Perhaps you’re throwing a Halloween party. Or maybe you simply don’t want the entire holiday to revolve around your child coating their molars in Jolly Ranchers. No matter the reason, a great way to
keep Halloween from being completely focused on candy and trick-or-treating, is to have some fun, goofy Halloween games for kids ready to go.
I remember when I was a kid, Halloween games weren’t really a thing. Unless you counted toilet papering trees. Which of course wasn’t so much a game, as it was a jerky thing to do to infuriate your neighbors. We did play bobbing for apples, which I remember largely because it seemed so unsanitary. Like, let’s all put our mouths in this big barrel of dirty water, and try to bite at different pieces of fruit? This classic Halloween game is a hard pass for me.
But games are actually a really great way to make Halloween festive and fun for kids, without wasting valuable bathroom products. Below are ten Halloween games that are sure to induce some giggles, and maybe even some (excited) screams of low-key fright. From “Tentacle Tag” to the classic cold spaghetti trick (IYKYK) these games will keep the party going, even after you’ve had to hide the candy.
1 Freaky flashlight ghost hunt Elva Etienne/Moment/Getty Images
This simple Halloween game is really just a scavenger hunt, but with spooky clues, and where the kids have to search for little ghosts you’ve hidden through the house. To make your ghosts, just use a rubber band to secure some tissues around some Tootsie Roll Pops and use a black marker to make the eyes. Before the party, hide the ghosts around the house. Then give each kid a flashlight, and turn out some of the lights. (Depending on the age of the kids, you might not want to turn off too many, in case they get too scared.) Give the kids a list of clues. For example, if you hide a ghost in the closet, a clue might read: “I’m a very mean ghost, though you may have met meaner! You’ll find me where you store the vacuum cleaner!” Then off the kids go on their spooky ghost hunt.
2 Kreepy karaoke
This game is for kids who are maybe a little older and know how to read. It also requires
a karaoke mic, and the ability to play Youtube on your TV. Curate a playlist of “spooky” songs, and have the children sign up to sing. Karaoke versions of Halloween songs like “Monster Mash”, “This Is Halloween”, “Thriller” etc. are all available on Youtube. Depending on the number of kids, you could give a prize at the end for each kind of performance: “Silliest,” “Most Energetic”, “Creepiest”, and so on. 3 Brainy eyeball search
This one is a little messy, a little gross, and super
silly. So, of course, your kids are going to love it. For this one, you’re going to want to cook a lot of spaghetti, and get yourself a couple of bags of rubber eyeballs. Divide the spaghetti between some large bowls, and mix in the eyeballs. When you shout go, the children have two minutes to hunt through the “brains” to find as many eyeballs as they can. The kid who finds the most wins. 4 4. Pin the skull on the skeleton
Doubt I need to explain this Halloween game, do I? You get a paper skeleton. You cut the head off. Then you blindfold a kid and proceed as with “Pin the Tail On the Donkey.” But with a skull. The kid who most closely positions the skull atop the spinal column wins a prize!
5 Don’t wake the witch
If you want a game that offers some lightly scary thrills, this is a good choice. For this one, you need to enlist a friend or family member to be “the witch”, and then costume them in witch garb. Take the kids into a room where “the witch” is asleep in a chair at the back of the room. Initiate a silent game of “Red Light Green Light”, where instead of calling out “red light” or “green light” you hold up either a red sign or a green sign. Remember, the goal is to play the game as quietly as possible, because you don’t want to wake the witch! Obviously there will be giggles, and the witch is going to wake up sometimes and shriek, which is sure to cause even more giggles and screams. If the witch wakes up, the game has to start over! And if this all seems too scary, another way to play is to let the kids take turns being the sleeping witch, and just have them don a witch hat.
6 Toilet paper mummy
OK, I lied. You’re totally going to waste toilet paper. But without infuriating the neighbors. Break kids into teams of three (or two, depending on how many kids.) One kid is the mummy, one is the wrapper. When you shout “go”, the wrapper does their best to wind the TP around the other child, mummy-style. The first team that uses an entire roll of toilet paper wins.
7 Feed the monster
So there are
Amazon versions of this game, but if you’re crafty you could easily whip this one up at home by decorating a cardboard box and making some bean bags out of knotted socks filled with dried beans. The goal is simple — for kids to toss their bean bags into the hungry monster’s mouth. 8 Build the best beast wreath
This is really more of a crafting project, but you could give prizes at the end for “Best Beast” or “Most Beastly Beast” etc. Basically just dump a bunch of crayons, markers,
plastic bones, fake fur scraps, googly eyes, rubber tentacles, and fake fangs onto the table. Give each child a cardboard wreath and have them arrange the items into a Halloween wreath as they choose. The adults can assist with glue guns to keep everything in place. 9 Tentacle tag
For this one, you will need some
wide purple ribbon and velcro dots. Cut the ribbon into foot long strips, and attach a piece of velcro to each end. Next, take a longer piece of ribbon, and attach velcro at eight different points. Stick the ribbon strips to the longer piece of ribbon, then tie the longer piece around each child’s waist like a belt. Every child is now a “sea creature.” When you say go, challenge the kids to pull off each other’s tentacles. The child who captures the most tentacles wins. 10 Spooky sack race
Like a potato sack race, but spookier. Take a few pillowcases, and using a black marker, draw a ghost face on the front. Or, you can let the kids design their own, and they can later use the bags to carry home prizes/crafts/candy. Then have the kids participate in a spooky sack race. Just make sure the pillowcase opening acts as “the top” of the bag, otherwise the face will be upside down when the kids race.
And now comes the scariest part of the whole night - when the kids are all in bed and you discover that your home is a total mess of fake fur, cold spaghetti, and crumpled toilet paper. Happy Halloween!