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Published October 23, 2010, 12:00 AM

Children’s Museum offers tips for youngsters’ parties

After 20 years of hosting the Not-Too-Scary Haunted House at the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, museum staff has learned a thing or two.

After 20 years of hosting the Not-Too-Scary Haunted House at the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, museum staff has learned a thing or two.

Executive director Yvette Nasset shares a few tips here for fun-but-not-frightening events:

  • For younger partygoers (preschool through second grade) go for “funny scary” rather than gore. Most younger kids love bats, cats, cute ghosts and not-too-scary witches. If adults are dressing up as part of the event, keep in mind that masks intimidate a lot of young children. Use face paint instead.
  • Be careful about food allergies and choking hazards. Kids will be laughing, talking and distracted, which makes it easier for them to choke on that gummy worm or ice cube. You’ll also want to make a note on the party invitation to ask parents to let you know if their kids have any specific dietary needs.
  • Try to arrange the party so that kids will have just eaten a full meal. This will limit the amount of sugar-laden treats they’ll consume. Or: Serve healthy but fun “real foods” like Yummy Mummy Pizza (see main story).
  • Kids always enjoy activities where they can dig in. Set up stations for cookie decorating or pumpkin painting. Don’t micro-manage: Just let the kids create. “It might not be Martha Stewart perfect, but it’s going to be kid perfect,” Nasset says.
  • It’s a good idea to have activities planned – and an alternative in case weather spoils outdoor plans. But also make time for the kids to just run and play.
  • If you’re concerned about them eating too much candy, allow the kids to enjoy their treats for several days after Halloween. Then invite them to “donate” some of their chocolate to the winter survival kit in the family car. “That way, the kids will feel like they were helping out in case of emergency,” Nasset says.

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