Half the fun of hosting a Halloween party for older kids is creating the scariest possible atmosphere. Here are a few hints to inspire the evil geniuses in your family.
Give the party room an eerie glow by using green lightbulbs instead of standard incandescent lightbulbs. You can find colored lightbulbs at your local hardware store or party specialty store.
Decorate the room with spooky Halloween stuff: synthetic spiderwebs with big, fat, juicy plastic spiders, tombstones made out of cardboard or Styrofoam and construction-paper bats hanging on black threads from the ceiling. Use your imagination!
Music to set the mood
Buy a CD of spooky sounds or have some fun making your own. Record the sounds of heavy breathing, sinister laughter, a dog howling, a door creaking and any other scary sounds that come to mind.
Get ready to have fun with some classic Halloween jokes. Put some cold spaghetti in a bowl and pretend it's blood and guts. Place a bunch of peeled grapes in a jar and pretend it's a collection of eyeballs. (Hey, if the lights are dim enough, you might even manage to make yourself a little squeamish!)
Get into the spirit
Remember to dress the part. Wear the spookiest costume you can concoct and practice walking like a zombie. If you haven't had a decent night's sleep since you became a parent, the zombie part should be a cinch.