How to Plan a Reading-Themed Halloween Party for Kids
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These Halloween party ideas will help children develop literacy skills and have a ghoulishly good time! From costume ideas and treats to Halloween party games, we’ve got lots of ideas for kids of all ages. Younger kids and their parents typically prefer more fun than fright at a Halloween event. All of these ideas are age appropriate to help you plan a not-so-scary Halloween party for kids. Crank up the fun this October and try some of these ideas for your next Halloween bash!
Tips for Hosting a Reading-Themed Halloween Party
Ask party guests to wear a book-themed Halloween costume.
When inviting friends and family to your Halloween party, ask guests big and small to dress up as their favorite book character! Consider kid-friendly costumes based on beloved children’s books like Paddington Bear, Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, or the Queen of Hearts.
Create a book-themed treat table.
Display an assortment of delicious reading-themed treats with a handmade sign: Reading is a Ghoulish Delight! Here are some treat ideas for your Halloween party:
- Book-shaped chocolate cake frosted with the title: The Big Book of Monsters (Pipe cream cheese lines around the edges to look like book pages; add teeth and eyes for a scarier appearance)
- S’mores ghost story books (Add extra graham cracker on the side of the s’more as the “book spine” and pipe the title “Ghost Story” onto the top graham cracker)
- Rice krispie spell books (Roll chocolate fondant out and drape it over your square treats to look like the outside of a book. Pipe or paint titles such as “Potions” and “Brews” onto the tops.)
- Alphabet Cheese Sandwiches (Use large alphabet cookie cutters to cut out bread and cheese. Spread butter between the bread and cheese. For your display, spell out “Halloween” in sandwiches. Kids can practice reading while they eat!)
- Banana Ghosts (Cut the tops off of bananas and pipe chocolate eyes and an open mouth onto each one. Place a real book on your table and display the ghosts on the sides so it appears they are popping out from the book. Add a sign that says “Book Haunting.”)
These frightfully delicious Halloween treats for kids are perfect for your next reading-themed party!
Hold a Halloween storytime.
Read aloud a Halloween picture book to your little party guests. You can also surprise the kids with a Halloween book party favor! A personalized Halloween storybook is uniquely made for each child and makes for a fun read as well as a perfect party gift! Consider a personalized book like Open This Name that features goofy monster friends who play with the child’s name. Personalized storybooks are special gifts that each child will treasure.
Do a Halloween craft and book-themed coloring activity.
For this activity, kids will make their own finger puppet and then draw the book that this character would star in! For this craft, you’ll need:
- Felt in different colors (black, white, green, orange, and red)
- Felt adhesive glue like tacky glue
- Googly eyes
To begin this project, you or another adult may want to pre-cut small shapes so toddlers can just glue them in place. For example, you could pre-cut thin black felt for a Frankenstein mouth, small felt dots for a monster’s body, small black dots for a ghost’s eyes and mouth, etc. You could also pre-cut the finger puppet shapes so kids can simply glue the two pieces together, leaving a gap where the finger goes. Kids will glue their bodies and then create different Halloween-themed finger puppets such as a monster, ghost, black cat, Frankenstein, vampire, or bat.
Once they have created their puppets, party guests will draw a book cover onto brown paper bags. This book cover will be the story their finger puppet stars in! When the party is over, kids can place their puppet into the book cover bag and take it home!
Halloween Fill-in-the-Blank Story Game.
In this Mad Libs®-eque game, kids will select a word from a book and insert it into a Halloween story for silly fun! For this Halloween game you’ll need a picture book for every child at the party. Have kids sit in a circle. An adult will stand at the front with an easel and large paper. Create a made-up Halloween story with blanks.
For example: There once was a ghost who lived in a [blank]. This ghost was afraid of [blank]. One day, the ghost met a human boy friend named [blank]. They played together and had lots of fun. The boy helped the ghost not be afraid and they played at the [blank] every day as good friends.
The adult will give each child an instruction like: Open your picture book to page 3 and find the first direct noun or object. The child will read the word, which will be inserted into the story. This hilarious Halloween game also helps children practice their reading skills.
Play a “Sorcerer Says” Halloween Game.
Based on the popular game Simon Says, this Halloween version is even more spooktacular fun! Designate an adult as the Sorcerer and the kids as players. Everyone must follow the leader and do what they say. But if the Sorcerer doesn’t say “Sorcerer says” then the players who followed are out. Here are some funny prompts for this game:
- Sorcerer says…Dance like your Halloween costume character.
- Sorcerer says…Say something your Halloween costume book character would say.
- Sorcerer says…Pretend you are listening to a ghost story. Give us your best scared expression!
- Sorcerer says…Shout your favorite book.
We hope these reading-themed Halloween ideas will help you plan the best party ever!