There's not a ghost of a chance kids won't like this party—it's centered around the great pumpkin! Pump kids up with a hearty breakfast of pancakes, then let them create their own jack-o'-lantern!
Cut jack-o'-lanterns out of orange card stock or construction paper, and fill in all the details: time, place and a note to wear clothes for pumpkin carving, which can get messy.
You have choices when it comes to jack-o'-lanterns. Select the activity below that's suited to your party-goers.
Young and Creative Kids
If you're concerned about safety, put away the carving tools and bring out a selection of markers, paper, feathers, yarn, pipe cleaners, buttons, ribbons, dried pasta, cold cereals, candies, glue, clay and stickers.
Cool and Coordinated Kids
Plastic tools, available at supermarket and discount stores, make pumpkin carving easy and safe. A grapefruit spoon or ice-cream scoop makes quick work for scraping out pumpkin insides. Supply pencils to mark pumpkin designs before cutting. There is an array of stencils for fancier designs available at craft and discount stores. Place buckets on the table for the scooped-out seeds. Have adults there in good numbers to help the little ones and guide the older kids. Sharp knives and cutters are for you to use or at least to supervise the use of.
- Pumpkin carving and picnic tables just go together in great weather. If you're creating inside, cover a table with a plastic tablecloth (orange, of course), and play some Halloween music.
- Award prizes for the funniest, goofiest, biggest or smallest; just make sure you have a prize for each of the kids. Stickers make good prizes.
The Pumpkin Challenge
(They get to make a jack-o'-lantern cake and eat it, too!) Make Jack-o'-Lantern Cake for kids to assemble and decorate. It's easiest to bake the cake ahead and freeze.
Make a giant jack-o'-lantern with cutout eyes, nose and mouth from orange poster board, or purchase one at a party store. Have kids stand behind a line at a chosen distance from the pumpkin and toss pumpkin candies or candy corn to try to land in the eye and mouth spaces. Or hollow out a pumpkin and have kids take turns tossing candies to try to get into the pumpkin. Make sure they all are rewarded with bags of Halloween Buddies or another great treat.
Roasty Toasty Pumpkin Seeds
Complete your pumpkin party by roasting pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds - when cleaned, tossed with a little oil and salt or seasonings and toasted in the oven (at 350ºF for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown - make terrific snacks!
No Tricks - Just Treats
- Float gummy worms and gummy spiders in cider; place them in cups just before serving.
- Pumpkin pancakes are yummy by themselves, but set out dishes of raisins or chocolate chips, whipped cream in a can for squirting, and gummy worms and spiders, and kids will create pancake jack-o'-lanterns for super-fast "goblin."
- Package Halloween Buddies in mini plastic pumpkins or festive bags for take-home treats.