Here in the UK where we live, Halloween is not such an integral part of our culture as it is in the USA. Even though I’m half American, we were brought up with only a minimal nod towards halloween each year and it passed by most of us without any notice. Recently it has become much more popular and I can see that it is, on the whole, lots of harmless fun for kids to engage in.
However, as a Christian family we choose not to take part in it due to its roots, but of course our kids are aware of what is happening in the world around them and DO want to have fun too, and we don’t want to stop that from happening. So over the past few years we have had our own alternative light parties at around the same time.
If you want an easy and fun alternative to a halloween party for your little ones or church group, perhaps having a light party is something you could try too. I posted some photos on social media over the past few years of our light party set up and many have expressed an interest and asked for more details, so that’s why I’m sharing them in this post today! Hope it’s helpful for getting you started on your own Light Part plans.
Light Parties are a growing trend in Christian circles and are a really nice way to keep all the fun but lose the scary aspects (which also appeals to more sensitive kids who might find the costumes and decorations a little frightening.) They also give Christian families and groups an opportunity to focus on light and the teaching of Jesus being the light of the world and to celebrate that in a fun way with the kids.
For our light parties we usually have them at home and invite over some friends for an evening of crafts and games, followed by food and a lantern parade in the dark. The kids come dressed up in fun costumes and we hand out glow sticks to make bangles and crowns.
Last year we made Chinese paper lanterns with the verse ” I am the light of the world” written on them and the kids decorated them with gold glitter glue and sequins before folding them and stapling together. We added handles with sticky tape and they looked lovely being held or hanging up on display. [See how to make paper lanterns in this pervious tutorial about up-cyled art work lanterns.]
We also make some glass jar lanterns using yellow and orange tissue paper, white glue and star sequins, with thin garden wire twisted around the rim to make a simple handle. These are always a favourite and I just love how beautiful they look and that they are easy enough for even toddlers to make too!
Use electric LED candles for smaller kids rather than tea light candles. [See how to make these jam jar lanterns in this previous tutorial.]
Because it is always so dark at this time of year, even by 5pm, these lanterns look beautiful glowing in the low light and create a lovely atmosphere!
We take the lanterns out into the garden and have little parade outside, and sometimes then light sparklers too. We might use our new fire pit this year to gather around and roast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate as well!
One year we strung ring donuts on a line and the kids had to eat them with their hands behind their backs, just like the fun party games from our own childhood. This was a hoot and very popular! You could also do the traditional apple bobbing which is loads of good fun.
We made a super simple star shaped piñata from tin foil and sticky tape, filling it with treats and small gifts for them to collect after it was broken.
I love this photo of them jumping up to try and catch the treats as they started to fall!
Other simple ideas are to sing songs, dance to music, listen to stories, play “jump on the stars” (just like Islands game, but with stars on the floor to land on instead) and pass-the-parcel, to name just a few.
You could also do lots of glow in the dark crafts and activities or go on a torch walk together.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about halloween and light parties! Please remember that this is simply a family tradition that we have adopted for ourselves and for some close friends, and I’m well aware that it won’t be suited to everyone. I’ve been asked to share what we do lots of times, so I hope it will be a help to those who are interested in creating your own version or something similar!
See all of our PARTY IDEAS here, including lots of fun and exciting themed birthday parties with crafts and activities galore!