In the current economy many parents are looking for ways to cut costs where ever they can and celebrating Halloween can get expensive with the costs of children’s costumes, treats and especially Halloween parties. With just a little ingenuity, creativity and a few tips anyone can plan a budget friendly Halloween costume party for children.
Store bought invitations are a cost you can do with out. There are many free sites on the Internet that let you create your own invitations and either email them or print them out to hand deliver to your guests. One of my favorites is www.pingg.com If you’d rather hand make your invitations, provide your children with folded squares of orange paper and Halloween stickers to create their own.
Instead of buying expensive store bought costumes for you and your child to wear use items you already have in your closet to create your own homemade costumes for next to nothing. If you’re at a loss on what kind of costumes you can create www.coolest-homemade–costumes.com has a huge list of homemade costumes with directions and photos of each one.
Party decorations don’t have to be expensive to create the perfect Halloween ambiance for your party. White sheets can become simple ghosts shapes, stuffed clothes can be made into scarecrows, cardboard boxes can be turned into tombstones or cut into Halloween shapes and painted.
Don’t buy expensive table cloths when you can turn an old black sheet or a white one with red food coloring blood splatters in to spooky table covering for you Halloween party food table.
Instead of buying expensive already prepared food and treats, make your own. Common party foods can be given scary sounding names to add to the fun. Here is a few to get you started.
Monster Toes These are made by wrapping cut hot dogs in raw biscuit dough then cooked and served with vampire blood ( ketchup)
Monster Brains Serve Guacamole and salsa in hollowed out squash that have been carved into ghoulish monster faces. Hint To make the squash stand upright cut a little off the bottom before filling with guacamole and salsa. Serve with Witches Hats ( Blue corn chips)
Rice Krispie Ghosts are inexpensive to make using your basic Rice Krispie treat recipe, a ghost cookie cutter and some black decorative frosting for the eyes and mouth.
Witches Hands are easy to make with fresh popped popcorn stuffed into a clear plastic food service glove then tied at the end with curly ribbon. Add spider rings to the fingers for a frightful look. These make a great table decoration when piled on a platter on your food table.
These are an important part of any party but especially so for children. There are many Halloween games that can be set up for nothing or next to nothing. Some of my favorites that capture the children’s interest and keep the party moving are Freeze Dance, Graveyard, Mummy Wrap, Eyeball Hunt and Zombie
Freeze Dance – Play Halloween music like the Monster Mash. When the music plays all the children dance. When the music stops they freeze. Whenever someone moves during the time that they are frozen that person is out of the game. The winner is the last child dancing.
Graveyard- Have children lay on the floor while you play scary Halloween themed music. Whenever a child flinches or moves they are out. Keep playing until only one child remains.
Mummy Wrap Split the group into teams, give each team member a roll of bathroom tissue and have them wrap one of their team members up like a mummy. The winner is the team that gets done with all of their tissue rolls first.
Eyeball Hunt Prepare a big container of cold spaghetti “brains” with ping pong balls “eyeballs” buried in it. Blindfold each child and set a timer for one minute. Have them find the “eyeballs” that you have buried in the cold brains” The winner is the child who finds the most eyeballs.
Zombie Maker Select one person to play the part of the Zombie Maker. The other players will stand motionless around the room. The job of the Zombie Maker is to try and make the other children laugh or move anyway they can. When a child moves or laughs they too become a Zombie Maker and assist in making more Zombies by getting more children to laugh or move. The winner is the last child standing.
Some kids like to do crafts at parties. The Internet is full of Halloween crafts for kids. A great site for inexpensive crafts is www.makingfriends.com . Oriental Trading www.OrientalTrading.com has a wide selection of budget friendly craft kits you can purchase for your party.
When your guests leave you’ll want to give them each a party favor. Don’t spend a lot of money on plastic candy holders or cute plastic baggies when you can make your own for a lot less.
Cover toilet tissue tubes with orange or black paper and fill with a selection of candy and small treats. Once you have filled the rolls tie both ends closed with curly ribbon.
Other Budget Friendly Ideas
Rent a Halloween movie for the kids to watch as they unwind from all the festivities. Some good Halloween themed movies for kids are Hocus Pocus, Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Monster House, Nightmare Before Christmas and the Corpse Bride.
Instead of buying Halloween music Cd’s you can download Halloween themed music for free at www.all-about-halloween.com and play it on your computer during the party.
Halloween on a budget doesn’t have to cut down on your fun.By making your own items whenever possible you can have a great Children’s Halloween Party for just a fraction of the cost of a party that has many store bought items.