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Halloween and harvest parties for young children


gf pumpkin spice muffins author copyright 09

Halloween is just around the corner and many families want to celebrate in a fun, safe way. For very young children, a small party with friends is a great way to participate in the holiday in the comfort and safety of a home environment. Here in Colorado, the weather outside is frightful around this time of year, but an indoor party allows children to dress up in thier favorite costume without you worrying about them getting sick.

The basics of any good party include decorations, food and fun.

THEME:  First, decide on a theme based on the age and development of the children. For the youngest set, try to avoid any of the scarier themes of Halloween and concentrate instead on a theme involving something like pumpkins.

INVITATIONS: Have your children help plan the party, beginning with the invitations. Now that you have a theme, it's time to either buy or make your invitations. For a pumpkin theme, cut pumpkin shapes out of orange cardstock. Let your children cut eyes and mouths out of yellow paper as well as stems out of green paper. Let them attach the decorations then write the party information on the back. Hand them out in person at least a week before the party. Don't forget to have everyone wear their costumes!

DECORATIONS and ACTIVITIES: Make the party fun for the kids for making some of the decorations into activities! Have each child bring a small pumpkin to paint. These can be used as decoration while they are drying. Make a fun tossing game for little ones by cutting a large pumpkin shape out of either an old plywood sheet or a large cardboard box. Paint it orange then cut out eyes and a mouth, large enough for a bean bag to go through easily. Have each child toss yellow and green beanbags through the openings and offer a small prize for each beanbag that makes it through! Keep some candy on hand for the children who miss them all.

FOOD: Let your imagination run wild here. No matter what time of day you have your party, you can always have pumpkin shaped cookies but if you are have a midafternoon or evening party why not think about other foods? For example, make some pumpkin bread or a pizza snake. Make some mummies or some finger sandwiches. The sky (or pumpkin patch) is the limit!

Most of all HAVE FUN!!!!!