Halloween has become awfully commercial; the supermarket shelves are piled high with orange plastic pumpkins, sparkly witch costumes, scary zombie outfits with detachable arms, glow sticks, besoms, chocolate eyeballs, edible fingers – you name it, it’s there.
But it really doesn’t need to be like that. Children like carving pumpkins, playing games and eating stuff. It doesn’t need to cost the earth! Here are our top tips for a Happy Halloween Party which is easy on the pocket and lots of fun for everyone!
Gigantic pumpkins may be tempting but they taste revolting.
- Go for a selection of small ones instead, hollow out the middle reserving the flesh for spicy pumpkin soup and carve gruesome or not so gruesome designs on to the shell!
Food doesn’t have to be commercial jelly sweets and chocolate eyeballs
- Halloween Cookie Cutters are relatively inexpensive and kids have lots of fun decorating biscuits with writing icing, hundreds and thousands, silver balls etc and then scoffing them!
- Cobweb cake always goes down a treat as do pumpkin pasties a la Harry Potter!
- Cake pops, all the rage at the moment, are crying out for the Halloween treatment
- Pumpkin soup is a must or you can keep your spidery theme with Cobweb Soup!
- Have a look here for lots of easy foodie ideas, the possibilities are endless!
Games can be as simple or as complicated as you like depending on the ages of the children involved:
- Tie ring doughnuts onto a piece of rope, have an adult at each end. The aim is to eat your doughnut without using your hands. The rope holders can make this harder by moving the rope up and down!
- Hold a Halloween Olympics, try: pumpkin bowling using the pumpkin as a ball and empty plastic bottles painted as ghosts/skeletons/witches as the skittles, a pumpkin slalom, limb limbo (under a cardboard bone), apple bobbing, a Halloween assault course – scramble through The Tunnel of Doom, cross the zombie swamp, bat the bats (table tennis bats or rolled up newspapers to bash cardboard bats strung in a doorway) etc!
- Make Halloween Lanterns with clean jam jars, stickers, tissue paper, cellophane and night lights
- Play Sleeping Skeletons, Musical Bumps in the Night or Pass the Head (two teams, a balloon each with a face drawn on it, the object is to pass it down your line without using your hands or teeth, first team to finish wins)
- Get Crafty! Have a look at Red Ted Art’s round up of 50 Halloween ideas for inspiration.
Costumes don’t need to be complicated or expensive.
Black fabric is a cape for a witch or bat (paint on glitter stars for some sparkle or some cobwebs for a shudder), a white sheet is a ghost, a bandaged body is a Mummy, if you are artistic bones painted on old black trousers and sweatshirt makes a very passable skeleton. Face paints can turn anything into a ghoulish delight!
Decorate the house
You can decorate with black cardboard bats and spiders, make a spooky Pinata, dot pumpkin lanterns around and turn off the lights. You can use torches and a camera to make some spooky light art, tell ghost stories or make spooky music with percussion instruments, pots and pans.
Make memories, they don’t need to cost the earth!
What will you be doing this Halloween? Are you a trick or treater or do you prefer some stay at home fiendish frolics?