It’s nearing that time of year when kids love dressing up as ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. Make sure you don’t disappoint your little ones this Halloween by following our tips for a successful and spooky party.
In tough economic times the last thing you want to do is spend lots of money on an expensive Halloween costume – but luckily it’s quite easy to create a creepy costume on a budget. You should be able to find the necessary items just by rummaging around in your cupboards. To create a ghost costume, all you need is an old white sheet – with holes cut out for the eyes of course, so the wearer doesn’t miss out on any of the spooky fun!
A roll of good quality white toilet paper and masking tape (or a roll of elastic white bandage material, if you have one in your first aid box) is all that’s needed to create an Egyptian mummy costume.
If your budget allows it then you might consider designing Halloween-themed printed t-shirts. Kids will have a great time drawing a ghoulish picture, adding a personal message, and then emailing the designs off to be printed on a personalised shirt.
A Spooky Setting
Getting the Halloween party atmosphere right is very important as a brightly lit house will kill the gloomy mood. Whilst the perfect form of lighting would be a selection of sputtering candles, they’re definitely not a good idea when kids are around – especially when Halloween costumes could contain flammable materials like paper or plastic. You can create a safe spooky atmosphere however, by simply replacing your house’s regular light bulbs with coloured bulbs; red bulbs in particular will help light the party in a suitably sinister glow!
You can also purchase ‘black lights’, which are black bulbs that when lit give out a purplish glow – as well as making everything white in colour, glow in the dark! Your party guests’ white clothing (and even their teeth!) will glow brightly under the ultraviolet light. This works especially well when dressed as a white ghost or mummy, and skeleton costumes – where white ‘bones’ have been affixed to black clothing – look particularly good under UV light.
Don’t forget to play Halloween-themed music to enhance the atmosphere created by the dramatic lighting. Simply search the internet for ‘free Halloween music’ and you’ll be able to download copyright free music and songs that will form an appropriately spooky party soundtrack.
You don’t want kids turning into literal terrors at your party, and so you’ll need to keep them entertained. Games don’t have to be costly and often require minimal preparation; many are simply variations on traditional party games. Replace the standard donkey with a picture of a black cat, and let kids try and pin a tail on it whilst wearing a blindfold. Instead of passing the parcel – pass the pumpkin. Fill a hollowed out pumpkin with sweets and other small gifts, and when the music stops the guest holding the pumpkin gets to select a prize from within.
A fun variant on the game of ‘What Am I?’ involves printing out Halloween-themed pictures – a spider, a ghost, or a dragon, for example. Each guest has a picture stuck to their back with sellotape and then has to ask the others questions about what they are; the questions can only be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For older kids the pictures should be slightly more difficult to identify, incorporating characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, The Joker, etc.
No party is complete without food and your guests will no doubt be hungry after the excitement of the gruesome games. As well as buying a large selection of Halloween-themed sweets to give out as prizes, you might prepare some ghoulish snacks for guests to sink their fangs into.
You can create ‘dead man fingers’ quickly and easily by using hotdogs. Simply boil or fry the hotdogs, and then apply a ‘fingernail’ of ketchup or mustard to one end – they look suitably grisly, and kids will love them! You can also prepare ‘witch fingers’ for vegetarians by using mozzarella sticks instead of hotdogs, applying a dab of cream cheese to one end, and then sticking an almond slice on to form a pointy witch fingernail.
If you’d like to prepare something a little more substantial, ‘eyeball pasta’ is sure to go down a terrifying treat. You’ll need cherry tomatoes, small mozzarella balls, tagliatelle pasta, black olives, pesto, and tomato sauce. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Cut the mozzarella balls in half then place each half inside the cherry tomato – adding a small piece of black olive in the centre to form a pupil. Cook the tagliatelle, drain, stir through the pesto, then serve and pour over the tomato sauce, with the eyeballs dropped on top. A wickedly gruesome feast for your guests!