      Author
      10/11/2014 / 10:19 pm

      Check my Halloween Pinterest board if you are thinking of planning a Halloween party. There are loads of fab ideas on there!

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