I have always loved Halloween, it always involved dressing up and either going out-out or heading to a house party. Naturally when kids came along, my plans had to adapt too, but the love for Halloween is still there! Fortunately we have moved to an area where families seem to love it as much as we do, so we can deck the house out and last year we took The Biggest out trick or treating. However when he was younger, we either attended or hosted a Halloween party. Whilst Halloween for teen and adults might involve being terrified and horror, you don’t want to emotionally damage your smalls just yet, but you can still get into the Halloween spirit by hosting your own Halloween party. Here is how I went about it…
Picking a Time/Date: On the 31st October you are probably going to have trick or treaters at your door, so pick the nearest Saturday or Sunday and hold it then, late afternoon post nap is always a good time and then they can have their evening meal with you too and hopefully go home exhausted enough to fall into bed!
Costumes: So far The Biggest has been Frankenstein, Draco Malfoy, a Pirate and last year was Jack Skellington. (I made his brother a zero costume!) There are so many amazing costumes out there to buy, but even if you’re not hugely crafty, lots of them are pretty easy to make, even for novices. All hail the glue gun! This year he wants to be Harry Potter. As a Slytherin, I am so sad he is taking the Sirius Black route, but what can you do?
Decor: Remember, you want fun not scary! We traded zombie pictures for big fluffy spiders, cheeky skeletons and friendly ghosts. I always hang a Halloween wreath on the front door too, let’s your guests know where to find the party (as well as letting trick or treaters know they are welcome!) We always carve pumpkins but use the battery powered tealights as they are much safer, however be aware if you have tiny tiny tots they have button batteries in which are also very dangerous, so make sure little hands don’t get hold of them.
Entertainment: You are going to need a few activities and games to amuse your little guests and they aren’t quite old enough to go bobbing for apples just yet! We brought pumpkins one year and let the kids help carve them with their adults and I also had a station to make some cardboard monsters using glue and pipe cleaners. You also can’t beat some good old fashioned musical statues! Especially when your playlist is rocking classics like The Monster Mash.
Food: As well as the standard kids buffet you can spookify your food. We did hotdogs made to look like bloody fingers by nicking a nail shaped piece out of the end and using tomato ketchup for blood, marshmallow ghosts on sticks by using giant marshmallows and black pen icing to make the faces and then made rice crispie treats to look like Frankenstein, by making them with mallowfluff, then melted some white chocolate with a touch of green food colouring, pouring that on and making the faces with the icing again. Simple, but effective!
That’s pretty much all you’ll need for a good couple of hours fun with your pre-schoolers! How are you planning to celebrate Halloween this year?