At a Halloween Party alternate rambunctious games with quieter games to keep the children's energy at reasonable levels. Focus on noncompetitive games where all children enjoy success and approval.
Prizes aren't necessary for most games, but if you do provide prizes give one to each child for his/her effort. For example: award a prize to each child who completes a Halloween obstacle course, not just to the child who completes the course in the least amount of time. Prizes call be small favor items, such as stickers, award ribbons, coins, etc. Keep a prize basket with an assortment of little items and allow the child to pick the item he wants.
Be flexible. Don't require all children to participate in a game. Be prepared to allow a game to go longer if children are having a good time or to change to a new game as needed. Be ready to help those who need it... a child who can't read the clues well or a child who may need an extra hint.
Below are ideas for fun and simple Halloween games:
Bean Bag Toss
Paint a jack-o-lantern, ghost or monster on one side of a large cardboard box. Cut out holes for mouths and eyes. Have guests try to toss bean bags or balls through the openings.
Have kids try to toss candy corn or tootsie rolls into a plastic jack-o-lantern bucket or witch's caldron.
Write Halloween topics, such as "Bride of Frankenstein" or "Casper the Friendly Ghost" on pieces of paper. Have a child select one and act it out. The child who correctly identifies the topic then gets to select and act out the next topic. Have older children come up with their own Halloween-related topics.
Divide children into two teams. Place a pile of costume pieces (goofy hats, funny glasses, clow noses, tutus, tiaras, feather boas, beaded necklaces, leis, capes, etc.) in a large pile at the far end of the race course. Have one child from each team race to the pile, select an item, put it on and return back to her teammates. The child then gives her costume piece to the next player on her team. This child puts on the costume piece and then runs to the costume pile to select and put on another piece. He then returns to his teammates and transfers both costume pieces to the next player. Continue until the last child on each team has completed the race is wearing a very funny costume.
Have children lay down on large pieces of paper and trace around their bodies with a pencil. Then have each child color her silhouette to look like a scary monster and hang these on the wall or fence.
Ghost Balloon Stomp
Use black permanent marker to draw ghost faces on small white ballons. Tie each balloon on one end of a 4 ft piece of ribbon. Tie the other end around a child's ankle. Outfit each child with their balloon. The goal of the game is to stomp on the other players' ghosts (pop them), while protecting your own.
Ghost Ghost Witch
Just like duck-duck-goose, but with a Halloween twist.
Have one child leave the room while one child in the room puts a sheet over her head. The child who comes back in the room tries to figure out who the ghost is.
Gross Out Box
Make a gross-out box... put pudding in a plastic bag (a heart), potato chips (scabs), dried apricots (ears), peeled grapes (eye balls), tapioca (frog eggs), cooked pasta (worms) inside a box for kids to feel. When they're all done, show them what's really inside the box.
Have guests throw hoola hoops over large pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns.
Draw a hopscotch course with a Halloween theme. For example, with a drawing of a witch at the start and her broom at the end.
Like hot potato, but with a small pumpkin. Have children sit in a circle and pass around the pumpkin until a timer goes off. The child holding the pumpkin when the timer goes off is the "silly jack-o-lantern" and has to make a funny face.
Jokes & Riddles
Get Halloween joke and riddles from a book or on-line. Write the riddles on individual pieces of paper and write the answers on separate pieces of paper. Give half the guests riddles and half answers and have them try to find their "match". Then have each group read their riddle and answer to the rest of the guests.
Mummy Wrap Race
Group children into pairs. Have one child stand still while the other wraps him from head-to-toe with toliet paper. Instruct "wrappers" not to cover easy, mouth, or noses. The first team to finish their roll of paper wins.
Use items you already have to create an obstacle course. For example: children might need to crawl through a creepy cave box, walk across the spooky swamp on a board, ring a bell to scare away monsters, etc. before they reach the finish line. Time each child with a stop watch and encourage her to try to beat her own time on the 2nd try (instead of worrying about the other children's times). Give ribbons or stickers to each child who finishes the course.
Buy or make a scary ghost or monster pinata and fill it with candy and small toys.
Like pin-the-tail-on-the donkey, but with a Halloween twist, such as pin-the-wart-on-the-witch or pin-the-nose-on-the-jackolantern
Divide children into groups and give each group a list of 10 things they can find in the party area that are needed to complete a witch's brew, such as a stick, a penny, a piece of candy corn, etc.
Play Simon Says, but change Simon to Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.
Spider Walk Relay
Divide children into teams. Set up a course for them to race on. Have first child of each team sit down, put their arms behind them and spider walk (crab walk) to the end of the course and back. Tag the next child and repeat until all the teams finish.
Have children stand in a circle. Give one child a large ball of black yarn and have him throw the ball of yard to another child in the circle while holding onto the end of the yarn. The child who catches the ball holds onto the strand of yard, but throws the ball to another child in the circle. This continues until the yarn is gone and a spider web is created.
Have guests write the words "Happy Halloween" or "Trick or Treat" on a piece of paper or whiteboard. Have children create as many word as possible in 2 minutes using only these letters.
Make word scrambles using Halloween words. For example: "toghs" is ghost and "chiwt" is witch.
Make a giant word search on paper or drawn with chalk on the driveway and have the children work together to find all the words. Use Halloween words, such as costume, spider, witch, etc.