Halloween Party fun and games
If you have a Halloween Party coming up then I've got some great interactive drama-based games for you to have fun with. Halloween has always been a highlight in my calendar and, at Perform, we are rushed off our feet in late October with our Magician's Chamber drama, dance and singing party.
The Magician's Chamber party features famous witch Lucia Magica training the children to become real witches and wizards by putting them through Wizard School. Their tasks include tongue-twisting spells, dancing The Broomstick Flick, flying off on a magical improvisation to save the world and lots more fun and lively games.
If you are planning a Halloween celebration, you'll find loads of great resources online to help you with recipes, decorations and making masks and costumes. But, if you want some really spooky fun and excitement, drama is the answer - nothing gets children as involved as believing they really are a witch's black cat or a whizz-kid magician caught in an adventure.
At Perform, we rarely use props. Children get so much visual stimulation from TV and computers and we've always found that it's far more powerful to get children to describe an invisible owl rather than see a toy version of one. However, we do believe in using music to help create the environment so music plays a huge part in all our games and exercises. After all, where would Jaws be without the soundtrack?
The first rule of creating a mood is using a great soundtrack and my favourite source is The Carnival of the Animals by the French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saï¿½ns. The different pieces of music are all brilliantly atmospheric but, in my view, The Aquarium lends itself most perfectly to spooky improvisations and the following games you might like to try.
This is a classic Perform game - we don't just play it at Halloween either.
- Introduce yourself as a Witch or Wizard. Don't hold back with your character - make it larger than life with a cackling laugh and lots of heightened drama.
- Tell the children that you need some help make a special potion which can turn people into any animal they wish to be. Ask them what animals they'd like to turn into.
- Ask them to make a circle around your imaginary Magic Cauldron and kneel down.
- Make up a magical spell word together and repeat it a few times.
- Then, one at a time, each child puts an ingredient into the cauldron and say the magic spell word.
- The ingredient can be anything from a frog's eye to a unicorn's hair to some smelly socks. The important thing is that they each choose something themselves.
- When everyone has put their word in, you notice some crystal goblets are lowering from the ceiling above you.
- Everyone takes their goblet, drinks some of the potion and waits to see what happens.
- Suddenly, their feet start to wiggle. After a while, this infects the whole of the body.
- At this point, you can announce that the spell has worked and that all the children have become rabbits.
- Finish off by calling out different animals and watch the children running around acting them out.
- Tell the children that you have a magic chair.
- Show it to them. It should be just an ordinary chair though - nothing special to look at.
- Tell them that every time someone sits in it, something magical happens and it makes you do something.
- Sit in it and pretend that it has become a Giggling Chair (do lots of giggling). Repeat a few more times and make it into a Jumping Chair, a Crying Chair and an Itchy Chair.
- Ask the children to close their eyes and think of what type of chair they want it to be and how they can show it.
- Choose volunteers to sit on the chair one at a time while the rest of the group guesses what sort of chair it is.
- Ask the children to tell you all the different types of creatures you might find at Halloween? For example: Witches, wizards, ghosts, cats, owls, frogs, bats etc.
- Give them a gesture or movement for each character.
|Witch||Fly around on broomstick|
|Wizard||Hold out wand and say "Hocus Pocus"|
|Magic Mirror||Find a partner and make the shape of a mirror|
|Black Cat||Stretch like a cat and say miaow|
|Ghost||Walk around the room with arms out saying "ooooh"|
|Frog||Hop around the room saying "ribbit"|
|Halloween Crazy||Everyone runs around the room screaming "aggh"|
|Zombie||Everyone freezes and is very still|
- Put some lively music on and call out the different characters. Make it easy at first but faster and more difficult as they get more familiar with the characters and associated actions.
Magic Tongue Twisters
I'm a big tongue-twister fan. Not only do the children have a blast trying to do them, but it really helps develop diction and articulation too. Have a go at the following:
Ten Little Witches One little, two little,three little witches, Four little, five little, six little witches, Seven little, eight little, nine little witches Ten little wicked witches!
I could go on for pages with more activity ideas but I'm sure that these will keep your guests entertained for 20-30 minutes or so. Try them out and let me know how you get on.
Have a spooktacular party!