Everybody loves a good party, and homeschooling families are no exception! Kids love any reason to get together and play, parents love any reason to get together so their kids can play and they can have some adult conversation… It’s a win-win for everyone involved! During October most of the US is consumed with buying (and selling) spooky themed décor to prepare for Halloween. And Halloween parties are great to have, but to me, they feel just a little played out. Dare I say it: Cheugy. Generally I don’t like using generational based insults, especially ones that are directed at MY generation, but it’s true. A general “Halloween” theme is a little oversaturated for parties. A quick search on Pinterest for “Halloween parties” leads to thousands of pictures that look so similar to each other that I swear there must be a stock photo site dedicated to providing Halloween party photos! As a mom with ADHD, who has kids with ADHD, the repetitive nature of many of these parties feels a little boring, like everyone is just doing the same old thing. Graveyard décor in your lawn? Yawn. Texas Chainsaw Murder themed home? Oh brother. It’s pretty rare that I see any themes that I think are new and fun and exciting, and if there’s anything my mind craves, it’s something different from the norm! I would like to host a Halloween Party this year, but I want to change things up a bit. Instead of having a “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed party complete with matching décor, I’m going with a slightly different vibe. I’ll share some of my thoughts and ideas here, and in the comments, you tell me any ideas that you have!
6 Great October Party Ideas (that aren’t Cheugy!) 1. Fall Harvest Party. Instead of a Halloween theme, why not choose a Harvest theme for your party? Rent a barn (or use your own if you’re lucky enough to have one!) have a hay ride… Let kids learn how to shuck corn! Harvest parties can be loads of fun! 2. Pumpkin Party. Carving pumpkins is a favorite activity for kids during Halloween, so why not make a party out of it? Have a pumpkin contest by family (if it’s a smaller group) or by age group for large parties. Stack pumpkins together to make Pumpkin-men instead of snowmen, and decorate them! If you have long stems on your pumpkins, then you can do a pumpkin ring toss. And don’t forget the other winter squashes out there, it’s not just pumpkins! 3. Bonfire Party. A party outdoors is always fun, and when you add fire into the mix, what’s not to love? This party will depend on your region – some places in the US have such a terrible problem with wildfires that you may not be able to do this one, but if it’s safe in your region, and you’re not under a burn ban, then a bonfire party is a great option! Tin foil dinners, dutch oven cobblers, and s’mores? Yes please! 4. Apple Cider Party. October is when apples are in full ripened production, and I LOVE freshly picked apples! Visit an orchard to get fresh apples, then have the party a couple of days later. Bring Apple Pie, Apple Cobbler, Apple Butter, Apple Cider, keep the food apple themed! Want a replacement for Bobbing-for-Apples? Tie a string around the Apple stem, and hang them from a line at different heights. Contestants have their hands tied behind their backs, and have to bite into the apple (just like bobbing) in order to win their apple! Oh! Caramel Apples with homemade caramel… The options are delicious! 5. Trick Party. Halloween tends to focus all on the treats, which is fine, but what about the Tricks? For this party, every family has to plan one trick to play during the party on the other guests. No telling the other families what you’ve got planned! Maybe it’s finger sandwiches with plastic wrap in them so you can’t bite through, maybe someone sneaks off to lace shoes up backwards while the rest of the family causes a distraction… The only rule is the tricks can’t cause actual harm or damage! 6. Chili/Soup Potluck. October has us thoroughly into Autumn, and Autumn means Soup! Chili! Homemade Bread! Halloween has never been so delicious. Have a contest for the best Chili, or the best desserts. Judges can be elected, or simply the oldest person in attendance. Make any grandparents that come the guests of honor, and let them be the judges for the contest!
Tips for a Successful Party: As always, make it fun! We tend to spend so much time worrying about whether our decorations are absolutely perfect, and whether we’re going to have the perfect lighting for pictures to share on Instagram that we forget the whole point is to bring our family and friends together and enjoy real life company. Hosting parties like this is also important for children’s development – they NEED to learn how to interact in social settings, and even if your kids go to public school, they likely to NOT get enough social interaction to learn how to be around people gracefully. Kids spend so much time in front of screens, interacting with people on the other side of the world, that they don’t end up knowing how to interact with the people in the same room as them. Make these parties a device-free event, so that kids (and
parents!) learn how to interact face-to-face.
Are you planning on holding any parties this month? Let us know about your plans in the comments!