In my experience, the key to having a successful party, or at least one that you doesn't give you a headache, with 20+ children is to minimize waiting around time. Games like "pin the scar on the monster" are fun, but only one child can play at a time. That leaves 19 others quickly bored. Setting up stations keeps everyone smiling.
In my class we have about an hour for our Halloween party. I plan on doing five 10-minute rotations. I could run most of it by myself, but I'm lucky this year that I have several parent helpers. Things run best when I can put a parent at each station. Then I can supervise.
Here is what my party will look like this year.
Station 1: Costume Party Bingo. I limit the sweets, since I figure they'll be getting enough sugar trick-or-treating. The only candy I give them is for the bingo game. 10 minutes is plenty long for bingo. I also leave a short picture book here. If the children get tired of the game, the mom can read to them for the last few minutes.
Station 2: Joke Book. I got this idea from another teacher. I give the kids a construction paper cover cut to look like a pumpkin and several pumpkin shaped pages. On each page is the first part of a joke (What did the mother broom say to her baby?). On the board I write all the answers. They write the correct answer for each riddle and then illustrate it. They don't finish in 10 minutes, but it's nice to have a project to finish up at the end of the day after the costume parade. DLTK has several Halloween riddles and coloring pages already done.
Station 3: Roll-a-monster. The children each need a roll-a-monster page, a blank paper, and a number cube. The first roll determines the shape of the body. If they roll a 4 they look at the shape in the 4th box, etc. They love this! Download the roll-a-monster page.
Station 4: Easy Halloween craft. I was lucky enough to find pencil topper craft kits on sale at the craft store recently. Quick and painless, please! Kaboose.com has loads of easy Halloween craft ideas.
Station 5: Flannel board story. I have the flannel board ghosts for this story that my mom used back when we were little. The ghosts are made from felt: white on one side fused with a colored piece on the back. The faces are all drawn on with Sharpie. As the ghosts eat the forbidden food, you flip the ghost from the white side to the color. Afterward, I'm going to give each child a white paper lunch sack. They can color it to look like a ghost from the story by leaving one side white and coloring the other.
One Charming Party had a week full of darling class party ideas. You could of course use these in lots of ways, not just for a class party. These are a few of our favorite ideas. (Photo from One Charming Party.)
Science Experiment: The Amazing Un-poppable Balloon.
Game: Costume Party Dress Up
Craft: Ghost Pops
Treat: Owl Cupcakes
We hope you've found some great ideas for your classroom party! Don't forget you can pick up Costume Party Bingo, and lots of other fun Halloween Games, over in the shop!