I’ve always loved Halloween, but when we packed up our family and moved to the USA for a few years, I really feel in love with this holiday. In the USA, Halloween is not one day of the year but the whole month of October. Your kids don’t need one costume – but several – for the parties every weekend and the Halloween Parade at school…
We discovered that Halloween was not really about tricks and treats, but more about having wonderful, silly, fun times as a family. So why not host a Halloween Party for your friends? It can be any time during the month of October and doesn’t have to be expensive or tricky! Here are some tips on how to put together a fun Halloween party on a budget.
Simple spooky invitations and decorations that the kids can help with
- Make invitations by cutting Halloween shapes from coloured cardboard – bats, pumpkins, ghosts, coffins – and stick a white printed invite onto one side.
- Raid the discount store early for cheap spooky decorations. We found some extra-large glowing plastic skeletons last year for $2 each that we hung off the tree in the front yard.
- Wrap the front yard trees in twinkle lights. Always a winner for the kids. We now put ours up in October and leave them up till New Years.
- Make large gravestones from old cardboard boxes to decorate the front porch. We bought some foam ones while we were in states – but these are so easy to make, and a great craft idea for the kids. Use the baddies from the superhero comics as the buried victims.
- Download Halloween colour-in sheets for the kids to colour in and stick them the inside front windows.
- Cut out cardboard bats of different sizes and hang them from the inside ceiling.
- Go crazy with the black and orange balloons.
- And for the super keen – use old black stockings to create a huge spider web on the ceiling.
Keep it simple, cheap and quick. Here are some of my favourite cheap and easy ideas.
- Severed Fingers – simply cut a finger-nail into a cocktail frankfurt and add a few cuts where the knuckles should be. Serve with a container of Vampire Blood (aka tomato sauce).
- Mandarin Pumpkins – peel a mandarin and pop a celery stick in the centre for a stalk
- Halloween Cookies – Make regular sugar cookies, cover in royal white icing and then do any or all of the following easy decorations: (a) splatter with red (blood) icing, (b) add two silver balls for ghost eyes, (c) write the word “BOO!” with an orange or black icing pen.
- Spider Icecubes – freeze small plastic spiders into icecubes for drinks
- Choose treat foods that are orange and black – cheezels, corn chips, licorice, black cats.
- Make fruit kebabs with orange and black fruits – mangos, oranges, mandarins, blackberries, grapes.
- Decorate Halloween Cupcakes
Tricky games to play!
- Mummy Races – get some teams together, each team has to wrap each other like a mummy and then mummy-walk to the finish line
- Pin the Spider on the Web – Buy a big spider web and sticky spider from a discount store to play this spooky version of a classic game
- Eyeball and Spoon Races – whip up some boiled eggs and decorate like an eyeball, then have the kids carry them on a spoon like a traditional egg and spoon race (or just buy some eyeballs and skip the cooking bit!)
- Apple Bobbing – this classic game is a must-have and so much fun for the kids, make the apples green and add some plastic worms and spiders to the water bucket
Share the costumes
Ask everyone to bring an extra costume. Kids love dressing up again and again. Put costumes in one big bucket and let the kids pick and choose throughout the party. Keep it fun and relaxed. No rules!
Don’t forget to put together some spooky songs and have a few Halloween themed DVDs on hand for when the kiddos need some time out.
Most of all have a hauntingly good time … mwha ha ha ha ha!