How To Throw a Halloween Party for Gifted Kids

Halloween Party
© Gennadiy Poznyakov -

Why not forgo trick-or-treating in favor of a party for Halloween? You can organize a party tailor-made for gifted kids with a minimum of effort. Kids can explore some scientific principles with fun and sometimes "ghoulish" projects and can even have fun with special costumes.

Here's How:

  1. Decide on a theme - Optional. (Two weeks before the party.) Deciding on a theme allows you to choose the kinds of activities to organize for the party and even the kinds of costumes the children wear. For example, if your theme is a "mad scientist" theme, children can come as mad versions of famous scientists. The activities would be those with lots of bubbling, foaming and other fun "scientific" activities. A theme isn't necessary to have a fun party and requires more time and planning.
  1. Decide on costumes - Optional. (Two weeks before the party.) Costumes can tie into the theme of the party, if you choose to have one, but they can also appeal to the strong qualities of gifted kids, like their love of word play or their sense of humor. For example, a child could come with a doll tied behind him so that when he sits down, he sits on the doll. What is he? A babysitter! Consider that a physical play on words. Or you can ask children to come as a "what if" fairy tale character. What if the wolf is Little Red Robin Hood was the good guy? What would he look like? Act like?
  2. Order some dry ice. (At least three days before the party.) No good Halloween party is without dry ice. It also helps create a spooky atmosphere. You can use it for making non-toxic fog. A half pound of dry ice should be plenty. The dry ice directory will help you find places to purchase dry ice. You can also usually order small quantities from Baskin and Robbins. Other places to try are grocery stores(meat department), meat markets, and Wal-Mart. Sometimes the ice is free. Costs are generally minimal, less than $10.00.
  1. Plan the activities. (Three or four days before the party.) Choose activities and games that are appropriate to the age group of the participants. You can find additional ideas in these books:
    • Einstein's Science Parties
    • Science Wizardry for Kids
  2. You can find additional activity ideas in these two books:
  1. Plan the food you'll serve. (Three days before the party.) You can serve simple foods, but you might want to serve foods that add to the fun. For example, you can serve green hot dogs or blue hamburgers. Disgusting! (And fun!) You might also want to serve Blood-red punch and ice hands.
  2. Buy supplies. (Two days before the party.) What you buy will depend on the activities and food you decided to have. As you decide on activities and food, make a list of the supplies you will need. Here are some additional supplies for a "touching" activity that is fun year after year:
    • dried apricots
    • grapes (or grape tomatoes if grapes aren't available)
    • two ears of corn
    • spaghetti and vegetable oil
    • bones from chicken legs, with all meat boiled off and then dried It takes a couple of days for the bones to dry.)
    • latex gloves
    • small bag of play sand (should be damp)
    These will become "body parts."
  3. Prepare the food. (Morning of the party.) If you want to serve green hot dogs, you should place some hot dogs in water with green food coloring. It will take a few hours for the hot dogs to absorb the color. You can also sprinkle the buns with green or even red food coloring.
  4. Prepare the activities. (Morning of the party.) Exactly how much time you need will depend on the activities you have selected. For the "touching" activity, you need to fill a latex glove with the damp sand. Be sure to fill all the fingers. It should be firm but not hard so that it feels as much as possible like a real hand. Peel the grapes or grape tomatoes and place them in a container. Cook a small amount of spaghetti and then mix it with a small amount of cooking oil. Husk the corn and place the corn silk in a container. If you want to, you can serve corn for dinner!
  1. Set up the activities, experiments and room. (An hour or so before the party.) How much time you'll need will depend on how many activities you have planned and how much decorating you want to do.
  2. Prepare the "body parts" activity. Put the peeled grapes and the spaghetti in two separate small bowls so they don't get mixed up with the other "body parts." Then put the bowls and the other "parts" in an open container. Cover the container with a towel or some other cloth and secure it to the container so that the children can reach inside the container without seeing what's inside. Hide the container until you're ready for it.
  1. Set the table. (A half hour before the party.) Put out any plates and utensils you will need for the food you will serve. If you are serving the blood red punch with the ice hands, put it out on the table. You can also put the hot dog buns (sprinkled with food coloring) on the table to help set the mood as well. If you are making the non-toxic fog, now is the time to set up containers around the room that will create the fog. About five or ten minutes before you expect your first guest, start the fog-creating process.
  2. Let the party begin! Let your child greet the guests as they come to the door. As an "initiation," you can have children go to a dark room, feel the "body parts" and see if they can guess what the parts are. If gives children something to do as they wait for others to arrive. As each child arrives, they can touch the body parts and then have fun as each new arrival tries to guess.


  1. Party Themes and Costumes
    Party themes and costumes are optional, but they do add to the fun. If you start these parties when your child is young, your child and all his or her friends will look forward to the parties every year to see what the new theme will be. It adds to the fun and keeps the parties from getting old. Themes can also be adjusted as the children get older to incorporate themes that might not be as appropriate for young children. Older kids might enjoy more gory and grisly themes that really aren't good for the younger children.
  2. Getting Dry Ice
    You might want to start checking for dry ice a week before the party in case you run into trouble locating some.
  3. Cooking Green Hot Dogs
    If you are serving the green hot dogs, instead of boiling them, cook them in the microwave. They will retain more of the green food coloring that way. Place them in a plastic bag to keep the moisture in.

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