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Halloween is celebrated each year on 31st October. In Britain many children attend fancy dress parties and some go trick or treating (though this is much more popular in the United States).

Halloween has its roots in several different festivals. 2000 years ago the Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain at the end of October. It was believed that on this day the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. By A.D. 43 the Romans had conquered the Celtic homelands. They commemorated the passing of the dead during the festival of Feralia which also fell in late October and honoured the Roman Goddess of fruit and trees, Pomona. (Bobbing for apples is a tradition that probably relates to Pomona, whose symbol was an apple.) In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1st as All Saints Day, when saints and martyrs would be honoured. The Middle English for All Saints Day was Alholowmesse, which became All-hallows. The night before therefore came to be known as All-hallows Eve, which later turned into Halloween. In 1000 A.D the church named 2nd November as a day to honour the dead.

Party Games

Themed pass the parcel

Choose a small Halloween themed gift and wrap it in layers of newspaper.

Within each layer place a forfeit written on brightly coloured paper. Forfeits could be 'Meoiw like a witch's cat', 'Walk around the circle like a Zombie' etc. You can also include group forfeits such as 'Who can do the best impression of a witch?'.

Play spooky music whilst the children pass the parcel round the circle. Whenever you stop the music the child holding the parcel removes one layer and reads the forfeit. Successfully completed forfeits could win small prizes. The child who unwraps the last layer wins the prize in the middle.

Malteser-flour game

Make a pile of flour or icing sugar on a tray and place a malteser on top of it. The Brownies must eat the malteser without using their hands.

If you're evil - make them do apple bobbing first, so their faces are wet!

Apple Bobbing and Buns on String

Put apples into a bowl of water and get the Brownies to pick one out using only their teeth.

Tie buns to a piece of string and hang them up. Get the brownies to put their hands behind their backs and try to eat one of the buns.

Mr Hal O Ween's remains

Get the Brownies into a circle, turn off the lights and tell them a story about Mr Hal O Ween, who is sadly dead. Pass around objects and claim that they are bits of his wrotten corpse. Great fun - but not for the faint hearted. You can use your imagination for the objects but popular ones include peeled grapes for the eyes, a raw small sausage as his finger, porridge as his brains, warm milk for his blood, a wet dishcloth as a piece of his skin, baked beans as his sick and spagetti as his veins.

Hunting Werewolves

Tie filled water balloons to wooden boards or a fence. Tell the Brownies that they are going to practise aiming silver arrows at attacking werewolves.

Spilt the Brownies into teams. One member from each team throws darts at the balloons. Each burst balloon gains the team 1 point.

Safety: Do not have children throwing darts anywhere near other children as their aim can be pretty poor! Make sure everyone has thrown their darts before the Brownies go to pick them up.

Pin the wart on the witch

Draw a witch's face onto a large sheet of cardboard. Give each Brownie a coloured spot (the wart).

Blindfold each Brownie in turn, spin her round and then ask her to stick her wart on the nose of the witch.

Any warts actually on the nose win a small prize.

Who am I?

Stick a sticker on the forehead of each Brownie with the name of a halloween character. For example, dracula, zombie, witch, witch's cat, bat.

The Brownies then ask each other questions about their character and try to guess who they are.

Worm pie

Place swiggly jelly worm sweets into a bowl and cover them with wipped cream. The Brownies then have to eat the worm without using their hands.

For health and safety reasons you should really use a separate bowl for each Brownie.


Wrap the mummy

Spilt the Brownies into small teams and give each team a toilet roll. They must use the toilet roll to wrap one of the team up as a Mummy. The team with the best wrapped Mummy wins a prize.

Spider pinata

Cover all but the very top of a balloon in paper mache. When the paper mache is dry, pop the balloon and paint the paper black. Concertina 8 strips of black card and attach them as legs. Add two large eyes. Fill with sweets and then tie string to the top and hang it up. Give each Brownie a rolled up sheet of newspaper and let them hit the pinata until it breaks. They can then share out the sweets. For a whole Unit you will need to make several pinatas.

Catch the Ghosts


Print or cut out about 30 tiny ghost pieces of paper. Give each six a chair and each child a straw. Scatter the ghosts around the hall (not too far from the chairs). When you shout 'go' each Brownie tries to catch as many ghosts as possible by sucking through the straw, picking the ghost up and putting the ghost on their sixes chair. There could be a small prize for the six who catches the most ghosts.

Zombie Bumps and Scary Statues


Play musical bumps but instead of sitting down the girls must lie down and cross their arms as if lying in their coffins. As they dance they must pretend to be zombies. You can also play musical statues but instead of keeping still they must make a scary face. The least scary person is out each time.

Hunting Games

Hunt in the Dark: Hide glow in the dark stars or insects around your meeting place. Turn off the lights and let the children hunt for them. Alternatively hide spooky shapes outside and let the Brownies hunt for them with a torch. If hunting outside have a clearly defined area and plenty of adults to check that everyone is OK!

Hunting Vampires

Print out or draw vampires onto card (they could all be in the form of a human vampire or there could be a mixture of wolves, bats etc at different heights). Hide them around a field. Give each six a water pistol. The Brownies must find the vampires and shoot them with the 'holy' water. When they have shot the vampire they can pick up the card as proof. Any cards brought back without water on will disqualify the six (as they have clearly been turned into vampires themselves). The six with the most vampires wins. This game is obviously much easier if played when still light.

Hunt the spooky shapes

Cut out 8 spooky shapes for each six (e.g. bats, witches, vampires and cats). Write the letters in 'MONSTERS' (or some other word) onto the shapes and hide them. Each six must collect their shapes and work out what the word says. The first six to do this wins. To make it harder they could find 15 shapes that spell HALLOWEEN_PARTY.

Witches brew

Give each six a series of clues which reveals which ingredients are needed for a spell. For example "I have a pupil but I am not a teacher" could be the clue to "eye". When the six have worked out which ingredients they need they should hunt for those ingredients. Pictures of the ingredients should be scattered over the play space.

Hunt the skeleton

Hide the bones to make up a skeleton (use a hole punch to make holes where the bones will join together). You will need a different colour skeleton for each six.

The six must then find the bones and put the skeleton together using spilt pins.

Running Games

Witch's cauldron: Spilt the Brownies into two even teams and have them sit in a straight line, opposite each other. Give each pair the name of something 'witchy' such as frogs' legs, bat's blood etc. Tell them a story about the witch making a spell. Each time you mention their ingredient they run down the centre of the lines, round the bottom, up the side, round the top and back to their place. (like ladders but without their legs across). The Brownie who gets back to their place first scores one point for their team. When you say 'the witch's cauldron' the whole team must run.

Zombies and Tombstones: You need one tombstone for each Brownie. Brownies start by laying in front of their tombstone in a 'dead corpse' posture. When you shout 'Zombies awake' they all get up and walk around the hall with their arms outstretched saying 'Mmm, brains'. When you shout 'Zombies sleep' the Brownies run to lie back down in front of a gravestone. Each round take away a gravestone. Whoever is left standing is out.

Vampire tag: One Brownie is chosen as the vampire. She runs after the other children. When she tags someone they too become a vampire, and both children chase after the others. The winner is the last remaining mortal. This game needs to be played over a large area with places to hide from the vampires. If played over a small area, cut out large yellow circles and place them on the floor. These are suns and any mortal standing within the sun's rays can not be caught by a vampire. The sun's should be taken away periodically by an adult (when night time comes) to prevent the mortals standing on them for too long.



Give each Brownie a cereal box and get them to paint it grey. When dry they can paint their name and anything else they would like (a poem, decorative flower etc) on the front. You can use these tombstones to play the zombie game and also to hold any crafts they have made.

Glow in the dark fridge magnets

You need Hama Bead pegboards and Hama Beads. You can order red and yellow glow in the dark beads from Smitcraft.

When they have made up their design and ironed it, stick a magnet to the back. You can buy magnetic strips from Smitcraft.

Luminaries, Glow in the dark pencil toppers and Beeswax Candles

Roll beeswax around a wick to make beeswax candles. We bought the beeswax from a local after school club for £1 a sheet (each sheet made 3 candles). I'll try and get the address for the actual supplier and add it here later.

Smitcraft sell nightglow oven bake modelling clay which we used to make these monsters. When we'd finished making the monsters we pushed a pencil into the bottom so that they could be used as pencil toppers.

Each Brownie used a nail and hammer to make holes in a tin can to make a luminary. A nightlight sits inside the can, glowing through the holes. To make the holes easier to make, fill the can with water and freeze it. Safety: Every Brownie must be taught how to use the hammer safely and must be supervised properly, the nightlight must be lit with a long taper and the can must sit on a fire proof surface and not be touched when alight.

Glow in the dark shrinkles

We bought these from Smitcraft as shrinkle packs, but they don't seem to sell them anymore! They don't seem to be selling the plain shrinkle paper either anymore. Will let you know when I've found an alternative supplier!

Cross stitch witch bookmarks

You will need to purchase cross stitch plastic sheets and cut them to the write size for the heads. The Brownies can then cross stitch a witch's face onto them. They will then need to draw the witch's body onto card and glue the head onto the body.

Wizard Glass Painting

You will need to buy acetate sheets (about 50p each) for each Brownie. Draw pictures of witches and wizards onto paper. The Brownies can then place these under their acetate sheet and use a glass paint outliner to trace the shape. When this is dry they can paint using glass paint.

Making ectoplasm

You can make wonderful goo by mixing cornflower and water together. We made two other mixtures and I shall add the recipes for them when I locate them!

Food Activities

Marshmellow spiders

Each Brownie will need a marshmellow and a liquorice lace. Break the lace into eight pieces and then (using a cocktail stick) poke the eight pieces into the marshmellow to make legs. You can then use blobs of icing to create the eyes.

Gingerbread skeletons, Pumpkin Biscuits, Spider Cakes and a Halloween Feast

White icing on gingerbread men makes skeleton biscuits. Digestive biscuits with orange and black icing can become pumpkins. Black icing on fairy cakes can make spider cakes. Add 'hand' sandwiches (sandwiches cut into the shape of a hand with strawberry jam ozzing from them) and monster munch and you have a Halloween feast.

Hand Sandwiches

Cut the crusts off a piece of bread. Use a rolling pin to make the bread flatter and larger. Cut out a hand shape. Put red jam on the hand as blood. Cut out a second hand for the top of the sandwich if desired. Serve your severed hand. (NB: if using your hand as a template make sure the knives are ver blunt.)

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