I finally have the pictures up from our little after school party we had on Monday! The kids had a great time and it was a fun way to ring in the festivities for Halloween! Emma had been begging me for a very long time to have a party for her, and I told her we would, but one thing after another always happened and I kept putting it off and putting it off, so we finally held a party and combined the two: a Disney Junior Doc McStuffins themed party for her as well as a pre-Halloween party.
Picking out decorations was easy – Walmart had a huge supply of Doc McStuffin decorations and party favors, as well as plates, cups, etc. I took the colors theme and meshed it with Halloween – and used purple, orange, and black streamers and tablecloths. I also picked up a Doc McStuffin costume to wear – there was one style in the toy aisle as well as others in the Halloween costume aisle. I purchased several Doc McStuffin toys and goodies to use as prizes for the kids and even grabbed a box of Doc. McStuffin Band-Aids so Doctor Emma could fix up her friend’s stuffed animals.
The weather has been so great I set everything up on our back deck and covered the entire area with spider webs – creating a spider web “roof” above their heads. Since the weather has been so warm we’ve had a bunch of stink bugs hatch and are hanging out everywhere – they kept flying into the spider webbing all over the place, which was a little frustrating but the kids thought it was cool and creepy. I guess it was a Halloween party bonus!
Having an after school party I knew we’d need some snacks, so I kept things really simple and made cheese pizza mummies out of English muffins, pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, and black olives. I also made bloody mummies with hot dogs wrapped in pizza dough and drips of red food coloring baked in. For treats, I had a platter of brownies, mini donuts, rice cereal treats, and cookies, adorned with sour gummy worms. I also had a platter of grapes with more sour gummy worms peering out of them.
Anika was in charge of the games, so they broke out the radio and played freeze dance – when the music stops you have to freeze and whoever is the last one moving is eliminated. They also played balloon toss and “Hot potato” with frozen ice hands. (I took a latex-free glove and froze water in it).
After the games and snacks died down the kids all played for a little while – some danced, other’s played with their prizes, Doctor Emma made sure everyone was okay – and then I broke out the cookies. I had three different kinds of cookies pre-baked and ready for decorating in pumpkin shapes and Band-Aid shapes. Four different colors of frosting were mixed up in spooky colors as well as a huge variety of sprinkles and eyeballs. The kids all took turns a few at a time decorating cookies to eat and take home to their families. I bought small cupcake boxes to keep their cookies in so the frosting wouldn’t get damaged on their trips home.
Six o’clock was here before we knew it and parents came to take their sugared-up kids home. All three of my kids had a fun afternoon with their friends!
If you are contemplating having an after-school party for your kids – here are a few tips that I have learned over the years:
- Pick a theme – it doesn’t have to be a huge theme or anything fancy, but it will help simplify everything when you are shopping. It doesn’t even have to all match up! Emma wanted Doc McStuffins and we were doing a pre-Halloween party. It worked great finding a correlation with the two of them.
- Figure out your food – I’m all for creating fancy complex appetizers, but I’ve learned that when it comes to kids, just make it simple, fun, and you don’t even have to make all of it. They really don’t care.
- Think of some activities, but don’t set them in stone. – I knew we were going to have prizes and I knew we were going to decorate cookies, but I just let the rest of it happen naturally. It’s good to have a few ideas to give the kids, but more often than not they’ll find their own activities and will be running around you in circles shouting and singing or playing make-believe.
- Make sure to set a time limit – you don’t want kids to get too tired and have meltdowns after a long day at school. 2-3 hours seems to work great for me.
- Don’t stress!! – I always do this and I don’t know why. I find myself rushing around the house all day trying to clean it so that parents don’t see the laundry piled up or dishes in the sink, but you know what? After three hours with 5-10 kids in your house, no one will notice the dishes in your sink because they will be trying to dodge the toys and wrappers left on the floor!
Do you have any other after school party tips? Make sure you check out the Halloween costume section at Walmart and keep your eyes open for the Minnie Mouse and Doc McStuffin in-store display! Thanks #CollectiveBias and #JuniorCelebrates for letting me share our party with you!