The Fortune Teller
When Alyssa was in fourth grade, she asked if she could have a Halloween party. My answer was, “YESSSSS!” The last Halloween party I had hosted was years before, for my little sister, Meg, who was probably in fourth grade. That party included homemade orange and black construction paper decorations, balloons, streamers, and games like, “Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin.” It was a very traditional party.
Now, years later, my little sister and I would host a not-so-traditional Halloween party for my daughter. Meg, probably the most creative person on the planet, was staying with us while attending a nearby college. When I’d told her about Alyssa’s Halloween party, she couldn’t wait to get started. The process of brainstorming party ideas lasted well into the night. When Meg returned from her classes the next day, I had already made a lot of the props we had discussed the night before. Meg grabbed a paintbrush and got right to work.
One of the first props we created was a paper-mâché head. It was painted green and had ping-pong ball eyes and moss hair. The head was attached to a turntable so it would spin. It was so ridiculous, I’m still laughing thinking about it! Meg made a poster-sized painting based on the “Adam’s Family” character, Gomez. She poked two holes in Gomez’s eyes and placed light bulbs in them. Totally cheesy! Then we made a sarcophagus out of an old shoebox and a masking tape cat mummy to go inside it. A mad scientist’s lab was created using old containers and tubes. We used florescent paints on all of the objects so we could display them under a black light in my super-small guest room. We made information cards, so the kids could read about each object on display. Finally, cobwebs were strung over everything; and spiders, bats, and skeletons were added to all of the empty spaces. This was our, “Museum of Frights,” and every time we looked at it, we busted out laughing. It was super corny. Nothing could make it seem scary.
On the night of the party, Meg and I set up all of the activity areas. Games, crafts, and food tables filled the house. Meg was dressed like a gypsy. She had planned to tell fortunes, but one of the parent volunteers took over that activity. I looked at Meg like, ‘Is this okay?’ She nodded, smiled at me, and headed toward the “Museum of Frights.”
As soon as the majority of kids had arrived, I asked them to form groups of five or less. I gave each group a list of the activity areas. Each list had an activity circled to indicate the starting point for the group. In no time at all, the house was noisy with giggles and talking and screaming. The kids were enjoying all of the activities, but the thing they loved the most was the museum. I had no clue what Meg, one of the all time great storytellers, was saying to the kids in that tiny guest room, but when they exited the room they’d say, “That was awesome! So good! So scary! We have to do that one again!”
When the party was over, I walked into the “Museum,” looked around, and thought, ‘It does look pretty cool all lit up, but not scary.’ Meg opened the door and walked in. I asked, “How in the world did you manage to make this into Disney-level entertainment?” Meg picked up a flashlight, shined it from Gomez, to the spinning head, to the cat mummy, then under her chin. She spoke in a slow, deep voice, “These ancient artifacts have stories to tell, and through me, they speak.” Then she fainted. She opened one eye and looked at me. And, once again, we busted out laughing!!!
The featured craft is called, “FORTUNE FACE.” You can click the link to get the template and instructions. This craft can be used as a paper fortune teller or a puppet who tells fortunes. You can even flip it over and use it as a candy holder.