Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Simple Halloween Party for Children

I am just so brilliant and fantastic that I gave my children the awesome idea to throw a Halloween party for their classmates. Since I work at night we had planned to do it in the afternoon from 4pm-5:30pm. I thought this would be a bad time because of work schedules, siblings, lessons, classes, day care and other things. So I came up with the brilliant idea to give each of my children 30 invites and give them to everyone they knew. Give them out on the bus, give them out at lunch time, at recess. . .  And I'll be a monkey's uncle if everyone didn't just show up to my little Halloween party.

My daughter, Miriam, as a Strawberry, standing next to the mutilated ghost piñata. My son, Josh, as a cheeseburger. :) We like food at our house :) In fact, I hope you aren't looking at this blog post for decorating ideas, because I spent so much time preparing the food that I didn't do a lick of decorating other than put a pumpkin tablecloth on the food table.

So here's what we served:

Wrap a hot dog with cheese and crescent roll dough to look like a mummy, leaving a little slit for the mustard eyes.
Fruit and Cheese cut from cookie cutters
A bat, a pumpkin and a cat cut from small fondant cutters. Some who have read my blog before know this is one of my favorite simple things to do to add a little more fun to food. We cut watermelon, cantaloupe and cheese with the Halloween shapes fondant cutters and arranged them on plates and in bowls. It is fun to here the little bursts of excitement from around the yard as each child sat down to eat their snacks and realized they were shapes.
Carmel Marshmallow popcorn
This was the easiest thing in the world and so good!
Pop 12 cups of popcorn
melt 1/2 cup butter and mix in 1/2 cup brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl ( I use my pyrex wet measuring cup)
then at about 8 of the large marshmallows and melt them into the butter and brown sugar. Be careful though because any experienced Peep microwaver knows that marshmallows blow up when microwaved. I let the microwave for 15 second intervals and then mixed. I did this until it was completely liquid. It was probably about 45 seconds in total.
Then drizzle over the popcorn. To make it easier for the kids to just grab and go I formed them into popcorn balls, which was very easy to do since they were sticky from the marshmallows.

Skeleton Cake

And then we had the skeleton cake. Oh, the skeleton cake. . .  I once googled "Decorating gone wrong" for a blog post and saw the most terrible living spaces in creation. I will not be including pictures of the skeleton cake in this blog post lest someone google "Cake decorating gone wrong" and my blog comes up! First, it looked like a gingerbread man. Then when I tried to fix it with icing, instead of looking like a skeleton, it just looked like a desekating human being with its entrails exposed, but still functioning. I had to make another one so I wouldn't frighten the kiddos too badly. Don't need to give them any more therapy fodder. So this is all you're going to get. Skeleton fabric:
ha! This is called Estrella De Los Meurtos. You can find it at Bobbie Lou Fabric :)

BUT, my cake recipe is awesome! So I have a special way to make the box cakes a little more homemade tasting and a little less boxy. :)

So here's what the back of the box looks like:

Substitute the water for buttermilk. Use 4 large eggs instead of three, or use three jumbo size eggs.
Badda bing, badda boom! Done! It tastes delicious! And no one will ever know it came from the box! They think it's homemade because there's just something a little bit different.
Sometimes I also decrease the baking temp by 20 degrees and cook it for ten minutes longer for more even baking and color. But that really varies from oven to oven, I think.
What remains of the ghost piñata.
For games we did the ghost piñata. We had two age groups, 3 and 6 year olds, so what we decided to do was prepackage goody bags with 5 pieces of candy each, then stuff them in the piñata. When they cracked open the piñata each child got a bag of candy instead of the bigger kids taking over and pushing the little ones out of the way. It worked really well.
Then we played pin the tail on the witches cat. My son made that up! And I'm not putting pictures of that up either because subjecting the party crowd to my artwork was bad enough.
Then we played truth or dare! This one was a lot of fun.
My husband cut and sanded two 4 by 4 blocks of wood. We covered them with paper and wrote the truth questions and the dares on them. For dares we had:
1) Lick your elbow
2) Spin around 5 times and try to walk straight
3) Eat a spoonful of mustard
4)Act like a gorilla for ten seconds
5) Do a crabwalk across the room
6) Stuff your mouth full of marshmallows and sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
Then for Truths we had:
1) Are you afraid of the dark?
2) Do you walk or talk in your sleep?
3) Do you sneak snacks when your mom isn't looking?
4) What super power would you have and why?
5) What's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten?
6) If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
So everyone in the world showed up and it ended up being a great party. Even if I didn't decorate :)
Here are some fun fabric and home décor finds!
This one makes me laugh. Silliness. It's called Calaveras, also found at Bobbie Lou's.
Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving. This would make a great table runner.
And this Towers tablecloth from Rainey Creek Home.
I love this time of year! So many great decorating opportunities!
Happy Halloween, everyone!

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