Divide your spirited spooks into teams, and select one member from each team to be the candy corn catcher. Use a ribbon to tie a handled plastic pumpkin tub around the waist of each catcher. Stand the catchers five to 10 feet away from their teammates. (You might want to place a line of removable masking tape on the floor to make sure that the catchers know where to line up.) Give each of the other contestants 10 morsels of candy corn, and tell them that their mission is to get as many pieces of candy in their catcher’s container as they can. Give them a starting signal, stand back, and let the tossing begin. Warn your imps in advance that any eaten candy won’t be replaced for tossing, and though the catchers can move around to try to garner more goodies, they can’t approach the tossers. Repeat the competition so the first-round catchers have a chance to do some pitching as well. The team with the most candy in their container wins.
More fun (and messier!) than the traditional bobbing for apples, this updated, no-hands-allowed competition will have your goblins taking a face-first dive into a bowl of whipped cream in search of hidden gummy worms (available from NutsOnline). Place the same number of gummy worms at the bottom of as many bowls as there are contestants and cover the worms with whipped cream or whipped topping. Have each child take a seat in front of a bowl, caution them to keep their hands behind their backs, and give them a “ready, set, go!” The child who manages to wrangle the most worms using only his or her mouth is the winner.
Hint: Offer each of your competitors a disposable plastic poncho, and have Wet-Naps or damp towels nearby to keep costumes and clothing from getting too gooey.
A Trip to an Evil Scientist’s Lab
Some classics are just too good to pass up, and this gross-out guessing game deserves another generation of ghoulish graduates. Begin by numbering brown paper lunch bags with large numerals from 1 to 5. Line each bag with a plastic bag; cutting a grocery store bag down to size and stapling it over the top edges of the paper bag is a great way to keep the contents of each bag hidden as well as contained.
Place the following foods prepped as icky items in each bag: Partially cooked spaghetti mixed with a little vegetable oil as intestines; handfuls of peeled grapes as eyeballs; large pretzel sticks soaked briefly in water as bones; torn pieces of fruit roll-ups as dried skin; and chunky mashed bananas as brains.
One at a time, ask your little Igors to place their hand in each bag, remember what they think they touched in each one, and when done, write their guesses on a piece of paper.
Saving the mashed bananas until last and having more Wet-Naps handy will keep your own research center a bit cleaner. The child who comes up with the most correct guesses wins.