Low Cost Ideas for Halloween
This is a guest post from Bethany at World Vision UK, a children’s charity who help to create a brighter future for children in third world countries through World Vision child sponsorship.
Halloween often falls in the same week as the Half Term holidays and although this holiday is only a week long (nothing compared to the massive 6 weeks, we’ve just endured!), it is still a great time to get active with crafts and get ready for Halloween. However, these activities don’t need to be expensive.
It’s quite tough when you have children of all different ages and it can be hard to please them. So here are a few top tips – the key thing is to enjoy the mess and time you spend together, they grow up so fast!
Arts and crafts can be a very effective development tool for children. It’s important to keep your child’s mind active during the school holidays, so help their creative juices flow and work with them on an art of craft project.
Utilise those Pumpkins
As Halloween draws closer, the cost of pumpkins rises. Everyone wants the perfect pumpkin for that scary face in the window. The cheapest way is to grow your own pumpkins earlier on in the year, which makes it more fun for children to see and learn about gardening. However, for this year why not use the pumpkin ‘inners’ for soup, which is nutritious and creating a meal out of the stuff that is usually thrown away. An alternative to pumpkins is to use potatoes, from a distance a light shining from the window is the effect, not the vegetable. You can always paint the potato black for extra effect. (Potatoes are also easier to carve the older they are).
Get Ready for The Trick ‘n’ Treaters
Part of the custom is to experience the familiar trick or treaters. If you want to embrace this side, why not get some snacks purchased way in advance of October, when the supermarket offers are on. A useful tip here is to make your own treats like flapjacks that can be divided up or fairy cakes and cupcakes, iced with black, red or orange icing. Encourage, your child to help you bake these. One point to consider, often the treats are put into a collective bag, so to save time you could miss out the icing is out of time. Make sure parents know the treats are flapjacks incase of any allergies.
If you prefer small children to stay at home during Halloween night, you can still make it ghostly by getting ready earlier on in the week. Make cardboard hats and cloaks out of binbags as these are easy to do with minimal supervision. The cloak can be customised by sticking moons and stars onto it. A hat can be made by simply rolling cardboard into a sphere and painting black with glitter. Making a costume, allows a child to get really creative and go crazy with the glitter and gluing.
Your Own Lucky Dip
Make a really ghoulish trick or treat for your children. If you have any shredded paper or left over pasta from cooking, store it and use for a lucky dip. Add food colouring to the pasta and a little olive oil to make it slippery and hide wrapped treats within a large bin. Tip: here if you have any large planting pots, this works great.
Make Wall Decorations
Find some ghostly, Halloween related images (witches, bats, cats, cauldrons) and trace these onto thick card and encourage children to paint their own. These make excellent wall pieces and decorations.
Cleaning Up Afterwards
Of course, the hard work that goes into any party or celebration is worth it, but no-one realty enjoys the cleaning up. Encourage your children to help you and respect their home. Try turning it into a game, “how many cats can you see on the walls?” – “I count ten, can you find them all and give them too me?”.
These activities also make children take responsibility and understand early on, that they can help adults with cleaning up.