Even kids like zombie parties! In parts one and two of this series, I shared some ideas for having a zombie apocalypse party for adults, but how do you scale it down to a kid’s level?
With a kids’ party, you could have either a survivors theme where the kids will be playing zombie hunters, an undead theme where they will be zombies, or a mixed theme where some are zombies and some are hunters. The third option is especially good if you are going to have team games, since you have a natural division to your teams.
Keep in mind the age of the kids! Things that would be cool for an 11-year-old aren’t going to work for a 5-year-old. For younger kids, focus more on fun and less on scary blood, gore, and body parts.
You probably don’t want an invitation that is too icky or graphic. Look online for images of tombstones or zombies and make your own. Make sure to include information parents might need to know, such as if food will be provided, whether parents are expected or invited to stay, and whether kids should dress up as zombies or zombie hunters or come in regular street clothes. If you make the invitations a fold-over card, you can use the interior of the card for such information and not ruin the mood of the image. Be clear that the party is zombie-themed, so timid kids can opt out beforehand.
This is a good party for small inexpensive flashlights (be sure to include batteries!), glow-in-the-dark necklaces, brain toys, gummy worms, and brain and/or shotgun shell candies. Fake finger toys and squirt guns might also work. If you have decorations that you don’t want to keep, send them home with your guests!
Much like with the adult parties, having a spotless house isn’t necessary with a zombie-themed party. You can move furniture and “board up” windows as discussed in part 1. However, you should be sure to not present obstacles in the middle of areas where the kids will be playing. See parts one and two for ideas for decor, adjusting it for kids (for instance, instead of candles and lanterns, try flameless candles, which are readily available at many stores, and flashlight lanterns).
Hang dark and tattered streamers and spider webs. Use colored lightbulbs to darken the rooms and scatter body parts and creepy crawlie bugs and spiders around.
If you have a yard, make some tombstones out of cardboard painted grey and with epitaphs written with black paint. These can be serious or more funny. This site offers several tombstone templates and a zombie crossing sign for those needing more help.
See parts one and two for ideas for food. Many of these ideas work equally well for kids’ parties.
Keep in mind that many kids are finicky about trying new foods, so be sure to provide some recognizable foods that are simply labeled creatively– a steamed head of cauliflower becomes a brain, French fries with ketchup can become fingers with blood, pasta and marinara sauce can be blood and guts (especially fun if you use colored pastas), peeled grapes become eyeballs, and so on.
Another fun, but gross-looking food, is wormy wieners — poke dry spaghetti through pieces of hotdog, then boil them. The spaghetti cooks inside the hotdogs, leaving them looking worm-infested.
Use Personalized Bottle Label templates from Avery to label bottles of punch, tomato juice, or even green Kool-Aid — the Poison Bottle would be perfect to personalize as “Zombie Innoculant” or “Zombie Juice”.
Using face paints or green, blue, and grey eye makeup, make the guests up to look like zombies. Let kids paint each other’s nails black. Be sure to take pictures! Or have a zombie parade through the neighborhood and videotape it. If you have older kids and a video camera, let the kids make a zombie movie.
Younger kids would probably enjoy a few rounds of “Duck duck zombie!” or making zombies with Play-Doh.
Draw a zombie shape on butcher paper and print out a liver, brain, or heart shape and have the kids play “Pin the Liver/Brain/Heart on the Zombie”.
Play a game of Zombie Freeze Dance by playing monster music such as “The Monster Mash” or even Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and have the kids dance, zombie style. Stop the music. Any kid who doesn’t freeze or who moves before the music restarts is out. The last zombie standing is the winner.
Make a pinata around the party’s theme.
If the party is a longer one, having some downtime to watch a zombie-themed movie works well to break up more active times. Look for something quirky and not too scary or gory for the age groups of the kids.
Several of the activities and games mentioned in parts one and two are suitable for kids, specifically Zombie Fluxx, Mmm… Brains!, Give Me the Brain*, Lord of the Fries*, and Zombie Dice*, as well as Zombie Tag.
- Full disclosure: These games are currently being produced by Steve Jackson Games for whom the author does some volunteer demonstrations at game conventions and stores for which she has been known to get free stuff.
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