The calendar tells you that October 31 isn’t far off. And your kids are getting anxious about the youth group’s Halloween plans. Some won’t participate in traditional “scary” activities. But all demand a high percentage of fun. The day’s creeping closer…the kids are getting impatient…getting scared yet?
What to do? Never fear…
1. Liquid Hayride:
Instead of riding behind a tractor on a rickety wagon, take your kids on a river hayride. Just fill a large raft with hay, and have kids join you for a slow ride down a lazy river (or on a nearby lake). Insist that everyone wear life vests and warm clothing. And be sure you have ample supervision. While floating along, have kids sing their favorite worship songs.
2. “HEY” Ride:
Form at least two teams, then send them on separate hayrides down residential streets. Have teams compete to see who can get the most people to join them by shouting “Hey” as they pass. When people respond to kids’ shouts, have group members invite them to climb aboard (or join your group later at a party). Award prizes to the team that recruits the most people to join them. And if you’re looking for a party idea, how about…
3. The “Really Overdoing It With Pumpkins” Party:
Have a party so thick with pumpkin activities that your kids will never look another pumpkin pie in the eye. Have pumpkin-rolling relays, pumpkin-carving contests, and pumpkin look-alike contests (where participants determine who in the group a particular pumpkin most looks like). Plan pumpkin tosses (where pairs toss a pumpkin back and forth), pumpkin stuffing contests (where kids see how many marshmallows they can stuff into a pumpkin), and pumpkin nose-rolls (where kids see who can roll a pumpkin the farthest using only their nose). Of course, you’ll want to serve pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and baked pumpkin seeds. Color the punch orange to match your pumpkins. Then don’t serve another pumpkin treat for at least a year.
4. Crossing Guards:
Have your teenagers volunteer to be crossing guards at busy intersections for neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Have crossing guards dress in bright or reflective clothing and carry flashlights. Give each guard a hat with a glow-in-the-dark cross on the front.
5. Wanted House:
Instead of a haunted house, build and advertise a “Wanted House” for your community. Invite local volunteer and community agencies to put up booths describing the services they provide for the neighborhood. For example, the local police department might prepare a display on the dangers of drugs or gang involvement. A homeless shelter might provide refreshments and information about the shelter. Local churches could staff a booth to help young people explore what it means to be a Christian. Encourage citywide participation to inform people about the good things happening in your community, and put out buckets of candy to match the season.
6. Switch Hunt:
Gather your group in a gym or large room. Have kids cover their eyes while you place a small (unlit) flashlight in the room. Then turn out the lights and have kids attempt to be the first to find and “switch on” the light. Award points to individuals or form teams and see which team collects the most points by the end of the game. For added mayhem, hide multiple flashlights (some with batteries and some without).
7. Frankfurter’s Monster:
Form groups of no more than four. Give each group a supply of hot dogs, toothpicks, cloth pieces, and other craft materials. Have groups use the supplies to create hot dog puppets and prepare short skits depicting the way people like to celebrate Halloween. After the skits are performed, roast the hot dogs over a fire and çask: Why are people fascinated by scary or evil things? What assurance does 2 Timothy 1:7 give us when we’re faced with scary things?