Trap a Ghost for Halloween

Here’s something fun to do for your Halloween party. Have a scavenger hunt using Riddle Me, and let the players collect the materials they need to trap a ghost in a jar.

Step 1: Gather all the materials for the ghost in a jar. You will need: a Mason jar, cheese cloth, fabric stiffener or liquid starch, black craft paint or black sharpie, hot glue gun, 1 ¼” wooden ball knob, 3/4” x 5/8” wooden spool and a 1/8” wood dowel. You may also need scissors or an exacto knife to cut the dowel down and a small bowl to put the liquid starch or stiffener in.

Set up materials for ghost in a jar

Step 2: Hot glue the wooden spool to the underside of the Mason jar lid.

Glue spool to lid

Step 3: Cut the wooden dowel down to the size you want the ghost to be, using a pair of sharp scissors or an exacto knife and cutting mat. (test things here and make sure the dowel and head will fit properly inside the bottle)

Cut materials to proper size

Step 4: Hot glue the dowel into the spool.

Hot glue the dowel into place

Step 5: Hot glue the wooden knob onto the end of the dowel. You can also glue additional pieces of the dowel on as arms if you want.

Hot glue on the head

Step 6: Fold a small piece of cheese cloth over several times until you can’t see through it. Drape it over the ghost form and measure and then cut where you want it to fall, remembering to leave a little extra length since it will shrink when stiffened.

Step 7: Pour some liquid starch or fabric softener in a small bowl. Saturate the piece of cheese cloth by either submerging it in the bowl or applying with a sponge brush.

Apply the liquid starch

Step 8: Squeeze out any excess starch/stiffener and lay the cheese cloth across the ghost form. Arrange the fabric until it’s laying the way you want it and let dry for 45 minutes.

Arrange cloth for ghost in a jar

Step 9: Add two black dots for the eyes using either a black Sharpie or black craft paint.

add eyes for your ghost in a bottle

Step 10: Carefully place the jar over the ghost and screw the lid back on and you’ve trapped your ghost in a jar!Ghost in a bottle

 

 

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How to Make a Haunted Mirror for Halloween

Your little ghouls and goblins are sure to have a great time this Halloween with a Riddle Me scavenger hunt to find things to let them make a haunted mirror! Send your party-goers on a haunted hunt through candle-lit rooms where they have to find treasures (the activity materials) hidden among the spider webs and creepy crawlers!

And, once they get to the end of the hunt, the fun continues as they use the items they collected to make a haunted mirror.

Here’s how to make a haunted mirror

Step 1: Gather all the materials you will need for the spooky mirror. You will need: a picture frame with glass (a gothic-looking frame works great!), tape, Krylon Looking Glass spray paint and a spooky image (you can find these easily on the internet). You will want to print out the image twice – once normally and once inverted (some printers will let you do this, otherwise use a program like MS Paint to flip the image horizontally and save it with a new name).

How to Make a Haunted Mirror

Step 2: Remove the glass from the picture frame. Tape the inverted image face down on the front of the glass.

Making a haunted mirror

Step 3: Flip the glass over and using newspaper or a plastic drop cloth, spray the back of the glass with Krylon Looking Glass paint. Be sure to avoid the areas where you want your image to show through. Let it dry for one hour. (eat your goodies)

Ghostly haunted mirror

Step 4: After it dries, remove the inverted image from the glass. Put the glass back into the frame with the painted side facing the back. Then put the original picture in the frame and replace the backing. You now have a spooky mirror!

A haunted mirror

If you make a haunted mirror for Halloween and you love it, please email me a picture. I’d love to see what you made.

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Ideas for Throwing a Minecraft Birthday Party!

In our previous post, we showed you how to use Riddle Me to set up a Minecraft scavenger hunt birthday party activity for your child’s birthday, complete with some suggestions for fun activities that they could do along the way. Now we’re back to take a look at some of the other aspects of a successful Minecraft birthday party.

Food: Almost everyone who throws a Minecraft party enjoys serving foods that are also found in the game – or foods that look like things found in the game. When it comes to carrots and apples, this is a no-brainer. And you can get creative with things like “redstones” which do sort of look like giant strawberries. Twizzlers make great TNT and, of course, foil-wrapped chocolates make great “gold.” You can easily download printable food tents that will give you some good ideas for other things to serve at the table and/or check out Pinterest. And when it comes to beverages, what could be more fun than a brewing table like this one?

Decorations: Popular Minecraft birthday party decorations include green balloons with creeper faces on them, made out of black construction paper, duct tape, or even simply drawn on with magic marker. This is so easy to do that it would also make a great craft activity for the kids themselves. Another easy backdrop is a giant creeper face made out of square green paper plates attached to a wall, perhaps behind the food table. Again, this is something the kids could do. You might also want to purchase a plastic tablecloth that looks like grass  or tissue grass placemats.

The Cake: Of course, the centerpiece of every birthday party is the cake and there are seemingly hundreds of ideas for Minecraft cakes online. We’re partial to this fairly inexpensive one, made out of different kinds of sweets cut into blocks:

Minecraft cake

Now this baker crafted those paper figures herself but if you want, you can purchase small toys on Amazon. They look pretty much exactly like those paper versions but are sturdier and could be gifted to the birthday kid after the party.

Here is another variation on that particular cake.

minecraft loaded cake

Minecraft Animal Pack

minecraft animals Minecraft Core Player Survival Pack Action Player

minecraft survival pack

 

Presents: We here at Riddle Me have children of our own that are obsessed with Minecraft and, in fact, we’ve thrown a Minecraft party or two ourselves. Here are some presents that were huge hits with our own little Minecraft fans:

The Minecraft creeper head mask

The Minecraft Steve head mask

The Official Minecraft handbooks

Lego Minecraft sets

And there you have it. Everything you need to host your own Minecraft birthday party. Good luck with it. And let us know how it goes…we’d love to see your pictures!

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Ghostly Halloween Snacks and Game Ideas

As an alternative to hitting the streets this Halloween, why not let the kids host their own party or plan a party in the community. There are many ways to turn your ghostly Halloween party into fun for the whole family. Thousands of people have enjoyed Riddle Me‘s easy to use party planning tools and activities. You can create an awesome riddle hunt around your home that your family and friends will enjoy.

Ghostly Halloween Party Plan

Begin by creating an event in Riddle Me. Assign a Halloween themed event name and include some special instructions asking the kids to dress up in themed party costumes such as an action figures, movie characters, or Halloween ghouls. Create invitations using your own text, and decide on paper invites, e-card invites, or both. Add an image, and print your invitations.

With Riddle Me, you can select from riddle hunts or traditional scavenger hunts and customize these online games to match your Halloween theme. Select an indoor or outdoor hunt and specify the age of the participants and Riddle Me will do the heavy lifting for you and give you a pdf file to print out your clues. You can create your own clues if you’re the creative type and want to direct your participants to a unique location in your home. Once your riddle or scavenger hunts are under way, you have time to mix up some special treats and potions the kids can enjoy when they complete their activities.

Ghostly Halloween Snacks

ghostly Halloween drinks

By Ɱ (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Drink Concoctions

Kids are often more interested in how their drinks look than what’s in them. Create a healthy smoothie that resembles a ghoulish element. Lots of strawberries can look like blood, and then add some synthetic eyeballs or colored Halloween themed ice cubes to create some interest.

Prepare a fruity punch in a gallon punchbowl. Pick up some “food grade” dry ice to create a fog just before serving. Use about 3 lbs of dry ice in a large piece for a gallon of punch (at room temperature). Do not add regular ice. Ladle the punch into fun cups, making sure no dry ice debris that may have floated to the top is included.

Some other ideas: Serve a zesty cup of hot apple cider with a little cinnamon and a spoon. Decorate large white marshmallows as ghosts, using black licorice for eyes, and place the marshmallows on top.

Cookie Eyeballs

ghostly Halloween snacks

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3428/3978182085_c4a0b7749d_z.jpg

Assemble a no-bake cookie eyeball, dip it in white chocolate, and drizzle on some red frosting veins. This simple cookie recipe can be made in 30 minutes, and the kids love them. Mix quick oats, chocolate chips, and coconut in equal parts to serve a crowd (recipe proportions below). Add one-half that amount of peanut butter, flaxseed, and honey, and finish with some vanilla flavoring. Refrigerate and then roll into balls. Melt white chocolate for dipping, and then drizzle with fun red frosting. An M&M pupil is perfect.

No Bake Cookie Balls

Mix:
1 Cup Quick Oats
1 Cup Coconut
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Add:
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Ground Flaxseed
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Tbls Vanilla

Refrigerate for 30 minutes, roll into balls, dip balls into melted white chocolate, drizzle with red frosting (maybe add an M&M), and enjoy your ghostly Halloween snacks!

For exciting and fun party ideas, try a riddle hunt or scavenger hunt at Riddle Me. This is a safe, inexpensive, and low-maintenance option for Halloween that keeps the kids happy all evening long. Give prizes of candy, low-cost party favors, or healthy snack alternatives disguised for the occasion.

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How to Create a Minecraft Scavenger Hunt Party Activity

If you’ve got a child of a certain age and you allow him or her to play computer games, chances are that you’ve heard about Minecraft. In fact, you’ve probably heard a LOT about it. (And, as long as you’re not letting your children escape into the world of Minecraft all day, every day, you don’t even have to feel guilty about it. Minecraft is actually used as an educational tool (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-mille) in many schools.)

Education aside, though, kids love Minecraft because it’s lots of fun – for many of them, it’s hands-down their favorite pastime. So it’s a popular request when it comes to planning the theme of a birthday party. But how do you design a fun, interactive party for a group of kids on the basis of a video game? After all, no parent wants to see a roomful of kids staring into their iPads or other handheld devices on what should be a social occasion.

Well, we here at Riddle Me have got the answer for you. This post will tell you everything you need to know about hosting a Minecraft scavenger hunt party activity complete with a riddle-based scavenger hunt and a lot of fun activities to stop and do along the way.

Step 1

First of all, login to your Riddle Me account, create your event, and then go into your Object Inventory. Make sure that you have selected all the common items that you have in and around your home. (If you want to be sure to have plenty of Minecraft riddles to choose from, be sure to include the following objects in your inventory (assuming you have all of these): Closet, Piggy Bank, Charcoal, Stairs, Table, Tree, Milk, Cake, Apple, Book, Bucket, Fishing Rod, Shovel, Dog, Cactus, Classroom Window, Fence, Door, Chest, and Bed.)

Then do a tag search for Minecraft. When you click on an item, the column on the right will show all the riddles that are on the subject of Minecraft. So that you can find them more easily, they all start with the letters MC. Add these items to your inventory.

Create a Minecraft scavenger hunt party activity

Step 2

Next, go to the Riddle Scavenger Hunt activity and assign this new hunt to your event. Then select age 10 because all the Minecraft riddles have been created with this median age in mind. Name your hunt and select how many clues you want. At this point, you should create your own introductory and final clue statements on the Minecraft theme. It’s also a nice touch to upload Minecraft-related images as backgrounds for the clues. You can find some great images simply by doing a Google search for Minecraft and clicking on the Images page of results or by searching for Minecraft on Pinterest.

Minecraft Birthday Party Activity

Step 3

Now it’s time to generate the riddle hunt. Select “Minecraft” under “Filter by Tag” and then click “Generate a New Hunt.” A number of objects with their associated riddles will appear. Scroll through the possible riddles (shown in the column on the right) and click on the riddle that begins with “MC.” Do this for all the objects on your list.

Minecraft scavenger hunt objects

Note: if you don’t have enough objects in your inventory that have Minecraft riddles associated with them, the system will randomly pick other objects to fill in. Of course, if you wish to use objects that don’t have Minecraft riddles, you can make up your own or just use a generic riddle for those particular ones. And remember that you can always drag and drop objects to rearrange them in an order that appeals to you. (For instance, you might want the “Cake” riddle to be near the end of the hunt.)

Step 4

This is an optional step but it can really elevate your party to the next level. It’s okay to stop at Step 3 and have the children simply move from object to object around your home. But it’s especially fun if you include an activity that must be performed when each object is discovered, before the search for the next object begins.

In order to do this, simply scroll down to Add Clue Activities at the bottom of the page and choose Minecraft as your Category. Then hit Randomize. This will print out, on the bottom of each of the clue cards, an activity that should be performed at each stop along the hunt. If you choose to do this, you will need to do a little extra preparation for each of the activities. Here are the ones we have suggested for a Minecraft hunt, along with more information about how to prepare for them, when it’ relevant:

Act like a creeper.

Throw water balloons at the zombie villager.

Either prepare a cardboard zombie villager (or even just draw one on a large sheet of paper and attach it to the garage door) or convince an adult to dress up like one, which would probably be a lot more fun.

Put up your hand if you know the answer to this trivia question: Who is Herobrine and is he “real”? Answer: Herobrine is a story that users of Minecraft have made up. So he is not “real.” In the story, he is supposed to be Notch’s dead brother, who haunts the Minecraft world. (Notch is the creator of Minecraft.) He is not in any of the official versions of the game, although some people have made mods with him in them. Parent note: children may argue enthusiastically about whether or not he is “real” in the world of the game, as this is a hot topic in the world of Minecraft – so you might want to be willing to accept either answer.

Go to an imaginary Minecraft bed and “sleep” for a count of twenty (just as you would in the game).

Create a Nether Portal using stones, branches, or other materials in your backyard.

Discuss this open-ended question: Which Minecraft parody song is your favorite?

Answer: Many Minecraft parodies of hit songs are available on youtube. Most kids who play Minecraft are familiar with these. Some examples: “Dragons,” a Minecraft parody song of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, “Where My Diamonds Hide,” a Minecraft Parody Song of Imagine Dragon’s Demons, and “New World,” a Minecraft parody of Coldplay’s Paradise and so on! Let the children share their favorites. Click here for a playlist. If you’re very ambitious, a CD of some of these songs makes a great party favour, which could be discovered at this point in the hunt. At the very least, this playlist could serve as the background music for the party.

Pause to “mine for diamonds.”

Essentially, this requires you to hand out plastic cups of frozen juice, in which “diamonds” are buried, and spoons. To make these treats, simply purchase some acrylic jewels on Amazon or elsewhere, place them at the bottom of each cup, pour juice over top, and then freeze. We found this idea on the Apple Falls blog. If you want, the kids can race to see who reaches their diamond first.

Put up your hand to answer this trivia question: What is the rarest material in Minecraft?
Answer: Emeralds. Bonus question: Explain how you get it. Answer: Mine in extreme hills biome or trade with a villager.

Explode some TNT!

Blogger Paula Gilarde suggests placing large diet coke bottles inside paper cartons that have been decorated to look like Minecraft TNT and then dropping mint-flavored Mentos candy into the bottles to create dramatic explosions. You can watch a video on this explosion here to see how this works.

Minecraft TNT

Put up your hand to answer this trivia question: What is a griefer in the multiplayer version of Minecraft?
Answer: A griefer is another player who destroys things and steals things simply for fun.

Take turns pretending to be one of the many mobs found in Minecraft. The others must try to guess what you are.

The list of mobs includes: chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, bats, mooshrooms, squid, villagers, wolves, cats or ocelots, horses, zombies, skeletons, creepers, spider jockeys, blazes, silverfish, ghasts, magna cubes, slime, witches, chicken jockeys.

Try to build something with Jello “Minecraft” blocks.

This is a silly activity that plays with the notion that everything in Minecraft is built out of blocks. Simply prepare several different colors of Jello in flat pans, cut them into wobbly blocks, and let the kids try to build things with them. This will be messy and mostly unsuccessful but it is a lot of fun.

And finally:

Use this pickaxe to “mine” for treasure.

Minecraft Pickaxe

At this point, present the kids with either a handmade Minecraft axe or a foam one that has been purchased on Amazon. This also makes a terrific birthday gift for the Minecraft-obsessed child. And then bring out your piece de resistance: either a Minecraft piñata (which can be made out of cardboard boxes and tissue paper in the shape of Steve, a creeper, or a ghast) or, if you are really ambitious, a Minecraft wall. The one pictured here was found on Pinterest.

Minecraft wall

The anonymous pinner explained that she cut Xs into the tops of 30 soda can boxes (so that the boxes wouldn’t simply collapse when hit). She then taped them together and covered them with a thin layer of papier mache. (You can see a bit of the newspaper on the right.) She then printed out the Minecraft “dirt” pattern (you can google this) and glued those sheets over the boxes. Some of the boxes contain little treats and treasures; others do not.

Obviously, some of these activities require more parental effort and input than others. Don’t be put off by that! You can simply delete those activities you don’t have any time for or any interest in preparing. Each clue card can be tailor-made to your specifications.

And that’s it. The scavenger hunt itself and these suggested activities should keep the children busy for most of the time allotted for the party. Of course, there are also the decorations, food, and cake to consider, as well as suitable presents, and we’ve collected some ideas for these as well, which we’ll share with you in our next post!

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Creating Superhero Capes for kids’ birthday party

Ever since the dawn of comic books and video games, little boys (and girls) have loved to dress up as their favorite superhero and pretend to save the world. Let your child’s inner hero or heroine come out in “flying” colors this year with homemade superhero capes for their birthday party!

It’s the perfect way to finish off a superhero scavenger hunt where your little Supermen and Batgirls can use all the materials they’ve collected during the hunt to make their very own cape to take home. Just put materials to make the capes at each clue location and tell your players that [insert monster of choice] is destroying [city/town of choice] and it’s up to them to save the day! Here’s how to do it!

Step 1: Gather all the materials you will need for the capes. You will need: 24 x 30 piece of felt in whatever color you choose (for example, black for Batman and red for Superman); smaller squares of felt for the superhero logos, scissors, fabric glue, a marker, measuring tape, Velcro self-sticking dots and superhero logo patterns (you can find and print these easily from the internet).

How to make Superhero Capes

Step 2: Lay out the piece of fabric flat on a table and fold it in half with the folded side to the left.

Capes2

Step 3: Using a measuring tape, measure in 8-10” (use a smaller measurement for younger children and slightly larger measurement for older children) from the fold along the top of the fabric and make a dot with the marker. Then measure in 12-15” (again depending on the size of the child who will be wearing the cape) from the fold along the bottom of the fabric and draw a dot. Then connect the two dots with a straight line for you to cut along (if you are drawing on black fabric, use a gold or silver metallic marker so it is easier to see).

Superhero Capes

Step 4: Cut along the line and open the fabric back up. You should now have the shape of a cape. Stick one of the Velcro dots to the upper left-hand corner and press hard until it seals. Then, flip the fabric over and press the other half of the Velcro dot to the right-hand corner.

Superhero Capes

Step 5: Using a pattern printed out from the internet, trace the superhero logo of your choice onto a smaller square of felt in the designated color. Holding the pattern with the felt overtop of it against a backlit window makes the tracing process quicker and easier.

Superhero Capes

If there are two layers to the logo (like in the Batman logo), cut the background layer out first and then use the paper stencil to cut out the second layer.

Superhero Capes

Step 6: Using fabric glue, attach the logo (if there are multiple layers to the logo, glue them together first) to the cape and press firmly until it adheres.

Superhero CapesSuperhero Capes

Step 7: Put the capes on party-goers using the Velcro closure and let the world saving begin!

Superhero capes

Some potential world saving activities include feats of skill and strength like lifting giant boxes and stacking them across the yard in a race against time. Boxes could be labeled TNT or EXPLOSIVE and children need to move them away from the city.

Or make up your own fun activities. Superhero capes for kids’ give them superpowers and abilities. Just don’t encourage flying off the top of your swingset unless they are secured properly to a zip line. :)

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Headband Activity for Kids

pipecleaner headbandKids love wearable crafts, and this easy-to-make headband example is perfect for a classroom, party, or Riddle Me treasure hunt. Parents enjoy the low-cost and easy cleanup, while kids love this entertaining craft activity that turns into something they can wear and then take home at the end of the party. The headband activity requires minimal supplies and can be assembled in a variety of ways.

Supplies Needed

Depending on the style of headband the kids decide to make, it can take as many as 15-20 pipe cleaners, joined together, to encircle a child’s head. Purchase plenty, so there is no lack of creativity and experimentation to create the perfect headband.

  • Craft-Style Pipe Cleaners
  • A Little Creativity

Extra pipe cleaners or other craft supplies can be made available if the kids wish to further embellish their headbands. If you are using this for a Riddle Me scavenger hunt activity, don’t forget to include these items at clue locations.

What To Look For and Where

Look for large-size chenille, nylon, or polyester craft pipe cleaners at the craft store, dollar store, or variety store. Craft style pipe cleaners are available with color, sparkles, stripes, and more. Look for thicker width pipe cleaners, from 1/4” up to 1 and a 1/4”, and at least 12” in length, for fuller headband results. Kids love colors, so search for multi-packs in a variety of bright and bold colors that match a themed party or allow them to get creative with color combinations.

Shape and Loop

If you are leading the kids, twist a couple of pipe cleaners into flowers, geometrics, animals, or other shapes to give the kids some ideas. With several shaped pipe cleaners in front on you in a variety of colors, loop (or chain) them together to create a headband (or crown).

Twist and Turn

pipecleanersThe beauty of pipe cleaners is in the twist and turn function. Because of the thin layer of wire beneath the fuzz, pipe cleaners can easily be secured together. Be sure to tuck or fold any loose ends of the wire to prevent exposure to the skin.

The finished headband is ready to be gently placed on top of the crafter’s head. This easy craft is a chance for kids to use their imaginations to create a headband in the styles and colors that make a statement. Whether they want to come up with an idea of their own or create a themed headband can be completely up to them. Action figures, fairies, and cartoon characters are just a few examples of what they might want to create. Take a group snapshot at the end of the party, and post it to Facebook for the parents and kids to enjoy. Leftover pipe cleaners can go a long way toward multiple craft ideas. This craft can be incorporated with a Riddle Me activity for even more fun and entertainment! Just stow the pipe cleaners along the hunt trail or at the destination and double the fun as the children find the materials for their activity that will follow.

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How to have a Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt using Riddle Me

Riddle Me makes creating riddle clue hunts easy, but there are loads of things you can do to enhance the hunt. In this article I’ll show you how easy it is to have an awesome Harry Potter scavenger hunt for your next party.

Step 1: Object Inventory

Go into your object inventory and do a tag search for Harry Potter. The object inventory system tells Riddle Me what objects you have in and around your home where the hunts take place. Check the boxes for all the items you have on this filtered list. (You should also have previously selected all the common items so that your inventory has tons of objects for the system to choose when making hunts.) Clicking an item will show you the Harry Potter related riddles on the right which all start with HP. Adding these items to your inventory will facilitate creating the hunt in the next step.

Scavenger hunt object inventory Continue reading

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How to create Harry Potter wands for your next party

Make Harry Potter wands for your next party and have a stupifyingly good time! It’s perfect fun to go along with your Harry Potter scavenger hunt (click to see how easy it is to make one with Riddle Me). Then have participants duel it out in the back yard and see who is king of the incantation!

Make a Harry Potter wand

Step 1: Get materials for Harry Potter wands

Here’s what you’ll need: glue gun, glue sticks, chopsticks, acrylic paint, assorted beads

harry potter wand materials Continue reading

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List of Scavenger Hunt Activities

Here’s a quick list of activities you can do with Riddle Me. (If you’re seeing this line alone, click the title of the post to see the full listing)

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