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A Guide to Planning Scarily Fun Virtual Halloween Team Building Events

Halloween has become a really popular holiday in Japan, despite the Japanese having their own traditions and ceremonies relating to the dead (such as Obon). The spooky holiday’s popularity has especially grown among young people. In Tokyo the youths flock to Shibuya on Halloween to party in the streets, dressed in elaborate and creative costumes.

Halloween is a great excuse to have fun and release your creativity. Thus, it also presents a good opportunity for your team to get closer together.

Social distancing and work from home have been a huge part of 2020. But just because we call it social distancing doesn’t mean we have to cut ourselves off from socializing altogether. In fact, we need social and emotional connections more than ever. And while online socializing doesn’t feel quite the same as in-person, nevertheless they can still be fun and beneficial for you and your colleagues/team members given the right idea and a little bit of creativity.

Since my favorite event of the year, Halloween, is approaching I have been wondering how to make the best out of Halloween while maintaining both physical distance and social closeness. Here are some suggestions for how to make your own Halloween-themed team building event

Daytime Party (or Pre-Party)

The daytime party (or pre-party) should be either on the same day as the night time party or as a stand alone event. Connect to your colleagues via group video chat and keep each other company while crafting Halloween themed items or preparing spooky treats. You can either choose to all make the same thing or pick ones individually. 

Food

There are many tasty treats that are interesting and/or spooky. You can all make the same recipe together, or you can make different foods and show them off to each other.

We will only make one suggestion here, but leave interesting ideas we found during research for this post at the end. (Just a brief warning, for the sake of good order, if you are handling food items and craft materials near expensive devices (phone etc.) please be careful not to damage your electronics).

Halloween themed pizza

This is my favorite idea for a Halloween themed online cooking party because it’s so creative and flexible. It doesn’t require a specific recipe. Have the pizza dough of your choice ready (homemade, raw store bought, frozen, etc.) and once you are connected shape it as you like–regular pizza shape, mini pizzas, ghost shaped, bat shaped, anything you can imagine. 

Get your favorite toppings and arrange them in a spooky way.  Again, anything is possible from spiders to bats or mummies, or why not a Jack o’ Lantern calzone or sausage mummy crust. If you own Halloween themed cookie cutters these could come handy, too. Here in Japan it is not that weird to put mayo on pizza, so if you want you can adorn your baked creation with a mayonnaise spider web. Just be creative with your coworkers.

If you don’t own an oven, no problem! There are methods to bake your pizza in a skillet on the stove top. 

Crafts

Alternatively you can use your daytime party to do crafts together. For example, you can do pumpkin carving together and see who can produce the most stunning design or the scariest face. If you prefer something smaller, creepier, and more traditional why not make a turnip lantern instead? The European parents of the American pumpkin almost look like shrunken heads.

If you’d rather create a modern and stylish piece of Halloween decoration you can paint your pumpkin instead of carving it. Black, white, gold, and bronze appear to be the most popular choices.

Halloween Accessories

If you want a relaxed and less messy activity you can digitally sit down with your coworkers, have a cup of tea or coffee and chat while crafting a few things, maybe a few cute or spooky costume accessories to wear at the Night Time Party later. 

What you make entirely depends on your personal preferences and availability of crafting materials, but both the internet and your crafting buddies will offer an abundance of inspiration. Your creations may range from upcycling old jars to fashioning elaborate prosthetic monster teeth.

Night Time Party

For the night time party gather on your preferred video chat platform. Invite your party members to dress up (maybe even make it dress code). When everybody has arrived take a few screenshots since all costumes will still sit in place. 

Based on those screenshots you can optionally hold a costume contest and award prizes if your budget allows. May the best costume and make up win.

As an icebreaker, let the members of the group each introduce themselves (if necessary) and do a little show and tell about their costume or food. Maybe some of them had a pre party as described above and created something interesting. 

Give everybody a little more time to chat and then move on to the games part. You can play a handful of short games or a longer, more immersive game like The Werewolves of Millers Hollow.

(You can find an instruction on how to play it via video chat here: https://anjuansimmons.com/blog/how-to-play-werewolf-over-zoom/)

After the game(s) leave your coworkers a little chatting time again. Now they can either share ghost stories campfire style, Or iff the mood is still energetic you can run a few more games or assume the role of the DJ and start an at-home dance party.

The activities mentioned above will allow your team to bond over a shared experience and allow them to get to know each other better.

I hope this outline will inspire you to have a good time with your friends or coworkers this Halloween and that these fun activities will bring you closer together and increase your synergies as a team. 

What’s most important to remember is that no matter what you do, taking the time to plan fun online team building activities with your remote team is critical for maintaining connectivity and productivity. For more information on Invite Japan’s team building programs, including our online team building events, please visit www.invitejapan.com or get in touch with us by email at [email protected] or phone at 050-5585-3663

Some more interesting ideas :

Soul Cakes

One of the origins of going Trick-or-Treating is collecting soul cakes. This 19th century tradition involves children going from door to door to offering prayers for passed family members in exchange for a small cake, called soul cake. 

Here is one exemplary recipe to bake this traditional treat which goes very well with tea.

A recipe for the spice mix can be found here, but it can also be replaced with pumpkin pie spice. https://savortheflavour.com/mixed-spice-british-blend/

 Edible fake earthworms:

If you are in the mood for a messy project with an extra gross factor, you can try and recreate the realistic looking jello earthworms as demonstrated here by the one and only queen of weird foods emmymadeinjapan.

Jack o’ Lantern stuffed bell peppers

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/180596/stuffed-jack-o-lantern-bell-peppers/

Fancy variations of candy apples

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3d2G8uTMRA

Prosthetic monster teeth tutorial

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