We love being a part of Cub Scouts! David is learning new skills, we have made wonderful friends and are having A LOT of fun – Nathan can hardly wait to be a “Hub-Scout” (as he calls it) when he gets older.
Last Thursday was our Halloween Pack Meeting/Party. I am the Assistant Committee Chair and I LOVE putting a party together so I took up the party planning reins. Thankfully my friend, fellow party lover, Wolf Den Leader and kindred Pinterest addict, Eileen, became Ethel to my Lucy and helped me put the whole thing together.
Just like Lucy and Ethel were prone to do, we went a little crazy! At one point (I think it was when we were discussing the white chocolate dipped pretzel topped brownie skeleton treats) Eileen’s husband looked at us and said, “you know they’re just boys, right?” I think he was insinuating that the stack of hand dipped pretzels topped with a puffy Marshmallow face all resting on a homemade brownie decoratively wrapped in a cellophane treat bag, would be lost on them. I think he was suggesting that the “Cake Walk” would be just as successful if we were to just buy cupcakes at Albertsons.
Silly guy, doesn’t he know that this is our chance, our long awaited opportunity to try out ALL of the amazing ideas we have been pinning on our Halloween boards for months?
So between the planning meetings which doubled as play dates, text messages, phone calls and midnight e-mails, here’s what we came up with:
Games and Activities
We had two activity stations and five game stations, mostly because we have five different dens so each den could be in charge of a game and the den parents could rotate through making sure there was always be a parent at each station to help. Each game had a bucket of candy and small Halloween themed toys to be handed out to the kids when they finished participating.
The Guessing Table – At the entrance to the party was “The Guessing Table” where we had mason Jars filled with gumballs, eyeballs, malted milkballs, cheeseballs (aka: pumpkin poo) and candy corn. I used white jumbo cupcake wrappers topped with Halloween themed wrappers as decorative (and really easy) lid covers. We set up orange and yellow gift bags behind each jar for the boys to put their guesses in and whoever had the closest guess won the jar.
For the “Eyeball Guessing Jar”, I topped it with a treat cup filled with candy so that the winner would have something yummy and not just eyeballs. Although I can’t imagine any elementary school age boy who wouldn’t be thrilled just to win a jar full of squishy, sticky eyeballs.
The Craft Table – Eileen ordered canvas treat bags from Oriental Trading Company for the kids to color and then use to hold all of the candy and goodies they would collect at each game station.
The Costume Contest – Before the games got started, we had all of the kids parade across the stage for a costume contest. We had three of the pack leaders judge the costumes based on Originality, Imagination, Wow-Factor and “Selling-It” (being in character). We had some great costumes and all of the winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) put a lot of thought, creativity and effort into their costumes and each received a prize that included a black light (which here in the desert is great for night-time scorpion hunting – if you like that sort of thing, which I don’t), a frozen yogurt shop gift card, Halloween pencil and a bag of treats.
Eileen asking Nathan who he is for the Costume Contest, “I’m Nathan B.” he answers matter-of-factly. Eileen tries again, “But whooooo are you?” “Naaaathaaan Broooweeeeer” he says slower and much more clearly so that the confused lady with the microphone can understand. Actually, he was “Chop-Chop” one of his super cool and much beloved Skylander characters.
And David is a Ninja, three years running. He does make a good Ninja. Actually this year, he is technically “Snake Eyes” from G.I. Joe so he’s not really just a Ninja … again. Sara was a very pretty Genie but in the craziness, I missed getting a picture of her – I’ll get one on Halloween!
Let the Games Begin!
Station 1, Games for the Little Goblins and Ghouls – We set up an area, removed a little from the main chaos and craziness that comes with a large group of 6-11 year old boys, for all of the little brothers and sisters that came. I can’t believe I never got a picture of this station but we had a pumpkin bean bag toss, sticky spider web splat game, toilet paper pumpkin bowling (TP rolls with ghost eyes and mouths drawn on stacked in a pyramid and then bowled over with a small pumpkin – so cute) and pin the nose on the pumpkin.
Although I don’t have a picture, the TP bowling was inspired by http://bedifferentactnormal.com
Station 2, The Toilet Paper Mummy Race – Teams of three boys, two at one end of the race one at the other end, one boy would wrap another in toilet paper (using the entire roll), the newly mummified scout would then run down to the other end where he would be unwrapped by his waiting team-mate and then race back to the start. I’m not sure if the actual “race” part of the activity was successful but the kids sure had a lot of fun wrapping each other in toilet paper!
Station 3, Pop Goes the Pumpkin – Young children overly excited with party fever and consuming way too much sugar, why not add darts to the scenario? There were a few concerns about this but when did Lucy and Ethel ever let the threat of danger or potential harm stop them? Actually “Pop Goes the Pumpkin” was very safe, a lot of fun and VERY popular with the boys. Inspired by a Pinterest Post from http://marthastewart.com, Eileen took two foam core presentation boards, taped them together and then covered them with black cloth. The balloons were taped to the board in a pumpkin(ish) shape and she put a green paper stem at the top to complete the effect. Two big black garbage bags filled with extra balloons were standing by to replace the popped ones. We blocked off the area around the dart board and only one set of plastic darts was used so that just one boy at a time could shoot thus minimizing the risk of life and limb to the parent volunteers.
Station 4, Fear Factor Challenge – My friend Jenn, Cub Scout Treasurer extraordinaire, took this one over and did a great job. She covered bowls filled with “interesting” things for the kids to reach into and see if they could guess the contents. Were they feeling slimy worms or spaghetti noodles? Cockroaches or banana peels? Peeled grapes or gooey eyeballs? You get the idea. Gross and perfect for boys! Wipes and hand sanitizer were a nice added touch.
Station 5, The Cake Walk – Timeless and a necessity at any Halloween Party! Incidentally, neither Eileen or her husband had any idea what a “Cake Walk” was – how is that possible? To have never walked around and around in a circle desperately hoping for your number to be called so you can victoriously march up to the cake table and select whatever delicious treat your heart desires. It really is unthinkable.
My youngest son, on the other hand, is the greatest cake walk competitor of all time. This child is serious about his cake walk and it is hysterical! We discovered this last year at his pre-school Halloween Party. He patiently and methodically stepped from number to number, no pushing, crowding, hurrying, he was all business – which was made even funnier by the fact that normally he is a run-away train barreling through his day at 100 miles an hour. When the number was about to be called he would wait intently, eyes wide, ears straining to find out if he was the winner. When his number was not called (and it was not, many, many, many times) to our amazement, he never got frustrated or upset he just continued on patiently walking around and around that circle somehow sensing that his “day” would come, even clapping for winner after winner as they walked up to select the sweet treat he was so determined to win. Finally, after what felt like a thousand trips around that circle, his number was called and you have NEVER seen a more excited, proud little guy. His patience and “never give up” attitude had paid off and as he approached that cake table to claim his prize, he reached out and selected … the tiniest individual cupcake on the table! I am NOT making this up, all that and then the tiniest cupcake on the table. But he was happy, thrilled actually, and that was all that mattered. Much to our amusement, the same exact scenario played out at the cake walk this year. About a thousand methodical trips around the circle and when his number was called, he proudly walked to the table and claimed … an individual cupcake. The table was filled with whole cakes, and dozens of cupcakes and he chose one lone little cupcake, just enough – so adorable! Okay, I’m done with my “mommy moment”.
Look at that intent little face and if you look at the bottom of the picture do you see how he is standing perfectly placed on top of his number (the orange square)? ALL BUSINESS. Precious boy! Okay, now I’m really done.
Some of our Cake Walk Treats …
The skeleton Brownies were inspired by http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.com
Jenn made “Brains in a Jar” – Yummy! Cake on the bottom, topped with raspberry preserves and then covered with light grey tinted frosting piped back and forth to look like brains. So cool! I do have some talented friends. This somewhat gross but really cool “Brains in a Jars” idea came from http://totallyloveit.com.
My candy cups were inspired by http://thesugardiva.com but I put the cupcake wrapper inside of a small plastic cup for a little more stability.
So that does it for the fun and games, now onto the Party Food.
Sacks and Treats – We had a snack and treat table which, thanks to the help of our pack parents, was overflowing with apples and caramel dip, snack mix, cookies and cupcakes.
For the snack mix, I mixed equal parts pretzels, cheese crackers, cheese puffs, mini caramel rice cakes and then threw in some small ghost shaped marshmallows and fall colored plain M&Ms for good measure.
We also served a “Witch’s Brew Punch”. Our Committee Chair Tammy took care of the punch but the recipe came from one that both of my grandmothers often made; in truth was probably served at every bridal and baby shower from 1964-1975. Lime Sherbet Punch is green and foamy and delicious – PERFECT for a Halloween Party, especially if you freeze gummy worms into pineapple juice ice cubes and throw them in (which is only successful if you actually remember to bring them, which I did not).
Here’s how you concoct this venomous brew …
- 2 Quarts Lime Sherbet
- 2 Liters Chilled Lemon/Lime Soda, ginger ale, or squirt
- 1 – 46 oz. Can of Chilled Pineapple Juice
Scoop the lime sherbet into the punch bowl (or cauldron) and let it sit for 10 minutes or so as it will foam up better if it melts a little. Pour the cold soda over the sherbet and then add the chilled pineapple juice. Throw in your pineapple juice gummy worm ice cubes (if you remembered them) and a chunk of dry ice for the spooky effect above.
All in all, the party went off without a hitch and the kids had a great time! I can’t thank my very own Ethel (Eileen) enough for all of her help and great ideas. I am quite sure there will be more Lucy/Ethel adventures in our future.
So for now “Thor” (my other amazing helper) and “The Mad Housewife” (me, inspired by the wine label), wish you a Happy Halloween! I hope you can use a few of the ideas here to make it sweet, fun and festive.
Thanks to the Pack parents and leaders for all of their help making our party such a success and thanks to our local Albertsons for donating cakes and punch supplies, they are always willing to help us out and I thought they deserved a shout out! Also, thanks to all of the talented “pinners” out there for their ideas and inspiration!