It’s September, which means
IT’S TIME TO START PLANNING FOR HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Halloween is the best holiday to celebrate with young people. You can go all out and be silly and ridiculous and it is just accepted. I love it! To put together this post, I asked the foremost experts on fun- Boys & Girls Club staff! Here are some of their best ideas, along with gems I found online.
Dan from Boys & Girls Club of White County: “We hold a “table or treat” event. We have member families and community members decorate table space in our gym. We invite the community to bring kids through to get candy from the people at the tables. We began as a trunk or treat, but moved it inside so we don’t have to worry about the weather. We’ve had tremendous turnout in the first couple of years we’ve done it. Not sure the picture really does it justice, but we really have fun with it.”
Marina from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana: “We usually do a Halloween themed Dance with Halloween treats, glow in the dark items, DJ, Photo Booth, Costume contest, etc. However, our biggest thing for Halloween is the Haunted House that we make. The Keystone and Torch Club members run the Haunted house and is so scary that even adults are afraid to go in. Everything in it is DIY except the fog machine. Here is a photo from my crew getting ready to run the haunted house.”
Lots of people mentioned having teens or leadership clubs plan and run the haunted house. Angela from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake said “[Our teens] turn the entire teen center into a haunted house. We have done some amazing ones! They have done Alice in wonderland, Harry Potter, haunted mini golf, and tons of others. This year I am also running a Zombie film making club.” This is a powerful way to combine the 2 of the Five Key Elements– Fun and Opportunities!
Stephanie from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta with another Haunted House idea: “We use black tarp or plastic sheets hung from the ceiling to create a haunted room. We basically create lanes by hanging the plastic sheets and the kids venture through the maze full of creepy stuff. Add a fog machine and a soundtrack of a haunted house and the kids are super spooked!”
They also do an edible creepy kitchen including cockroaches (dates stuffed with cream cheese) and worms (jello made in straw molds with crushed oreos for dirt). Y’ALL I CANNOT WITH THE ROACHES I AM 100% THE YOUNG MAN IN THE BACKGROUND OF THAT PHOTO LOLOLOLOL
Lynn from Boys & Girls Club of Franklin-Simpson: “We do a spooky kitchen every year. Members venture through our dark and dreary kitchen (glow sticks, cobwebs, fog machine) and reach their hands into covered specimen containers and guess what’s inside…eyeballs (peeled grapes), spaghetti (brains), carrots (finger bones), etc. It’s a hit every year and I’ve already been asked if it will be returning this year.” Here are some ways to create spooky Halloween feel boxes.
Lauren (official ClubX Blog friend) from Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington County: “Our teens once hosted a “Hallow-meme” party where they dressed up as popular memes. I wish I still had pictures!” So do I! But the photos from these high school student ids may provide some inspiration. (Also teens are by far the funniest humans don’t @ me.)
Also inspiring? When my fellow Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains staff and I all came as high school stereotypes. And yes that’s me doing my best goth impression.
This link gives a ton of staff costume ideas. I love the Where’s Waldos and book characters!
Madison from Boys & Girls Club of Lenawee: “We do Halloween trivia (jeopardy style) and it is a big hit for all ages.” There are lots of Halloween trivia questions and worksheets on Pinterest. I especially love these questions because they have global traditions!
Toni (another ClubX Blog friend!) at Boys & Girls Clubs of Tipton County: “we have done a Friendly Fright Night which is basically a Halloween carnival open to the community. Most rooms are mild and still lit but there was one room that was a little dark with black lights and things and the other was like someone’s above using black tablecloths to make a dark and scary path.
We also do some programs that incorporate Halloween. We used a plastic mold to freeze baking soda, water, and food coloring to later dissolve with vinegar. We also let older members do some scary make up tutorials. I learned a lot about what you could achieve with a bit of cheap costume make up and toilet paper!”
Krystal from Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County: “Staff and kids dress up is for sure a must for us!!! We give prizes to best costume. We usually do a Halloween play, haunted house and a little carnival. This year we are doing coffin races and a zombie parade!” Here are some ideas for carnival games:
Tenisha from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County: “Our Teen Club [created] a “Spooky Lab”. They worked in groups to set the scene. The Middle School club members experimented with different ideas and recipes for the most realistic use of food items to look or feel like parts of the anatomy. This was a great way to get our older kids involved and considered STEM and Art. We had a carnival type event with a local sorority doing a trunk or treat outside. This was great community service project for them and for us we didn’t have to purchase items. Turn on a kids bop Halloween mix (think Monster Mash) and we had a hit using things we already had at the Club!” I LOVE involving both your older members AND the community! Here are some Halloween STEM and Art project ideas:
This one is good for your youngest members, and you know I love an activity with a read-aloud.
Kids will never get enough of making slime, but this one bubbles!
So I usually stay away from sharing activities you have to purchase, but I love this one so much I am breaking my rule. This former teacher created a project based learning activity where youth design a haunted house, including making a plan (using creativity and brainstorming skills), designing the floor plan (using math to calculate perimeter), making a brochure (using three different modes of writing), and more. Youth could complete them individually or in groups. And it is only $5 to download. Totally worth it!
Now it’s your turn to have a spooky good time!
What are your favorite Halloween activities? How do you celebrate holidays at your Club? To share with us, comment below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or email ClubXBlog@bgca.org!