Family Magazine

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

By A Happy Mum @A_Happy_Mum

Halloween is a special time for our family. Back in 2020, all the parties we usually attended were cancelled due to the pandemic. To bring some cheer to the kids, I did a DIY Spooky Halloween party where we dressed up, played games and went trick-or-treating. The kids said it was the BEST Halloween ever so I knew we had started a fun-filled family tradition and it would be awesome if we could do it year after year.

Then in 2021, we had a "Back to School" theme and our characters include the Teacher, Einstein, Bully, Miss Popular, Class Clown and Cutie Pie. We played lots of childhood games including five stones, marbles, zero point, chapteh, blindman bluff and more before we head out for trick-or-treating and saved our class pet from the Bully. It was Ansel's first ever Halloween celebration and this made it a special one.

In 2022, I racked my brain weeks before October and decided that we were gonna transform into a skeleton family and and have fun at a carnival held in the comfort of our home. Everyone loves carnivals, right? I chose some of our favorite popular games and began working on the DIY game props, wall banner and decorations. Here's sharing all about the big day and how the kids enjoyed every minute of it.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022 The Setup

As always, I gave out party invitations to the kids days before the party and told them this would be their entry ticket for the party. The invites also revealed the theme so it got them pretty excited even though they didn't know exactly what we were gonna do. It's nice to be able to keep the suspense, right? I love to surprise my kids in every little way.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

The big girl drew this on the whiteboard and it shows how much they look forward to Halloween. Their happiness is my biggest motivation to keep going. It doesn't have to be a lavish or fanciful party, the kids are actually very happy even if I keep things fairly simple.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

This wall was the main highlight of our decorations and it was cool that the kids and I worked together to create it. I downloaded a skeleton font for the letters, printed out the biggest skeleton template I could find, hung up foam skulls we bought from the supermarket, put in place our DIY tombstone, placed skeleton figurines on the ledge, turned on a couple of changing coloured lights in the shape of skulls as well as hung up a scary skeleton - aka the evil Soul Catcher at this party - to complete the whole look. I totally loved the final product and was proud of what we had done.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022Since we had a stash of Halloween decorations from past years, we also put these up around the house to create the ambience. Can you spot our spider, cat and ghosts?

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

 The Characters

Check out our skeleton OOTDs! I was stoked to have found all of them online at quite a reasonable price, even the toddler had a romper that fitted him nicely too. Not bad, right? I also added gloves for the elder kids and bought black and white face paint so we could have fun painting and look scary together. The hubby's outfit came with a mask so he was exempted from the face painting, haha. Lucky you. But then again, you missed out on the fun of the whole process.

What I totally did not expect was that Ansel would be game enough to let us paint his face too! He nodded when I asked him if he wanted it too after seeing the siblings do it first, and he stayed still in the process and looked totally adorable. Awww. Check out our makeup process in the video which I'm pretty sure might bring a few giggles.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022
A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

The Highlights

Let the fun begin! The main highlights are always the games because the kids enjoy them the most so once we were done with our makeup, filmed some introductory videos and took some family photos, it was time to party!

I wrote each game's instructions and scoring system onto cue cards so I could read these to the kids before the start of each game. I must say it was fun planning it and determining how the prizes would be won. Oh yes, that meant I also hunted for prizes beforehand. I made this a candy-less Halloween as Asher just had a tooth extraction and I didn't want to encourage them to eat any sugary stuff. So I opted for things like pens, pencils, notebooks, stickers and other stationery.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

1) Can Toss

The first activity was one of the most common carnival games ever and that is Can Toss! I drank plenty of green tea in the days leading up to Halloween so we could have enough cans to build a pyramid. These were individually wrapped with aluminum foil and had a skull printout stuck at the front. Easy and fun! We used beanbags to toss and the aim was to knock as many cans off the table as possible in three tries.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

2) Ring Toss

The next game was Ring Toss and using rings that I bought online, you just had to toss them one by one onto recycled bottles. I used Pocari bottles for this and removed the label to personalise them with our skull printouts on a black paper. I even used a white marker to color the caps so that the brand logo could not be seen. It's all in the little details, right?

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

3) Ball in the Bucket

This was easy to create and all I used were our toy bowling ball, a huge bowl and a cushion for support when you tilt the bowl. Just throw the ball in such a way that it stays inside rather than bouncing or rolling out. It's easier said than done!

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

Let's Dance!

We had an interval after three games but instead of resting, we did a skeleton dance as a family instead. Woohoo! It's always fun to dance together and I would wanna keep this as part of our family tradition. This was a simple but fun dance and you can see us grooving to the beat in my video below.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022The girls also did an impromptu dance during our free time and it wasn't a surprise that they wanted to dance to BlackPink's songs. Check out the sisters' rendition of "Shut Down" in the video, yeah?

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

 Dinner Time!

For the third consecutive year, we had McDonalds for dinner! I asked them if they wanted me to order something else but they chose to stick to it instead. I guess some traditions are meant to be kept?

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

4) Spin The Wheel

The next game was Spin the Wheel! We did this at a carnival before so I thought it would be fun to let the kids try their luck again. I bought this huge rainbow spinning wheel online and on it, I wrote down what rewards or 'punishments' you would receive when you land on each of the colours. It was a test of my imagination and creativity but I loved it.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

5) Fish a Duck

This game involved water and was one of the kids' favourites since they were young. Yup, let's fish for some ducks! I got a packet of small rubber ducks and used a permanent marker to write a score beneath each of them. The sum of all three ducks each kid picked would determine their final score and what prize they would win.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

6) Shoot the Target

I loved shooting games as a kid and enjoyed the sense of accomplishment that came with hitting the target. My kids, especially the boys, love to shoot too so I had to include this fun game. Using our Nerf guns and 10 bullets each, we just had to shoot down as many skeleton targets as we could. I printed out cute skeletons in different poses and used a stand to support each of them.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

7) Tile Bingo

This is one of the kids' well-loved game whenever we go to a pasar malam but it is always so expensive to play and hard to win. So I thought I would just create our very own version so we can play whenever we want. I printed out numbers to stick onto the mahjong tiles and printed corresponding numbers to place on a piece of corrugated board. 

All you have to do to hit Bingo is form at least a line - horizontally, vertically or diagonally - by picking out 20 tiles.The kids were so ectastic to play this game - check out their squeals of delight in the video. It was made even better with the prize which was a Daiso voucher for them to go shopping and get one favorite item each.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

The Finale

Last but not least, we had a finale where the kids were tasked to hunt for and banish the evil Soul Catcher. Along the way, they needed to look for and gather skull tokens too - yup, no candy this time but hey, this treat is even better because I told them every three skull tokens they collected could be exchanged for a Fun Claw token (my kids are claw machine lovers!). They were over the moon when I announced the prize and I loved seeing all their happy faces.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

After finding the evil Soul Catcher aka the hubby taking a skeleton to fly around, the kids took turns to hit it with their magic ball. It was hilarious when our ball fell into the pool and one of us had to get wet to retrieve it. Guess who?

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

It took me hours to make these skull tokens because I did them from scratch and printed the design, cut them out (nearly 90 of them!), stuck them onto styrofoam and then cut out each individual token with a penknife. My fingers were red and aching afterward but I was happy to do DIY projects and took pride in that I had kept the cost to a minimum by choosing to make and not buy.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022


Our exciting, long night finally ended with a movie session and we watched "The Curse of Bridge Hollow", a funny and entertaining Halloween movie which was just perfect for the occasion. Family movie nights are so precious to us and I hope we can still do this from time to time even when the kids are all grown up.

A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022
So that concludes our eventful and unique Halloween celebration! It was such a fun-filled and memorable night which we will look back fondly in years to come. I mean, I highly doubt we will ever dress up as a skeleton family again, right? Okay, I guess you never know for sure but anyway, it was truly so much fun while it lasted!
A Skeleton Carnival! - Happy Halloween 2022


******

I took hundreds of photos and videos that night - yes, I am the event planner, game master, makeup artist, creative director and also official photographer and videographer for our parties! - and here's a final clip for you to take a look at what took place that night. See our hilarious attempts at trying to do transitions, the behind the scenes moments, and all the fun games and activities. This took me long to do but it is well worth it because the kids kept laughing at themselves and ask me to replay it over and over again. When you are happy, I am happy, my dears. Happy watching!



****** Read about our Halloween parties here:
2021 - It's Back to School!2020 - A Spooky Party

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