It’s hard to believe that Halloween is fast approaching but, it is, and in true 2020 style it looks like it’s going to look a little different this year. But, that certainly doesn’t mean Halloween is cancelled – far from it, in fact!
While the normal trick or treating and Halloween parties may not be possible, Halloween falls on a Saturday this year so, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate all day at home giving both you and the children something fun to look forward to!
Here are my tops tips for celebrating Halloween at home this year.
Structure your celebration
It doesn’t matter if things don’t run exactly to schedule, and it’s yours to change throughout the day as suits your mood, but having a good idea of what you want to do during the day will make planning easier and allow you to enjoy the day with the family.
My suggested activities are as follows:
All’s quiet the night before…
Start to decorate the house
Fantastically frightening morning
Set up scavenger hunt
Scary scavenger hunt
Set up tea party table
Spectacularly spooky afternoon
Spooktacular tea party
Black hat dinner party and party games
Build-up to the occasion
If you’re anything like me I find the build-up to Christmas as much fun as the actual day so why not build-up to Halloween in a similar way.
How about counting down the days from the start of October with a countdown calendar. Mark the days off the calendar and in reverse to the Christmas advent calendar, give the little ones some sweets to add to their Halloween sweetie pot each day so they build up a stash to enjoy on the big day! Dracula fangs, eyeballs, and mini chocolate pumpkins are just a few recommendations to keep things spooky!
Decorate the house
Decorating the house for Christmas is great for getting into the festive spirit and getting into the spooky spirit should be no different! Don’t worry I’m not suggesting you have bats and skeletons hanging around the house for the entire month of October (unless you want to that is) but starting to put the decorations up at least the night before will really give the children something to look forward to.
As always with a party at home, I recommend the party table is your centrepiece and because you’ll probably use that same table for crafting, it’s best to set this up after that activity. The night before, set up some Halloween themed balloons, banners, and other wall hanging decorations. I recommend a Happy Halloween banner to match your colour scheme and then a few fun banners such as a string of mini bats or ghosts along with some fairy lights.
Halloween themed tableware will instantly transform your room. Go for a themed tablecloth, themed paper plates, cups, and napkins for your spooktacular tea party. Keep the set up in place for dinner too.
A backdrop is always an option and it could be really fun to make some felt items with the kids to pin on it, I’m thinking mini ghosts, pumpkins, and bats and you can hang your bunting over the backdrop too – make sure your backdrop, bunting and felt items are in contrasting colours.
To make your backdrop, fabric is a great choice as it’s not too expensive and hangs well. You don’t have to be a master with a sewing machine; just hand sew a top pocket, using any kind of stitching, and thread through some good quality string to hang your backdrop with and hang from either a wall or the ceiling with Command no damage wall hangers. If the long edges need tidying up, you can hand sew a pocket on each side too.
Honeycomb decorations are perfect for Halloween and cheap to buy. Get some in orange and white and you can make your very own pumpkins and ghosts to hang around the house and to use as table centrepieces. Just cut some eyes, a nose, and a mouth out of black card and fix them to the honeycomb using either a glue gun or sticky pads. Here’s a handy template for the pumpkin cut-outs.
People may not be knocking on your front door in the usual way on the 31st October but it’s still nice to decorate your door to show people that you’re celebrating.
And don’t forget to pick up a pumpkin to carve with the children the night before!
Get your craft on!
Some of my favourite seasonal decorations are ones I’ve made with my nieces and nephews but coming up with crafting ideas and buying all the bits can be very time consuming so let me introduce you to Crafty Party Box!
Their craft boxes include all the materials you need as well as instructions, activity sheets, jokes, facts, mindfulness, stickers, temporary tattoos, and more! Delivered straight to your door, in one box, they certainly take the stress out of crafting. And they’re big Halloween fans too! Their Halloween box is bursting with materials for four ghoulish crafts so it’s perfect to use in the run-up to Halloween and as an activity on the day. Here’s a quick sneak peek at the items included in the box and some ideas of where you can use them.
Make your very own Jack-o’-lantern jar. Decorate with orange tissue paper and pop in the LED tealight that’s included in the box and watch the spooky effect of it glowing in the dark. Perfect for adding to your spooky cinema.
Decorate a fun 3D wooden bat with black paint and glitter glue pens and then hang on your backdrop.
Make a spider-web with craft sticks and yarn, stick on your foam spider sticker, and add to your party table.
And finally, there’s an adorable (but still spooky!) spider decoration to make which you can even pop onto the end of a pencil and watch its legs jiggle as you write.
The Halloween Craft Box can be ordered from Craft Party Box using the link below.
And when the celebrations are over, don’t forget to pack your crafts away for next year so you start building up a good stock of decorations. And you’ll be sure to add to that collection as Crafty Party Box is already planning what to include in next year’s Halloween box!
Scary scavenger hunt
Trick or treating may be off the cards this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the treat buckets out and hunt for sweets and other spooky items! If the weather is kind, it’s a fabulous activity to do in the garden much like an egg hunt at Easter. Make up some signs (themed using the free app Canva if you have time) or use these mini table centrepieces, stick them to garden canes to mark where the treats are, set the kiddies off with a list of things to come back with and you’ve got time to set up the party table for lunch! Include items like a witch’s broom, a witch’s hat, or whatever you have left in your Halloween party box / dressing up kit plus some chocolate and sweets, all carefully placed around the garden. This activity will also work in the house too.
Dress to impress
Most children I know jump at the chance to dress up whatever the occasion! As they won’t be dressing up for trick or treating then dressing up for a spooktacular tea party and a black hat dinner is the next best thing!
Your spooktacular tea party
Use your Halloween themed party table to have a spooktacular tea party at lunchtime. Delish has some fabulously frightening party food ideas that are easy to prepare. My favourites are their ghost pizza bagels, their ghostly cheese and crackers, bats made with Reece cups and Oreos, and Dracula’s dentures, made from cookies and mini marshmallows! Check out the links below for details of how to make yours.
Add some sandwiches cut into spooky shapes and some cupcakes topped with orange icing and rice paper Halloween toppers or your own toppers made from icing and you’re all set for a spooktacular lunch!
Create your own spooky cinema
Close the curtains, throw some cushions on the floor and add some pumpkin honeycomb decorations and your homemade Jack-o’-lantern jar to set the scene. Make some popcorn, pour everyone a glass of beetlejuice (otherwise known as blackcurrant squash), and choose a child -friendly spooky film to settle down to for the afternoon. Casper, Harry Potter, and Monsters Inc are some of my favourites but I’m sure your little ones will have a long list of their own.
Black hat dinner
After the film, it’s time to put your black hat on for dinner. Use your party table set up along with your own cutlery and crockery for a deluxe black hat dinner party! Use some themed napkins leftover from your pack and perhaps even add some spiders web table placemats to mark the occasion.
Check out the Delish website for some simple but deliciously scary recipes including eyeball pasta and Jack ‘O lantern quesadillas!
Finish up with some sweet treats and maybe even a Halloween themed chocolate cake with an orange Halloween topper followed by some ghostly party games.
I love Halloween bingo and pin the spider on the spider’s web! You can download free Halloween bingo cards here, and all the instructions are included too. http://www.crayola.co.uk/free-coloring-pages/print/halloween-bingo-no1-coloring-page/
And before you know it All Hallows Eve draws to an end, and it’s time for lights out!
I really hope you find these ideas and resources useful. Keep an eye on my Instagram page for more party ideas and Party Boxes, and don’t forget to share your Halloween photos as I’d love to see them!