Party Ideas for a 5 Year Old

Updated on September 30, 2009
R.N. asks from Folsom, CA
19 answers

Hi Mama's! I'm having a Halloween Birthday Party for my son who is turning five. Any ideas for fun games or activities to keep the little gools entertained? Neat food ideas???

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answers from San Francisco on

Make a mini haunted house, just need one dark room, where each kid can be led, one at a time, blindfolded. Have spooky music playing. Bowl full of wet cooked spagetti (no sauce) becomes a bowl full of guts, peeled grapes are eyeballs, walking up a board that is balancing on a cylindar becomes walking the plank, and then they feel like they are falling... I went to one like this when I was little and still remember it all these years later. Easy to make, can be toned down depending upon the child's fright factor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I was just at Michael's crafts and all kinds of kids pirate party decorations are on sale. You could have the boys decorate an eye patch or hat and dress like pirates

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answers from Sacramento on

Fun games for the party could be a good old fashioned apple bobbing. But if germs are a concern then you can hang apples from your cealing and do the bobbing from them. Another alternate is hanging donuts from string from your cealing. I have done both of these in the past when I taught pre-school. Other ideas include decorating cookies or cupcakes. Decorating a spooky house (this is just like a gengerbread house but with halloween decor) any type of relay is always a hit (who can move the plastic spiders the fastest)

Foods can include spooky carmel apples, batwiches (any time of sandwich cut into a bat shape with a cookie cutter) mummy wraps (pigs in a blanket with little faces put on with mustard)spinal cord spirals (any deli spiral just names something else. When they are stacked they sort of resemble a back bone.) Fried Gremlin Ears (these are just battered and deep fried green tortellinis) Edible fingers (these are just sandwiches cut into finger shapes with an almond sliver for the fingernail) A rat cake ( a cake decorated with a fun color and decorated with creapy plastic rats, snakes or spiders) Candy filled witches' hats ( you fill a brown ice cream cone with candy, place a cookie on the top as the brim and frost the two together and decorate as a hat.

I could go on and on! Some great sites to get ideas from is or better homes and gardens site.

Have a great time and happy haunting!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I did a party for my boys at Halloween time when they turned 4 & 6. We did mkae your own "gross out" ice sundaes - i crushed up oreos & called them dirt, called caramel sauce "ear wax" strawberry syrup "blood" and choco syrup "mud". I bought every gross gummy I could find - boogers, worms, flys etc. We also did crafts I got from oriental trading with some glue and markers. Rather than dunking for apples we tied small doughnuts to strings of various lengths & they had to eat them w/ no hands. I did some twist on pin the tail with a scary poster that I made. They just have fun because they got another opportunity to wear their costumes! Enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bakersfield on

Hi R.-
I don't have any little ones of my own yet, but with 4 nephews and some nursery duty, I have run across some fun ideas for crafts, games, and snacks.

1. Snacks:
a) chocolate dipped pretzel sticks. YOu can roll them in that fun Halloween sprinkles for cakes. You can also do a white chocolate and tint it orange, etc.
b) carrot sticks- they are orange! And the dip can be tinted green with food coloring (like ranch dressing or something)
c) cookies- use a cutter and make shapes and then frost.
d) apples- you can do caramel- or plain- plain ones can be put into a bucket of water. They will float! And it's like the old bob for apples booth, but they can just reach in and grab one. Trader Joe's has little apples, so they are kid size.
e) carrot mashed potatoes- my husband has diabetes, and this is one of the recipes- do mashed potatoes and add a couple of carrots, ground or pureed. We used a food processor. They turn bright orange!
f)gummy worm spiders- this can be a craft, too. Take a big fat marshmallow, and using frosting, stick gummy worms- or straws or gummy noodle anything- to the marshmallow. They can make a gummy web, too, and use things like m & m's to add "dust and droppings" to the web. Have them create it on a paper plate and then at the end of the party, take them home as edible art!
g) gummy worms in a bowl, gummy fingers and eyes- these can all be found at Walgreens. Kind of gross, but super fun! Gummy bugs, too.

2. Activities- kids like games! I suggest some "harvest" style games, like sack races, mini pumpkin tosses, and maybe a some kind of hunt- like an easter egg, but with pumpkins and halloween stuff.

3. Do a theme- it's halloween, but is it pirates? Is it witches, wizards, goblins, and ghouls? Whatever the theme, add christmas lights in color for fun, and have them check their "magic" at the door. They can just sign in under their halloween identity.

4. Cards- Take a photo of each child dressed up with your son as they come in the door. When your son sends out thank you's, he can include the pictures. Also, the kids can make "magnet frames" I think you can get the pieces at the craft store, and get some bits and bob at the dollar store. They can stick and decorate their Halloween Birthday frames together, and then the picture can go in it when you can get it to them. Lastly, have each child sign a card with a birthday wish- parents can help- and then collage a page with all the photos for your son with the cards. THe kids can help you get crafty and have fun during the party

One more game- do a food game- have them decorate cookies or graham cracker houses with gummy items they can take home. But I do know little ones usually have short attention spans, and just like to run around. Games like red light, green light and red rover can be themed. LIke Instead of red rover, say red rover, red rover, send your best goblin over! LIttle things for kids make a huge impact and they can have a blast.
I hope this inspires and helps you and that the party is really fun your son!
-E. M
P.S. Some of those mama's have some really great ideas- like the burger and the hot dogs! Those are going into my book of ideas!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stockton on

A clown that does balloon animals is a hit and allows you to do other things while the "show" is on. Face painting would be fun too - spider webs, bats, spooky pumkins will add to the fun - a lot of the clowns do that as part of their show or if you know a teenage girl who's good at art...
My son' birthday is Oct. 26th, I think he picked the best holiday to be born near!
YOu can make creepy punch that is yummy -
Get 1 quart either lime or orange sherbert ice cream - put it in a big punch bowl and pour 7-up over the top of it - it will foam up and look really wierd and it tastes great!
Some kids are still really jumpy at age 5 so make sure your decor etc. are tame - no skeletons or scary masks etc. Stick with the cute stuff. We went to the Halloween store and my son had bad dreams from the ugly mechanical monsters.

Have fun and take lots of pictures!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Instead of bobbing for apples, fish for them. Tie a "small" tin bucket with a handle onto the line of a fishing pole stick. You probably have to vent the bottom of the tin bucket with holes of vents so that it won't float. Put the apples in a kiddie pool and surround it with hay bales. Have the kids stand on the hay bale to fish for the apple.

Party favors: Fill a thin plastic glove (not rubber) with kettle corn. Start by putting a candy corn (for the fingernail) in each finger. fill with popcorn, tie off with orange curling ribbon. Put a black spider ring on the middle finger.
Kettlecorn: fill pan with a lot of oil, should GENEROUSLY cover all the kernels deeply. Cook on high, removing promptly when popping slows was down or stops. Put into large bowl. Mix equal amounts of salt and sugar together, add some cinnamon, then sprinkle this over the popcorn, tossing as you sprinkle. (do not put butter- it will make it soggy). Popcorn will be good for a few days in a airproof zip baggie or glove.

Cover tootsie roll pops with tissue paper to make ghosties. Paint red and green on the very end of two pops. Then stick them all into a syrofoam oblong decorated as a graveyard. each child gets to pick a pop. Those who chose the pops with colored ends get a special prize. they all get to keep the pops.

Little gingerbread haunted houses can be made with chocolate grahm crackers, and royal icing tainted gray or black. This is a lot of prep time tho, and parents will need to help their kids.

Make your own pumpkin patch on the lawn with leaves and pumpkins- its cheaper than going to the patch. Give kids rides around the property with a wagon- maybe you can decorate it to look special.

Two 8 or 9 inch round cakes, stacked, can make a spider cake. Use yellow or white and some green food color in the batter. Hollow out the bottom layer (BEFORE YOU ASSEMBLE IT) and fill it will green , partially set jello. Put a cupcake at one end for the head. Assemble,frost it black ( dark chocolate frosting with black food color in it.) put black licorice in for legs- 4 on each side. Put two malted milk balls for eyes, and put in fangs too. I sprinkled green sugar over his back.

For food, a lot of gross looking food is fun, but it probably won't get eaten by children.It's hard enough to get them to eat regular food! I would just keep with typical foods they would eat. Chicken nuggets, pizza, fruit, etc.

You can make mini pizzas by cutting a baguette into slices, covering with cheddar cheese, and olive peices to form a jack o lantern face.

For decor, I like to use dark purple as well as orange and black. I like to hang strips of crepe paper hanging down into doorways so the kids have to walk through it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Last year I had a small party/gathering for my son's playgroup, we played Ants in the Pants and the Cootie game, made spider hats, then ate worms in dirt. These activites added up to a little over an hour.



answers from Modesto on

Hi R., has some great kids friendly food ideas for Halloween. Also, has just about everything you need to pull off a party. How fun!



answers from Sacramento on

the only thing I can think of is dirt cake it has gummy worms in it it really looks like you are eating dirt. cute for parties.only games I can think of are pin the tale on the donkey, musical chairs, a pinata. have fun S.



answers from San Francisco on

When my son (now 13) was turning 5, we had a Halloween themed birthday party. There are two activities that I remember working out great. As the kids were arriving, I had small canvas tote bags on a newspaper covered craft table, and they decorated them with Halloween ink stamps and sharpies. I used orange and black bags that Michael's had that time of year (you can also order them at Oriental Trading) and used white, black and silver ink. The idea was that they were making trick-or-treat bags. At then end of the party, they used them to collect the pinata candy...and voila, there's your goodie bag! The second activity i remember was playing "pin the spider on the web". I picked up a large, wall sized web and used plastic spiders. I can't remember the adhesive, maybe two sided tape or poster gum. Have fun!



answers from Sacramento on

Hi R.,

Here are some ideas for the food we used at our daughter's Halloween party when she was in Middle School - they could either work or you can adapt them for your son's age.

Dirt Cups: 16 oz Oreos crushed
2 Cups milk and 1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
8 oz Cool Whip
Gummy worms

Make the pudding according to package directions and layer in disposable see through cups with the cool whip and the oreos with a last layer of oreos on top and a gummy worm peeking out!

Bone Fingers - Use refrigerated bread-sticks and shape into fingers. Bake and paint the ends red with frosting or food coloring.

Also you can get a great cake at any of the supermarket Bakery's if you plan in advance.

Hope you have a great party. My only is now 15 and plans a Haunted House in our driveway this year! The fun never stops when you are a Mom!!!!

Patti B



answers from Chico on

Hi R.,
A halloween birthday party is so much fun. We've done several for my daughter. I usually set up a few tables, each with a different activity or craft that appeals to her at her current age. When she was 5 we had a mask making station, paper plates with eye holes and lots of embellishments such as sequins, feathers, beads, glitter, markers and glue. A cookie or cupcake decorating table with frostings and assorted sprinkles. We also had a pumpkin carving area. This one was supervised by an adult. Before the party I hollowed out a small pumpkin for each child. During the party they drew the face on the pumpkin and then one of my dad volunteers carved it. I sent a battery operated candle home to use in their jack-o-lantern. As the kids have gotten older they've helped with the carving. Last year my daughter turned 13 and had just one friend sleep over, both girls are quite artistic so the pumpkins were elaborately carved.
Have a great party.



answers from San Francisco on

we played pin the nose on the pumpkin, and had a bunch of mini pumpkins for teh kids to decorate with stickers. All the kids came dressed up and we did a parade around the block, other than that, the kids ran around and played.



answers from Sacramento on

I can remember when I was a kid in montessori school, we bobbed for apples at halloween. I don't know if people do that anymore, but you can get the really small apples...i think it would be fun. I remember that like it was yesterday.

AS for food. Check out the websites for Nestle, Kraft or Martha Stewart. I am sure you will find lots of neat ideas. I know the Kraft one has a Halloween Center...

Have a great time!



answers from San Francisco on

My son was born on Halloween, so we do costume-free (so the kids won't ruin them) Halloween themed birthday parties every year.
In the past we have booked parties at the pumpkin patch. We went to the one with a train and lots of different activities for the kids. The pumpkin patch lets each child choose a pumpkin as a take-home gift, and rides on the train came with the party package.

For a home party with games:
Wrap the Mummy - pair kids in two, give one a roll of toilet paper, and let them go. Makes great photos!

Halloween Charades - search google images for a vampire, frankenstein, a mad scientist, a black cat, a scarecrow, a werewolf (sp?), etc., print them, and cut them into small cards. Put them in a bowl and let each child choose from the bowl one at a time then act out his character while the other children guess.

Dr. I.B. Wicked, Mad Scientist Game - this is the classic "gross stuff" in a bucket game where the kids put their hand in a bucket covered with a towel or something so they can't see, and you put cooked cold spaghetti and other gross things in for them to squish and feel and figure out what part of Dr. I.B. Wicked's monster creation they are feeling. In this game I printed out a picture of frankenstein laying on a table and then drew lines pointing to each part of the body that would be in the bucket - spaghetti for guts, hard boiled and peeled eggs for eyeballs, baby carrots for toes, cooked whole cauliflower for brains, etc. I numbered each bucket 1-4, then gave everyone a pencil and as they felt in the bucket and identified what part it must be they wrote the number down on their sheets.

We also did "freeze" dancing to the song "monster mash" where you turn on the music, let the kids dance, then suddenly stop the music and everyone has to freeze, and whoever is in the best frozen moster pose gets a sticker or something.

For the menu:
If you "Julienne" slice hot dogs and steam them, they curl up and look exactly like worms. Serve these on hamburger buns with ketsup for bloody worm burgers.

this one took a little work but it was the hit of the buffet table... Monster Brains! Take a small, round, seedless watermelon, cut it in half, and CAREFULLY cut off (peel off) the rind with a paring knife. Just peel off enough to remove the green part of the rind, but leave the white part of the rind intact. Once all the green is removed, use your paring knife to cut and carve swirls into the white to expose the pink melon flesh between the areas you've left the white rind, and it looks just like a brain!!! Of course, birthday boy gets to be the first to cut into the brain at the buffet table.

We also made "Vampire Fangs". These were just peeled sliced apples (once peeled and sliced, dip them in a bowl of water and lemon juice so they don't brown). Serve them in a big pile on a serving platter with strawberry ice cream topping squirted over it for blood.

Last, we served "mummy toes". These were also a big hit. Little smokie saugages wrapped in a strip of flour tortilla and baked like pigs in a blanket. If you cut a toenail shaped nitch into the end of the teenie weenie before you wrap and bake it, that little nitch you've cut swells up with cooking and looks exactly like a toenail. Of course, these are served with more ketsup blood.

finally to drink I made Lime-aid (frozen lime punch). It is green and looked cool in the punch bowl with a piece of dry ice to make it smoke and with ice cubes I had made in advance with gummy worms frozen into them.

I got all of these ideas on In addition, I tried to make these little "bone" biscuits they showed on their website, where you take pilsbury breadsticks can and cut the end of each breadstick to shape it like a femur bone, but when I did these they only ended up looking like doggie biscuits and so I didn't serve them at the party.

Oh... I almost forgot!!! For the adults I went to dollar store and got a skull shaped serving bowl, and mixed little tiny shrimp with red shrimp cocktail sauce and served this on a platter with crackers. Although it was delicious and who doesn't love chilled shrimp cocktail... using the little tiny shrimp and stirring them into the sauce directly made it really look like a pool of blood and maggots, and the adults got a real kick out of it!!!

Have a great time!!!



answers from San Francisco on

My cousin has two boys both born withing 5 days of Christmas (one 5 before and the other 5 after). Every year she makes gingerbread houses and lets the kids decorate them. I was in Michael's the other day and saw that they had haunted house gingerbread houses (not sure it it was ginger bread or what) and thought, "that would be great for a Halloween baby". My cousin buys a bunch of whipped frosting, candy the tubed frosting in different colors, etc and kids have a blast. It's a party gift as well as an activity.
I did star sugar cookies with Elmo in the middle for my daughters 2nd bday party and all the kids (18 months-13 years) had a blast decorating them.
Best of luck and have fun!



answers from San Francisco on

Hi! My kids are now in their 20's. We had a Halloween costume birthday party for my son when he was little. My husband got dry ice and put it around the yard which really made it look cool and spooky! We served 'blood and worms' aka spagetti. I made a "Haunted McMansion" house out of a large appliance box w/doors, etc. It made the cutest "photo opp". I also put a decorated box (with circles cut out so the kids could only fit their hands in to feel) over top of some containers in which I put: grapes (for eyeballs); cooked spagetti (for veins); candy corn (for teeth) and I can't remember the fourth thing. But it was great fun watching the kids feel stuff when they didn't know what it was.

Just have fun with it and keep it simple!
Good luck!
A. McManus



answers from San Francisco on

My son also has a Halloween time birthday and we've done lots of things with the theme. A favorite is "a suspicious pumpkin hunt". I buy pumpkin leaf bags at the dollar store or drug store(small to medium ones) . Get some yard work done filling them up with leaves. Then dress them up. A witches hat and hair, giant sunglasses(dollar store)more hair, princess pumpkin ect... Oh pirate pumpkin with a patch on the eye. Most of the costumes are using what we have. Then you place them around the yard ,in bushes, trees. The kids go 2 at a time with squirt bottles in hand and find all the pumpins. I've made a list discribing them so they keep track.The pumpkins have names like Pirate Pete. We had to play this several years in a row. Boys love a hunt. Then there was a giant pumpkin hidden (at my neighbors yard) that the kids had to find that had stolen all the birthday goodie bags. So once they found it they solved the mystery of what happened to the bags. Have fun celebrating your sons b-day.

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