It’s that time of the year – the days get colder, the nights darker and your little ones probably can’t stop talking about Christmas. However, before Santa comes to deliver presents, there’s another holiday that’s equally as exciting to deal with – Halloween! Is an evening of trick or treat on the cards for this year? Or, if you’re fully embracing spooky season, you may be organising a Halloween party for your little monsters. If that’s the case – beware mums and dads! It’s easy to get carried away and find yourself spending a small fortune. Save the scares for the party and use our guide to plan a celebration that won’t spook your bank account.
Here’s our step-by-step guide to planning a children’s Halloween party on a budget:
First thing’s first – set yourself a budget about a month before the big day. Deciding how much you can spend on the party will determine everything else needed for the day. Make sure to set a realistic amount, and then budget certain amounts for each element of the party. Some of these spending elements that you may want to include are:
- Party bags
Fun fact: In recent years, Halloween has grown in popularity in Japan. However, it has its own twist in the country! Trick or treating does happen in Japan’s larger cities, however it’s not door-to-door as you may be expecting. Little ones take to malls and commercial districts known as Shotengai for sweet treats.
2. Keep it Simple: Theme
We’ve all been there – scrolling down Pinterest and being bombarded with hundreds of wonderful party ideas. At the time, they all look super easy to replicate, however you soon find yourself drowning in paper mache, overspending and wishing you hadn’t gotten yourself into throwing a party. Whilst going all out with decorations and complicated games seems appealing, the fact of the matter is that children don’t actually care. All they want is to have fun and eat lots of sweet treats. Instead, stick to the classic Halloween colour scheme of black, white and orange. Other popular yet simple Halloween colour combinations include:
- Black, orange, and purple
- Purple and green
- Metallic gold or silver
Rest assured – a quick trip down to your local supermarket will provide you with all you need for your spooky party. Make sure you don’t go overboard with buying party supplies. If you’re on a budget, stick to the essentials but just style them up. You can purchase multipacks of:
- Black and white dotted paper plates
- Orange plastic cups
- Orange napkins
- Orange paper straws
- Black tablecloths
- Orange plastic cutlery
3. DIY: Invitations
There’s nothing quite like the personal touch, and hand-making your own invitations is a great way to save money and add a unique touch to the celebration. There are lots of invitation ideas online, our favourites look spooky and stylish all at the same time.
Fun fact: Germany has only embraced Halloween since the 90’s and children take part in the ghoulish day in a different way. On 11th November (St. Martin’s Day), little ones will walk the neighbourhood, sing traditional songs and carry lanterns in exchange for yummy goodies.
4. Don’t Go Overboard: Halloween Decorations for Kids
The best way to save money is to have a look around your home and see what you already own that could be used for the party. Dig out your Halloween decorations from previous years and see if it can work again for this year. You can also repurpose items, for example, signs can be turned into banners and props can be arranged together to form a table setting or entry area.
If you head down to your local supermarket, you’ll be able to find Halloween-themed caution tape that’s a bargain! Stick it on your doors or anywhere around the house that needs a little extra spook. Once the party’s done, store it away and use it again for Halloween next year!
DIY Halloween Decorations for Kids
If you want to try your hand at homemade this year – we’re all for it to save you a few pennies! With children in the house, there’s always bound to be a pack of balloons lying around somewhere. If you manage to find some, why not make creepy face balloons? They’re a quick and easy way to get some decorations up without spending too much time, effort or money. Simply blow them up, draw creepy faces on them and then stick them around the house.
Parents listen up – don’t throw out your plastic milk bottles! Take off the stickers, draw a face with a permanent marker and cut a hole in the back. Now, all you need to do is pop in battery-powered lights or glow sticks to light them up.
5. Dress Up: DIY Kids Halloween Costumes
If you need ideas for cheap kids Halloween costumes for your own little monsters – then look no further!
You can never go wrong with the black cat costume. All you need is a pair of black leggings or trousers, a black t-shirt and a headband. Cut out a few triangles out of paper or cardboard and colour them in black, then glue them onto the headband to create feline ears. To finish the look off, stuff a long black sock with more socks and pin it to the waistband of the trousers/tights to create a tail.
If your pumpkin is looking for a costume that’s a little scarier – a zombie should do the trick. All you need is some old clothes you don’t mind tearing up, face paint and fake blood. A few rips here and some holes cut in will make the clothes look tatty and distressed. Finish off the look with a few spatters of fake blood.
Fun fact: Halloween was very popular in 1999, however since then, the popularity of the holiday has been on the decline. Instead, the people of Switzerland prefer to celebrate more traditional holidays, such as Fasnacht – the celebration of chasing away winter.
6. Entertain: Kids Halloween Party Games
Games are always a fun way to get your little monsters involved and have a good time. And a Halloween scavenger hunt will always go down a treat! A little forward planning and shopping for some small toys and sweets is all it takes. Before the party, print free scavenger hunt clues and hide them around the house with some small toys and sweets. Remember to check that the hiding places match the right clues!
DIY Halloween Games for Kids
There are lots of DIY Halloween games that will keep you within budget but have your ghouls and goblins howling for more. Most take only a few inexpensive supplies to create. Plus, they can be put together as easy DIY Halloween crafts for kids, which doubles the quality time spent with your little ones.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping the games simple and traditional, for example Pass the Parcel is always a hit – just add a spooky element. Fill each wrapping with homemade confetti and with a hole puncher, punch out small circles of orange and black coloured tissue paper. You can make your own spidery wrapping paper using wine corks and brown paper. For Musical Statues, create a ghoulish playlist for everyone to dance to, including Monster Mash and Ghostbusters. And don’t forget Apple Bobbing – a simple game that’s synonymous with Halloween, all you need is a bucket of water, apples and some willing participants.
For an easy game that requires little preparation, include a fancy dress competition at your party. Ask your guests to dress to impress in their most imaginative Halloween costume, with the winner announced at the end of the party. Prizes don’t have to be extravagant; Halloween chocolates will go down a treat, or perhaps you could make your own spooky rosettes to award the winners.
7. Spooky Treats: Halloween Food
The delicious treats may not be the reason your little one’s friends come to their Halloween party, however it’s definitely a great perk! You don’t have to spend lots of money, and you don’t have to go all out for everything to be Halloween-themed either. Here are some of our favourite Halloween party food ideas that are budget-friendly and won’t take much time:
- Bloody finger hot dogs
- Caramel apple bar
- Witch hat cookies
- Creepy crawly sandwiches
- Rice Krispy pumpkins
Fun fact: In Scotland, carving lanterns out of turnips and bonfires are common Halloween traditions. Instead of trick or treating, little one’s dress as evil spirits by blackening their faces and going guising. However, they’re expected to do a trick, like recite a song, poem or joke before receiving their sweet treats.
8. End of the Night Treat: DIY Halloween Party Favours for Kids
At the moment, it seems like party bags are a cottage industry, with each party host trying to outdo one another. Mums and dads – don’t fall into this trap! Party bags are an added bonus of any celebration and should cause little stress or dent to your bank balance. To keep costs down, why not create your own party bags? For the goodies inside, scour your local pound store which will be bursting with the ideal party-bag supplies.
With our tips for planning a Halloween party that’s easy on the pocket, your celebration is bound to be one to remember. From kids Halloween party games to DIY kids Halloween costumes – your party doesn’t have to break the bank. Get ready to have a night that would make the Addams family proud!