I was never really a fan of Halloween, mainly because it wasn’t something we did growing up. We weren’t into the whole trick or treating and I even remember my parents blacking out the door window with black bin bags when I was in my teens pretending not to be home when they came knocking at the door.
I’m sure they opened it when I was younger but to be honest I really don’t remember, although I do have a memory of trick or treating once with neighbours kids in a big group.
Now I have my own children my mind has certainly been changed, a little, I’m still not keen on trick or treating, however, they have been out with their Dad, Uncle and Grandad’s girlfriend to do it and they really love dressing up and opening the door to all the kids who come here.
We do carve pumpkins and decorate the front of the house a little so that the neighbour’s kids can come here and mine dress up to hand out sweets – the trouble is we have teenagers locally who don a black hoodie and knock for sweets. They make no effort at all but we daren’t not give them sweets as the houses are egged and floured often – even if those people aren’t home! There have been occasions we have been out and I’ve come home to an egged car and house.
For me, I think Halloween parties are the way forward. No knocking at random houses and worrying whether they are happy to have children turning up, no wandering around in the dark and it’s far warmer indoors! (I do ensure the kids only knock on houses which are decorated when they do go out).
I love nothing better than planning a party from choosing the theme, making the food and making up party bags for all.
Starting with a checklist of things to make for a happy family Halloween.
My kids love decorating Pumpkins in preparation for Halloween, I hate preparing the Pumpkins ready for the kids. Every year I vow to leave this job to Paul but I always end up doing it anyway.
This year I had planned to take the kids over to Willows Farm where they can pick their own. It’s something I have wanted to do every year but time escapes us and by the time I remember there are none left, although sadly our half term is different to other schools and Pumpkin Picking isn’t on during our holidays.
Although the kids are 6 (next week) and 8 I don’t trust them with a sharp knife to carve their own pumpkins, instead I let them draw their own designs with a pen and I carve it for them. We also use metal cookie cutters to make shapes with ease. This year I may let the kids paint them instead of going to all that hassle – and I can even get away with not having to scoop out the insides too, although they do so love a pumpkin soup so doubt I would get away with that.
To get into the ‘spirit’ (sorry it had to be done) you can plan a week’s worth of family Halloween type movies:
- Hocus Pocus
- The Witches
- The Addams Family
- Nightmare Before Christmas
- Corpse Bride
- Hotel Transylvania
- Harry Potter
Party games for Halloween:
- Pin the spider on the web
- Apple bobbin
- Halloween style Bingo
- Ghost Skittles – we made toilet roll snowman skittles which could easily be adapted to become ghosts
- Treasure hunt
- Mummies – use toilet rolls and team up to wrap one team member up as a mummy.
- For other ideas, head over to My Life and Kids who has a list of 30 awesome Halloween games for kids.
Decorating the house
You could either go with not dusting for a few months at a time or there are loads of shops which sell webs, skeletons, ghosts and Halloween decorations. Poundland or similar stores often have very cheap ideas and you could easily decorate the house for a tenner!
You could also make your own if you felt inclined. We love to make PomPom spiders and hang around the house – see how to make your own here.
Halloween music playlist:
- Monster Mash
- Dem Bones
- I put a spell on you
- Addams Family
- Time Warp
- I want candy
You can go all out with ghostly and gruesome food ideas if you wanted to:
- Witches hats
- Witches fingers
- jelly worms
- Mummy Bark