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On October 31st, Halloween, we held the 9th annual Mark's English School Halloween Party!  This year's theme was an Egyptian Halloween theme party.  There were 80 or so children and maybe 40 or more adults that came to the party this year.

My son and I started setting up the hall at around 7:00.  We had 12 volunteers come help from early in the morning to get the community center ready for 1:30.  Here are a few pictures of the place all set up before the party. Here is a look at the stage for the party.

Outside the hall there was a reception desk.  This is how we sort of keep track of how many people came.

Every year I try to have a place for people to take pictures.  This year the corner scene was inside a pyramid tomb with a sarcophagus, a tree, and some bones on the floor of those who dare try to steal the treasures.  We try to get as many people over to the picture spot as we can.  Check out the great costumes!

   

The stage was closed for the start of the party, but here are a few shots of people taking photos on the stage toward the end of the party.

I start off the party with a group game.  This year we got some boxes and used them to make 2 pyramids.  The participants had to move the pyramid across the room.  To make it more interesting, we chained them up.  There were 8 people on a team.  The winners got some pumpkin flavored Pop Rocks.  The less fortunate got a Halloween puzzle.

After we got into Halloween party mode, we opened the stage and set up for bobbing for apples.  I think just about everyone gave it a go.  We had 3 buckets so the lines went smoothly.  A few people went 2 or 3 times.  The apples came courtesy of Hosogaya Apple Orchard in Mochizuki.  Thanks!

 

After bobbing for apples, we have what I call the Halloween festival.  Around the room, I have a few different stations set up with games and activities for people.  There were 7 stations this year.

A crafts table with foam stickers and markers for people to make a little Halloween picture.  We also had face paints out for people to add to their costumes or just draw a little pumpkin on their cheek or hand.

Halloween Zap! - This is a game where people draw sticks.  Each stick has 1-3 pumpkins on it representing points.  There were 3 Zap sticks in each set.  If you got the Zap stick, you had to put all of your points back into the pot.  Winners of the game got a big Halloween lollipop.

It was an Egyptian theme party, so I put together 3 Egyptian themed games.  The first was hieroglyphic concentration. I painted glyphs on some black garden stones.  Kids would turn over all of the stones in a set and then turn over 2 at a time to try and match the glyphs.  Winners of the game go a big candy tarantula, At the end of the party, we also gave the stones out as souvenirs.

 

For a second game, we had Ring-A-Cobra.  Kids tossed 3 rings and tried to get them around one of 3 cobras.  If they got a ring around the cobra, they got a bug-pop, a lollipop with a candy bug inside.

 

Our last Egyptian themed game was hieroglyphic bingo. I made some bingo cards using 18 different glyphs.  Then I made some small game cards to use to draw from.  The winners got to choose from a selection of prizes for each game.  The main prize was a real scorpion in a candy amber.  You could actually eat the scorpion, but I don't know if anyone will.  There were also some small Halloween party favors and pencils.

Back by popular demand, Free the Spirits.  In this game, bubbles with trapped spirits come rushing out at the kids.  hey have 30 seconds to pop all of the bubbles and free the spirits before they hit the ground and haunt them for eternity.  If kids can free all of the spirits, they got an orange or black bracelet.

Last but not least, Stop the Zombie Pumpkins.  Kids threw a beanbag pumpkin at a pyramid of stacked zombie pumpkins.  If they could knock them all down, they got a prize.  We had vampire fangs or small Halloween finger puppets.  (Zombie Pumpkin stickers came courtesy of zombiepumpkins.com.)

After the Halloween festival, we have snack time.  Tomoko makes over a 1,000 cookies and treats for the party guests.  Each year she tries to have something new.  This year we had pyramid treats (Rice Crispy treats) and a new variation on the eyeball treat.

        

While everyone was taking a little break and eating their cookies etc. we announced the costume contest winners.  Here they are:

Cute: ladybug
Adult: Ghost (woman in white kimono - Japanese style ghost)
Pair: Mad Hatter and Alice
Original: ants
Best: big Alice
Scariest: green skeleton

After eating, we got everyone together to take a group photo of just about everyone.  I've found that the best way to get everyone to hurry and get in the photo is to tell them that Trick-or-Treat is next :)  The sooner we get this the picture done, the sooner we get our candy.

As promised, next was trick-or-treat.  We have a line of our volunteers to handout candies to all the trick-or-treaters.

We also have a pumpkin carving party every year.  That was held on Oct. 24th.  There were 30 people or so at the party and they made 17 pumpkins.  Check them out.

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I want to say thanks to all of volunteers who helped get the party together and helped out with the activities.  Thanks Tomoko, Kita, Haruo, Mizu, Mikio, the Kubotas, Dennis, Tomo, Emi, Kai, Yumi, Shiori, Miyo, Greg, Kazuki, and Zach.  I wouldn't have been able to do it without you guys!

Also, thanks to the participants for getting such great costumes together and making this such a great party.  I hope you had a wonderful Halloween.

- Mark and family