Halloween Don’t Lose Your Head – Balancing Skull Game

Supplies: Trays, skulls, heads or artificial pumpkins, (additional obstacles optional), space and kids

Don’t Lose Your Head Game Prep
1. You need 1 tray per team so the more teams or people playing at one time.
Tray should not have an edge to it, if possible. Sometimes plastic or paper plates can work as well.
2. You’ll also need something that represents a head, one per tray. Options include:
a. Small 3-4 inch plastic skeleton heads, styrofoam skeleton heads.
b. Any spooky small heads at Halloween or dollar store.
c. Balloons with faces drawn on them, apples or an Halloween item that can sit on a tray but is easily becomes unbalanced.
Note: The goal is you want something should stay on the tray if the players stay focused but can become unbalanced and fall off if they are not focused on the task. If needed use plastic soda bottles and decorate using a Halloween theme.
3. Set a Starting Line and target, about 15 feet apart should be good, but adjust based on age. The target is where they need to walk to with the tray before they turn around and head back towards the starting line. The target can be a cone, chair or Halloween decoration. You will need one for each team.
4. Make sure each team has a define walking lane from the starting line to the target and you don’t want kids walking into each others space.
5. Increase difficulty by adding obstacles that players must weave in and out of while heading to the target and back to the finish line.

Don’t Lose Your Head – Game Story
Rather than just play a game, it is often more fun to give a background story so there is a reason for the game. Dressing up in character to present the game, can also add to making the game memorable. Here is a back story idea for the Don’t Lose Your Head – Halloween Tray Game, but feel free to create your own.

Ms. Noosebaum is having a dinner party for her ghoulish guests on Halloween evening and she needs that best wait staff to deliver her perfectly made dishes, caramelized eye tarts, finger bowl soup, liver and gallbladder and the main dish, skull de brains.

You have been brought here today as teams to see you will be working Ms. Noosebaum’s Halloween dinner party. The team to Win this task will be handsomely rewarded. (Prize should be related to a Hand, ie – handsomely rewarded (hand candy, lollipops, etc…),  to test your serving skills she has set up this task and the team to complete the task first will be serving dinner.

How to Play Don’t Lose Your Head – Tray Game
1. Divide guests into teams. You can have 2, 3 or more. We suggest 4-6 per team, but you can play with more. Note you can always play more than one round of the game so everyone has a turn and then do a final round with the winners.
2. Each team will be given a tray and a skull / head / pumpkin / balloon to sit on top of the tray.
3. To Start this Halloween game have the first person of each team take the tray and place the head in the middle of the tray.
4. Decision: Decide whether you want the kids to use 1 or 2 hands to carry the tray.
For kids 6 and under we recommend two hands as it is a challenge.
For Kids 7 and over, have them use 1 hand to carry the tray and the other hand goes behind their back.
5. With the teams lined up and the first person ready to go, the Game Hostess or Host lets the teams know they must race to the other side of the room and around the target (or obstacle) and then return to the Starting Line, where they will hand off the tray and head to the next person so they can complete the task. This continues until each member of the team has successfully completed the task perfectly. The first team to complete the tasks Wins.
6. However if a player “Loses their Head” by dropping it on the floor or grabbing it with their hand during their turn, they must return to the Starting Line and begin the task again!

Add Difficulty to this Halloween Game – Don’t Lose Your Head
If you guests are older, make “Don’t Lose Your Head” more difficult but adding obstacles to your course. Just add a row of pumpkins to step over, tombstones to go around, have bats or spiders hanging from the ceiling or including animated Halloween props this Halloween tray game becomes more difficult.

Single Player Variation – Don’t Lose Your Head
Don’t have a large enough group to play in teams, well “Don’t Lose Your Head” can be easily adapt to a single player event. That can be played more than once.

1. Line up all of the kids on the Starting Line and give them a tray and a skull / head / artificial pumpkin.

2. Have a chair or half way point on the other side of the room that each child must walk / run to and then return to the starting line.
3. Kids are told that they must walk with their trays and heads to the mid way (if chairs or obstacles – circle the chair) and then return to the starting line. If they drop their head they must return to the Starting Line and start over.

Here is the Key of the Single Player Variation
During each round the last person to complete the task is Eliminated!
This allows you to play several rounds of this game and if you choose increase the difficulty of each round by adding obstacles to the course.

4. The Winner: The Winner of this game is determined by who wins completed the task when you are down to 2 players. The first person to cross the finish line with their head on their tray Wins.

Thanks – Kathy – Mount Dora,  FL

Check out these other Halloween party games for kids, just purchase, print and play.