Is this Halloween party too scary for 8-year-olds? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Please read the OP before voting
Leave the menu as-is, and use the menu cards 28 82.35%
Leave the menu as-is, but don't use the menu cards 4 11.76%
Change the menu (to what?) 0 0%
Leave the menu up to DH 0 0%
Other (explain) 2 5.88%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

The Childhood Years > Is this Halloween party too scary for 8-year-olds?
limabean's Avatar limabean 08:46 PM 10-15-2012

My DS is turning 8 this month, and he wants a monster/Halloween-themed party. I've spent a bunch of time online searching for party ideas, and found some (what I thought were) cool ideas, especially for gruesome menu items. But last night I told DH about them, and he thinks they're too dark/scary. Below are the items he most objected to -- what do you think? 

 

"Bones and blood" -- bone-shaped breadsticks with marinara for dipping

"Severed fingers" -- string cheese with a slivered almond stuck to the end as the fingernail

"Used band-aids" -- quartered graham crackers with cream cheese and a dot of strawberry jam in the middle

"Graveyard cake" -- individual dirt cakes (crushed Oreos/pudding/gummy worms) with a tombstone-shaped cookie that says "RIP"

 

We're also having "mummy dogs" (a variation on pigs-in-blankets) and fruit salad, but DH is fine with those. DH says he doesn't mind the foods themselves so much, but doesn't want me to put out cards labeling each dish with its gruesome name (which, to me, is the whole point -- a plate of breadsticks and marinara isn't scary unless it's labeled "bones and blood"!). He found some "cutesy" monster party ideas online, but they're very young-seeming to me, like for a 3-year-old's party (mostly involving regular party food with googly eyes and the like on it). DS has made it clear that he wants a scary party. 

 

So which of the poll options would you choose? 



LitMom's Avatar LitMom 09:26 PM 10-15-2012

I don't think its too scary, but I would label them with what they actually are along with the creepy titles, personally. That slightly decreases the creepy factor, but not much, and makes it easier for kids to identify things they will actually eat.


LitMom's Avatar LitMom 09:27 PM 10-15-2012

Oh and theres always the old peeled grapes as "eyeballs."


zebra15's Avatar zebra15 09:31 PM 10-15-2012

Leave it "as is" but don't invite your scared-ey cat DH  lol


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 09:43 PM 10-15-2012

I think I could have handled your food when I was 8, and I was (am) seriously timid about that stuff. I also agree with you - if you don't have the cards, there's really no point. I know I've seen "Witch's Fingers" (cookies, with almond fingernails, and red icing creeping out underneath) at many Halloween events, and nobody has ever batted an eyelash at them.

 

Honestly, the only name there that really makes me cringe is "used band aids"...just..ick...but I suspect most kids would find it gross in a totally cool way.


pek64's Avatar pek64 09:56 PM 10-15-2012
I agree with the ick of the band-aids, and with adding what they (the treats) really are. The latter mostly in case someone comes who can't eat, say, cheese, or something. Maybe I'm overly cautious in the food sensitivity department.
LaughingHyena's Avatar LaughingHyena 04:22 AM 10-16-2012

I would vote to leave the menu as is, and have fun labelling the food.

 

DD had a mosh monster party last year for her 7th birthday. We had great fun naming the "gross" foods, the kids were still taking about some of them as we were planning this years party!. I didn't disguise anything, it was pretty obvious what all the foods were, although a couple of the kids did ask what things were.

 

The coloured popcorn was a particular hit. I made the popcorn then added a sauce of melted butter and sugar (about equal quantities, just melted together) with a few drops of food colour. Red for "blood flavoured popcorn" and green for "finest green flavoured popcorn"

 

The "slugs on sticks" AKA cocktail sausages were also popular.


mtiger's Avatar mtiger 05:17 AM 10-16-2012

Another favorite is Severed Hand Punch... Use different flavors of kiilaid (I think orang and blue worked) to make black punch. Then freeze red koolaid poured into latex gloves. Peel the gloves off and drop the "severed hands" into the punch to keep it cold and not dilute it.

 

None of your ideas are too scary for a group of 8yos.
 


meemee's Avatar meemee 05:24 AM 10-16-2012

honestly i go with your thinking.

 

recalling the scary hallooween houses we went trick or treating, the dark houses with spooky music and smoke was what scared the kids. they all loved those plastic chopped off bleeding body parts. and i mean 6 7 year olds. many houses use them for decorations. 

 

so as long as your decor is not spooky, kids are not going to be scared of lables. i think they are going to find it so cool. 

 

i wonder if he could dress up like darth vader and speak to the boys in the voice. wonder if he'd find that scary. 8 year olds wont find that scary but 5 6 year olds would. some of them. 


Daffodil's Avatar Daffodil 07:25 AM 10-16-2012

I asked my kids (9 and 6) what they would think, and they didn't find the ideas too scary or gross, but they didn't seem to think they were all that cool, either.  I think they would be pretty neutral about a party like that.  DD (the 9 year old) asked if they would tell you what the foods really were.  She's a picky eater and would probably want to know exactly what the menu items were made of so she could decide if she might like them.  I suspect other kids might feel the same way.


beanma's Avatar beanma 08:39 AM 10-16-2012

Totally fine! I have pretty sensitive girls (especially my older one) and we've done that kinda food for our Halloween party several years, certainly since dd2 was 6. Didn't do the "used bandaids", but we've done all the others. If you want to make the "fingers" creepier, use a hotdog (can be a veggie dog) and score it for the knuckle wrinkles, cook it (grilling or roasting is nice) and then after it's cooked add the slivered almond fingernail. Serve with ketchup!

 

For something cute and fun that your ds and your dh would like you can make some cute cheese stick bugs with crunchy chow mein noodles and mozzie cheese sticks (or chunks of muenster or other soft cheese if you prefer) http://suite101.com/article/easy-healthy-treats-for-a-halloween-party-a153247 . We usually make a few and then set the chopped cheese and noodles on the table and let the kids make their own. They always love it.


Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar Evan&Anna's_Mom 01:52 PM 10-16-2012

My sensitive 9 YO DD would be absolutely horrified at your menu and would beg to come home, hysterical and in tears.  But then, she can't even watch an animated halloween-themed cartoon without having nightmares and she freaks at bloody/scary costumes, so I don't think she is a good overall representative.  But if you go ahead with the labeling, I do think you should be prepared to have one child who is completely wigged out by it, unless you know your audience really well.  I'm not sure the best way to handle such a situation, but you might want to give it some thought before hand.  Warn parents?  Use a picture of one of these items on the invitation?  Have one "safe" room without anything bloody or scary in it?  Make sure you know how to reach parents?  As I said, not sure what the answer should be, but always good to be prepared.


limabean's Avatar limabean 02:10 PM 10-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Leave it "as is" but don't invite your scared-ey cat DH  lol

 

Lol! Now there's an idea! lol.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

so as long as your decor is not spooky, kids are not going to be scared of lables.

 

Yeah, the decor will be quite tame -- mostly spiders, bats, and pumpkins. No bloody masks or anything that jumps out at you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

I asked my kids (9 and 6) what they would think, and they didn't find the ideas too scary or gross, but they didn't seem to think they were all that cool, either. 

 

Gee thanks. Hopefully if any of my party guests share that opinion they'll be polite enough to keep it to themselves. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post

My sensitive 9 YO DD would be absolutely horrified at your menu and would beg to come home, hysterical and in tears.

 

Oh no! Thanks for sharing -- DH will be glad to know that he's not totally off-track in his thinking. We know all the kids we're inviting really well and I wouldn't think this would be too over-the-top for them, but maybe I'll run some of the ideas past their moms and just see what they say. 

 

FWIW, the used band-aids totally gross me out too, and even though I know they're just graham crackers I don't know if I'll be able to eat one! Maybe I'll ditch that one. Here's a photo (if you scroll down a bit there are "used q-tips" too -- eww!). 


LitMom's Avatar LitMom 03:13 PM 10-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Oh no! Thanks for sharing -- DH will be glad to know that he's not totally off-track in his thinking. We know all the kids we're inviting really well and I wouldn't think this would be too over-the-top for them, but maybe I'll run some of the ideas past their moms and just see what they say. 

 

 

 

Running it by parents is a good idea if there aren't too many of them. I have an 8 year old who would have been terrified at 6 but would probably do fine now. But... if the invites said anything about creepy, spooky, or gross, or honestly any Halloween-themed invite, I would have checked with the hosts first anyway to make sure there was nothing that would frighten her. People with easily-spooked kids are usually used to scoping things out ahead of time, in my experience.


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 03:36 PM 10-16-2012

This is my thinking, too. None of my kids are particularly sensitive about that kind of thing, but if they were, I'd be very cautious about a Halloween party. IME, by about age seven, most kids are getting a bit past the goofy Halloween stuff, and are into playing up the gross, scary angle a bit.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LitMom View Post

 

But... if the invites said anything about creepy, spooky, or gross, or honestly any Halloween-themed invite, I would have checked with the hosts first anyway to make sure there was nothing that would frighten her.


meemee's Avatar meemee 05:43 PM 10-16-2012

guess what lima. look what you started. instead of taking a goody bag for halloween or cards dd now wants to take used bandaids and fingers for her 5th grade halloween 'party'. she can make them easily so she wants to do them and not involve me eyesroll.gif smile.gif


limabean's Avatar limabean 06:34 PM 10-16-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

guess what lima. look what you started. instead of taking a goody bag for halloween or cards dd now wants to take used bandaids and fingers for her 5th grade halloween 'party'. she can make them easily so she wants to do them and not involve me eyesroll.gif  smile.gif

Haha, sorry! smile.gif
mtiger's Avatar mtiger 02:55 AM 10-17-2012

The other thing my kids and their friends really enjoyed was being allowed to TP/shaving cream/silly string one another - and the house. Yes, it was a mess to clean up the next day, but several of the kids came back the next morning to help. The fun they had was well worth the mess.
 


stormborn's Avatar stormborn 11:48 AM 10-17-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean 

 

Gee thanks. Hopefully if any of my party guests share that opinion they'll be polite enough to keep it to themselves. 

 

 

If it helps I have a 10, 11, 12 & 4 year old here that voted it very cool; not too scary. And I'm stealing your bandaid idea!  We do halloween themed foods for an early dinner on halloween night to fill them up before the TOT candy free-for-all. 

 

Maybe write the ingredients on the back of the menu card so the kids can peek if they want to know for sure what they're getting?


Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar Evan&Anna's_Mom 12:18 PM 10-17-2012
Quote:
Maybe write the ingredients on the back of the menu card so the kids can peek if they want to know for sure what they're getting?

 

This is a great idea for any party -- not only to downplay some of the "gross" if necessary but its VERY helpful for those of us with special-dietary-needs kids.

 

Since you said you know the kids and their families well, I think you will be fine going ahead as planned.  And yes, those of us with sensitive kids generally know to ask before dropping them off anywhere.


meemee's Avatar meemee 10:09 AM 10-19-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


Haha, sorry! smile.gif

well apparently scary and gross is the key here. i suspect gross more than scary. 

 

dd and her friends are now actively searching the internet for snot and booger looking food. eyesroll.gif

 

and now all 34 classmates bomb me when i pick up dd as to how to make the snacks more ewww. its turning into a joint effort. yup. that's 5th graders for you. 


phathui5's Avatar phathui5 02:26 AM 10-22-2012

My kids would love it.


kayleesmom's Avatar kayleesmom 08:50 PM 10-22-2012

op: after the party could you stop by and put a update as to how the party went? i am interested to see what a hit it will be. i am sure it will be awesome.


limabean's Avatar limabean 10:30 AM 10-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayleesmom View Post

op: after the party could you stop by and put a update as to how the party went? i am interested to see what a hit it will be. i am sure it will be awesome.

 

Back to update: I ended up using the food labels, and it was so much fun! There were 11 kids there, ranging in age from 3 to 10, and they all had a great time and thought the foods were funny (the 3-year-olds didn't know what the labels said). I also ended up doing a "touch and feel" box, with four compartments for them to put their hand in and try to guess what they were touching. It was eyeballs (peeled grapes), worms (cooked spaghetti), maggots (cooked rice), and witches' teeth (feed corn). They were all giggly and grossed out while they were doing it -- it was really cute! 

 

So yep, total hit. thumb.gif

 

ETA: It was SO not scary, either. DH even said that he could totally see that it was just all in fun once everything was done and he saw the kids' reactions. 


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