Halloween Party Planning–Include Boys

Boys get the short stick of holiday party planning. Some say they don’t care. I beg to differ. As the mother of an only child who happens to be male I want him to experience the excitement and anticipation of all holidays too. I understand he’s not a girl, I am. I want him to bank memories of holidays and to recall the fun, festivity and even the calamity of the planning and the party itself. In addition, I want him participating in the planning. There is so much learning for kids involved in planning and hosting events-everything from envelope addressing to budgeting to handling conflict between party guests. Sit down with your child, or children, and plan a party TOGETHER. You will be doing them a favor and teaching them more than you realize.

Pre-Party To-Do List

  • Pick a date, time and location.
  • Decide who to invite-all boys, co-ed, adults?
  • Purchase or create invitations. Child completes Who, What, When, Where and RSVP details.
  • Child addresses envelopes, stamps and mails invitations 2-3 weeks before date.
  • Plan a menu. Traditional kid food or holiday food?
  • Create a grocery shopping list by menu item. What buy, what make?
  • Decide where to serve food-outside vs. inside-where at each location?
  • Make list of tableware and decorations needed.
  • Giving guests party favors? What? Make or buy?
  • Shop together. Compare prices. Decide together.
  • Plan activities for party. Indoor and outdoor. Inclement weather plan?
  • Make a time-line of actions to be done the week of the party and the day of the party. [Teaching time management skills and big picture thinking.]
  • Follow up with non-responding RSVP guests. (Major pet peeve!)

Week of Party Reminders

  • Check the forecast
  • Balls inflated? If any sports balls being used in activities, are they properly inflated?
  • Gather serving platters, trays, utensils, etc. for menu items. Clean? Ready to use?
  • Making party favors? Do so. Place in basket and set aside.
  • Can any ingredients be cut or prepared in advance? Check recipes.

Party Day

  • Set up serving tables, if not using kitchen or dining room table.
  • Prepare menu items, paying close attention to preparation times and safe storage.
  • Place serving trays, bowls, etc. on table.
  • Double check items needed for activities- all present and available?
  • Is bathroom ready for guest use?
  • Be ready for guests to arrive at least 1-hour before start time.
  • ENJOY the party!
  • Hand guests party favors as they leave and thank them for coming to your party.
  • Clean up.
  • Children, thank parents for helping you plan such a great party!

Sample Menu From Halloween Party for Pre-Teen Boys

  • Bloodied Fingers-twisted and baked breadsticks with food coloring added. Almonds (fingernail) pressed into bread after 5 minutes of baking.
  • Blood Shot Eyes on Guts-can of black beans spread on plate (guts). Deviled eggs with pimento or red pepper (blood shot) and sliced olives (eyeball).
  • Spider Web 7-layer dip-see photo for ingredients or use your favorite recipe. Put sour cream in bag with small hole so child can draw web on top layer.
  • Cheetos and black tortilla chips
  • Sliced red and green pepper
  • Punch over dried ice
  • Jean’s Ghost Cookies-see under “recipes.”

Sample Activities

It’s a sunny fall day and the invitees are pre-teen boys. Flag football supervised by an adult. Game of “Horse” on the basketball court-winner is first in line to eat. Age appropriate Halloween or other scary movie. At dusk-Flashlight Tag.

Party Favors

Battery operated flashlight for Flashlight Tag and a pre-packaged Rice Krispie treat covered with a ghost face decorated (Sharpie) paper towel tied on with black or orange yarn.

Copyright. September 2015. Linda Leier Thomason.

All Rights Reserved.

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