Back when Mr 5 was only two years old, I decided to hold a little Halloween party. The perfect excuse to dress up, play silly games and eat candy! We had great fun, the little ones looked so cute, and Mummy got to eat all the left over chocolate (win!). Being almost exactly six months after his birthday, the casual little Halloween party quickly became a tradition, filling in the gap between birthday parties and giving me the excuse to work a little party-planning magic.
It’s not a birthday party, so I keep Halloween to a low budget – but that isn’t an excuse to skimp on the details (or the fun!). Here are some ideas to plan the perfect Halloween tea party, without turning you into a zombie.
Mr 5 once declared that “Halloween is even better than Christmas!”, so collecting Halloween decorations has become a bit of “a thing” in our house. We have a box full of orange candles, plastic spiders, giant spider webs and pumpkin-shaped everything. None of it cost much money – IKEA, Daiso, and Etsy have been our favourite stores for Halloween gear. We have fun making our own too – white balloons and black paper cut-outs become cute little ghosts, black and orange paper become pumpkins and black bin bags can be cut into spooky fringing to edge doors and window frames. We like to decorate the day before the party, and then take it down on 1st November.
My favourite bit! This is where I keep it super simple and buy a readymade cake as a centrepiece. I love the cakes and cupcakes from www.800flower.ae, who have a fun range of Halloween treats for delivery straight to your party table.
Leaving the cake to the experts means that I have more time to make spider sandwiches (circle shapes with Twiglets for legs and sliced olives for eyes), hot dog “fingers” and spooky pizza (more spiders – sliced olives look cute as little bugs scuttling across the red tomato sauce). Throw in a few bowls of orange-coloured snacks and the savouries are done.
Vitamins are provided by peeled clementines (“pumpkins”) with celery “stalks”, and peeled banana halves with chocolate chip eyes (“ghosts”). Let’s face it though – no-one goes to a Halloween party for its nutritional value, so more ghosts make an appearance as giant marshmallows with chocolate eyes and mouths.
I like to serve packets of juice for convenience. We wrap them in bandages and pop on a few googly eyes to turn them into mummies. For the brave, we mix a concoction of kiwi juice, lime juice and water to make a green “slime potion”, but as this is Mr 5’s secret wizarding recipe, I can’t divulge the exact details. He likes to throw in a few jelly worms as a little surprise for the faint-hearted!
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without apple bobbing, so make sure you have plenty – and keep a towel handy. We also like to play “mummies” – the children race each other to wrap their parents or each other with rolls of toilet tissue to turn them into mummies (make sure you take lots of photos of this one!).
Other fun games include:
- Pin the wart on the witch
- Ring toss over a witch’s hat
- Halloween scavenger hunt
- Candy treasure hunt
- Guess what? Blindfolded players must guess what’s in each bowl – e.g. jelly worms, grape “eyes”, plastic spiders, cold baked beans, etc.
Finally, when everyone needs a break from the sugar-induced chaos, choose an age-appropriate movie to watch. Our younger guests have enjoyed watching “Room on the Broom”, “Scooby-Doo” and “Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie”.
Halloween is a great excuse to get everyone together – and if you keep it simple, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare!
Have fun! And enjoy the candy leftovers… the Trick-or-Treaters have had enough!