Children’s Activity 7: Take Part in a Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt takes a little bit of planning, but can be a brilliantly entertaining thing to prepare as an activity for your child’s birthday. They can also be done on larger scales at school or local fetes and festivals or on a much smaller scale for one or two children on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
The aim is that you hide a prize in a location and a trail of clues lead the children towards to finding that prize. You can make it competitive or something to do for the sheer fun of it, taking it in turns to find the next clue. Our main tip, though, is to work backwards when putting the scavenger hunt together so you don’t run out of great hiding places for the prize.
There is a lot of scope for being creative when putting the scavenger hunt together and you may find you enjoy planning it as much as the children enjoy doing it. Writing out your clues, you need to make sure they are age appropriate, i.e. not too easy for teenagers if that’s who’s playing or too complicated for toddlers. Number of clues or approximate running time may also be something to consider. Generally a shorter hunt would be more appropriate for younger children.
The hunt could take place inside, outside or a combination of both! Here are some more ideas about how you might set up a scavenger hunt and do let us know if you have any more to add:
1. Children could be put into teams to add an element of competition
2. Smaller prizes could be found at each clue
3. The scavenger hunt could have a theme such as Easter and the children could dress up
4. Clues could involve images, codes, puzzles or photographs
5. Maps and compasses could be used for older children
6. Each clue could have a piece of information that they have to keep hold of and will assist them in the final clue
7. Clues could become more difficult as the hunt continues
8. You could use technology and incorporate emails and phone calls for uncovering new information
Children’s Activity 8: Make a Papier-Mache Mask
Papier-mache mask making is a great excuse to get messy! It’s also a great way to get creative and come up with new and interesting mask ideas. For starters you could try different animals, abstract masks, Venetian masquerade style masks, different types of human faces or spooky Halloween masks.
To do this you will need:
1. Newspaper torn into strips of 1 inch x 6-7 inches in size.
2. An inflated balloon.
3. A large mug wrapped in cling film to balance the balloon on.
4. Create a sticky pace using one part flour to two parts water. Mix it to get the lumps out.
How to make it:
1. Dip the newspaper strips in the sticky paste and layer over the balloon being sure to leave eye holes or a mouth hole as desired.
2. Once dry, apply a second layer and leave to dry completely.
3. Next, you can add features like a long nose using a toilet tube, eyebrows using foil secured with masking tape, ears, horns or whatever you like!
4. Add a further layer of newspaper over the top of these features and leave to dry.
5. Once it’s all dry, you can pop the balloon through one of the eye holes.
6. Paint the mask and leave to dry!
7. Finally, make some small holes at the sides of the mask and feed some thread through so it’s easy to tie onto the face.
Why not take some photos of your children wearing their masks or you could even get them making the masks so they can put on a little performance or create their own play! Let us know how you get on.
Children’s Activity 9: Have You Face Painted
At most fetes, festivals and local events you’ll find a face painter doing a great job of turning your child into a tiger or a woodland fairy. However, this is something even the least artistically minded parents can have a go at and with Halloween coming up you could incorporate some face painting into their costume if you’re going out trick or treating!
You local, fancy dress shop should have a selection of face paints for you to choose from. Depending on the costume you’re going for you’ll probably need a base colour like green for a witch or white for Dracula. You can get single pallets of this colour that can easily be spread across the whole face with a sponge. Then you will need some smaller pots or face paint crayons in different colours to do the details. If you buy pots, don’t forget to get hold of an old paintbrush to apply it with too!
Here are two of our favourite Halloween face paint ideas, which should be easy for you to replicate, however, a simple google image search for ‘Halloween Face Paint Ideas’ will give you a multitude of ideas to choose from ranging from the most basic (I think we saw some poor child whose face had just been painted orange with no details!) to elaborately complex if you’re feeling ambitious.