This fun ghostbusters Halloween punch board game is a super fun Halloween game that will have kids trying to bust through ghosts made of tissue paper to win prizes! This one isn’t just for the kids – teens and adults will love trying this one out too!
Halloween Punch Board Game
I’ve been a huge fan of prize punch games for years. I made my first and called it the gratitude game like seven years ago and filled the cups with gratitude activities to do with my kids during the Thanksgiving season. And then I did one for my son’s Disney World birthday party that was Toy Story mania themed (so fun!).
It’s an idea inspired by the Punch a Bunch game on Price is Right and basically you choose an option, punch through it, and win a prize!
One of my readers, Andrea Miller, shared that she’d done something similar but with ghosts (her image below), and I loved it so much that I thought I’d make my own version – hence, this Ghostbusters game!
This would be perfect to add to any of your other Halloween party ideas, whether it be for a classroom party, a kids party at home, or a party with teens or adults! Just change out the prizes inside and switch how far they are trying to bust the ghosts from!
I’ve included step by step instructions on how I made our ghostbusters game board along with instructions on how to play, but it’s pretty simple – all my party games are!
My oldest has been obsessed with Ghostbusters for as long as I can remember so naturally I had him help me out with this one!
I’ve included what I used below along with some notes on what you could use instead if you don’t have the exact things I used!
- Large piece of foam board – I used foam board but you could definitely use a large piece of cardboard as well, I just liked the white background compared to a brown one.
- Plastic cups – I recommend the large Red Solo style cups. I just used red but you totally use cups that match your theme! I made a board with 21 cups since here are 21 kids in my son’s class. You can make it as big or small as you’d like!
- Hot glue gun + glue sticks – Hot glueing the cups onto the board works best, especially since the cups could get a bit heavy depending on what you put in them. Hot glue also dries fast and dries solid, which is important for this!
- White tissue paper – You’ll need one piece of white tissue paper for every four cups since you’ll be cutting each piece of tissue paper into four squares.
- Large rubber bands – I just ordered these off Amazon and they worked great. I recommend the thinner style rubber bands so they are secure but don’t rip the tissue paper.
- Favors, candies, and other prizes – I’ve included a long list of prizes that would work well for this game, but you want to fill the cups with something that’s worth winning and a little bigger than prizes you’d get for other Halloween carnival games.
- Black markers – any thick black marker will work. We used a combination of dry erase, permanent, and regular markers and they all worked fine.
- Large piece of cardboard, large envelope, etc. – you’ll want to put something underneath the tissue paper when you’re drawing faces as it bleeds through. Something thick that will take on the bleeding is great.
- Nerf guns and bullets – this is optional but what makes this ghostbusters game so special! You could do this just as a regular punch game, but I really like the additional element of shooting the ghosts with a Nerf gun!
How Do You Make a Punch Game?
The best thing about this ghostbusters Halloween punch game is that once you’ve created the base, you can use it for all sorts of different punch games in the future with just a simple swap of colors and decorations! I’ll be sharing various options in the future but for now let’s talk about this specific game!
1 – Create the Punch Game Board
Start by placing your cups on the foam board wherever you want them to go. I knew that I needed to have 21 cups on the board and wanted to make it sort of a ghost shape – it might be more of a PacMac ghost than a regular ghost but whatever – so I did four lines of four cups, one of three, and one of two at the top.
I always put together the layout for the board before doing anything gluing so you know where the cups are supposed to go – taking cups off with the hot glue isn’t the most fun thing to do.
Once you’ve finalized your layout, hot glue the bottom of each cup and immediately place it in its spot on the board.
Repeat this until you have a board full of cups with the open part of the cup facing up.
2 – Fill Your Punch Board
Once you have your cups all glued on, it’s time for the most fun part of this project – filling your cups with prizes!
Since this is a Halloween punch game and I’m planning to use this for a classroom party, I filled our cups with candy (of course!), Halloween party favors, and some other random odds and ends like Halloween stickers.
Keep reading toward the end of the post where I have a huge list of things to do in a punch game to get ideas for different ages, different themes, etc.
If you want to make it a little more exciting, you could also do some with prizes and some with tricks, like I did with this trick or treat game, too. But with kids, I typically like to do just prizes.
3 – Create the Ghosts
Now it’s time to turn those cups into little ghosts, this is a ghostbusters game after all!
Start by cutting each of your pieces of tissue paper into four squares. I found it easiest to fold them in half once and cut in half. Then fold each of those halves again and cut in half.
Luckily since tissue paper is so thin, you can cut an entire handful of tissue paper at once, so this part goes really quick.
Once the tissue paper is cut, it’s time to get creative with your ghost faces.
Place the piece of cardboard or envelope or whatever you want to keep the marker from bleeding through to your table below on your table. Then place a piece of tissue paper on top.
Draw a small ghost face in the center, or as close to the center, of the tissue paper as possible. Keep them small enough to fit in the space of the cup opening so they make the cups look like little ghosts.
If you need ideas of ghost faces, check out my TikTok video that has all of our designs up close. I had my oldest son help with the drawing (he LOVED helping) and we came up with some pretty creative ghosties.
The example from my friend Andrea at the top of this post also has some super cute ideas!
Once your ghosts are all done, carefully place your first ghost face on top of a cup.
Use a rubber band to secure the tissue paper around the edges of the cup, pushing the issue paper down to look like the bottom of a ghost.
Repeat until all of your ghosts are complete and you’re done creating your first punch board game!
How to Play This Ghostbusters Game
Unlike a typical punch game, I thought it would be fun to take this a step further to make it more of a game!
Set your board upright so that it’s either hanging or leaning on something so that it won’t fall over.
Then give players a Nerf gun and a cup of bullets and have them stand a couple of feet back from the game.
Let kids shoot bullets until they are able to bust through one of the ghosts. It likely won’t actually completely punch through all the tissue paper but will go through and leave a hole.
Once they are able to bust through a ghost, they can go and punch through and collect the prize inside then it’s the next person’s turn to play.
Once all of the cups are punched through, the game is over! But don’t throw away that board just yet – remove the issue paper and rubber bands but keep the board to make another punch board game for another season! All you have to do is switch the color of the tissue paper to make it a Christmas tree or a cupid shootout game. All sorts of possibilities with one board!
Variation for Teens and Adults
If you’re playing with teens or adults, make it a little more challenging and give them one (or 2-3 chances) to shoot a bullet into one of the ghosts. If they get one through, they win the prize. If they don’t, they go to the back of the line and wait their turn to try again.
Or you could make it more like these ping pong games and they only get a shot IF they answer a trivia question correctly. That makes it more like the actual game on Price is Right. If you’re doing that version, definitely make the prizes inside worthwhile!
What to Put in a Punch Board Game?
Okay so are you ready for that list of prize ideas I promised you! You could just go simple with candy and small party favors or you could get more creative and do things like:
- Gift cards or gift certifications for things that are Halloween related like haunted houses, pumpkin patches, etc.
- Halloween pins
- Lotto tickets
- Cauldron bath bombs
- Monopoly money that can be turned in for larger prizes (if you’re doing a fall festival or something similar)
- Halloween squish animals (my son LOVES these)
- Homemade Halloween treats like Halloween rice krispie treats, witch hat cookies, or ghost brownies.
- Mini stuffed monsters
- Homemade Halloween play-doh
- Glow in the dark fidget poppers
- Villain socks
- Halloween brain soaps
- Halloween Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (one of our favorite board games for kids)
- Halloween tic-tac-toe game
- Halloween movie memorabilia
- Homemade witch potions or apothecary jars
One thing to keep in mind is choose your prizes based on your players. If you’re doing this for a classroom party and some of the prizes have candy, I recommend including a piece of candy in all of the cups.
If you’re doing this for a coed adults Halloween party, make sure all of the prizes work for all genders. You could do Halloween versions of a lot of these coed white elephant gifts as well!
Make your ghost faces dark and filled in rather than light or outlines so they can be seen from a few feet away.
Cut your tissue paper into large squares rather than trying to use tiny pieces of paper that just cover the cups. This will make the tissue paper more secure and give you the ghost look.
Add a title to your game at the top using a piece of taped on paper with the title rather than writing it directly on the board. This will give you the option to remove it and use the board for something else, similar to how I make my Halloween Family Feud game.
Use larger prizes or at least what seems like larger prizes so the cups don’t feel empty. You could even make miniature Halloween candy hands and put them in the cups!
Make two cups per person if you have a small group rather than making a small board. Everyone will be thrilled to shoot through two cups instead of just one.
Do two layers of tissue paper if you’re going to just have kids punch rather than shoot to give more of the white color. Stick with just one if you’re shooting through with Nerf guns.
A punch board game is a game where you punch (or shoot Nerf guns) through tissue paper to win the prize behind.
Attach the cups to a foam board or piece of cardboard using hot glue so that the cups will hold, even when filled with prizes.
Use tissue paper to make the ghosts because it’s super easy to bust through. Cupcake wrappers, while cute and convenient, are sturdier and harder to bust through.
More Easy Halloween Games
If you like this ghostbusters game, you’ll love these other fun Halloween games!
- Halloween bingo – 20 free unique printable cards that are perfect for any Halloween party!
- Halloween charades – over 100+ free Halloween charades words plus creative charades ideas outside of the norm!
- Halloween would you rather – a ton of simple Halloween would you rather questions that are appropriate for any age!
- Halloween pictionary – a unique take on pictionary just for Halloween!
- Halloween dress up games – this fun dress up game is great not only for kids but also for adults as players try to get as creative as possible to win points!
Halloween Punch Board Game
- 1 foam board or large piece of cardboard
- 21 large plastic cups
- 6 pieces white tissue paper cut into 4 squares each (24 total pieces)
- 21 rubber bands
- 21 prizes
- 1 piece of cardboard or other thick material
- Start by placing your cups on the foam board wherever you want them to go.1 foam board or large piece of cardboard, 21 large plastic cups
- Once you’ve finalized your layout, hot glue the bottom of each cup and immediately place it in its spot on the board. Repeat this until you have a board full of cups with the open part of the cup facing up.
- Add a prize into each of the cups.21 prizes
- Place the piece of cardboard or envelope or whatever you want to keep the marker from bleeding through to your table below on your table. Then place a piece of tissue paper on top.1 piece of cardboard or other thick material, 6 pieces white tissue paper
- Draw a small ghost face in the center, or as close to the center, of the tissue paper as possible. Keep them small enough to fit in the space of the cup opening so they make the cups look like little ghosts.
- Once your ghosts are all done, carefully place your first ghost face on top of a cup. Use a rubber band to secure the tissue paper around the edges of the cup, pushing the issue paper down to look like the bottom of a ghost. Repeat with all of your ghosts.21 rubber bands
- Set the board up leaning against a wall, fence, or railing and you're ready to play!