For many kids, Halloween means candy. For many parents, Halloween means kids hopped up on sugar. In order to transform this sugar-high into a fun and enjoyable outdoor game for your boys, consider appealing to their natural competitive nature. Additionally, you can design games that take advantage of some of the materials and decorations already on hand, meaning that these Halloween games won't scare your budget.
Halloween Themed Scavenger Hunt
As with many other holidays, Halloween inspires a wide variety of easily recognizable decorations. From cut-outs of black cats to screaming ghosts and ghouls to the ever-ubiquitous jack-o-lantern, many neighborhoods cover their porches, windows and lawns with spooky decorations. In order to parlay the multitude of decorations in your neighborhood into a fun activity for your boys, you could develop a scavenger hunt list or even a bingo card filled with often-used Halloween images. Boys can then travel around the outdoors competing against one another to discover all or as many of the images as possible before a designated time runs out.
Free the Prisoner
A spooky variation of capture-the-flag, Free the Prisoner involves a hiding team and a seeking team. The hiding team finds suitable places to hide in a pre-designated outdoor space. After several minutes, the seeking team explores the outdoors and attempts to capture all of the hidden team. Once captured, a member of the hidden team is held in a dungeon, where he remains until the end of the game or until one of his teammates frees him from the dungeon by tagging him. The game continues until all members of the hiding team are captured and secured in the prison.
An oldie, but a goodie, jack-o-lantern carving is a staple outdoor Halloween activity for boys, girls and adults alike. Encourage boys to pre-draw their faces on the outside of the pumpkin before carving, and ensure that they do not injure themselves with carving implements. Spread newspapers over a front porch or yard to gather together the pumpkin's insides. Save the seeds for roasting.
Pumpkin Races or Bowling
Utilizing the popular decorative gourd for something other than jack-o-lanterns also presents an excellent outdoor activity for boys. Using empty soda bottles as bowling pins, boys can bowl the pumpkin down a grassy lane in an attempt to knock over as many bottles as possible. Similarly, a course can be established in which boys use a sturdy broom to navigate the pumpkin from the start to the finish.
- "Halloween Tricks and Treats (Better Homes & Gardens Crafts)"; Better Homes & Gardens; 2009
- "Halloween Book of Fun: Puzzles, Games, Jokes, Ideas, and More"; Jeffrey O'Hare; 2001
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