I’ve always liked Halloween. The candy, the costumes, the pageantry of it all… what more could a kid want?! But, like many things, it’s taken on new meaning since I’ve become a parent. The childlike glee and silliness associated with the day is contagious… and I find myself trying to “up” my game each year because it’s just so darn fun! But if I don’t plan ahead, I know I’m in serious trouble because I definitely do not want to be stressed out on the big day. So I try to tackle one Halloween task each week leading up to the 31st, then it doesn’t seem like much work at all.
The first item to check off my list is decorating the house. The kids can’t wait to start this project; as soon as October comes, they are begging me to do it. So, this week, we had a blast decorating our house (for under $20!).
Here are some of my favourite, inexpensive decorating items:
- Caution tape – I buy this at my local dollar store and two packages go a long way. I love the ones that have cheeky sayings like, “Come in for a bite!” (in a spooky font), instead of the usual “Caution” or “Danger”.
- Spiders and ghosts to hang on the porch, or from light fixtures in the house. The dollar store has these in spades, and they make a big impact for very little money.
- Window clings – they’re cheap, kids can put them up with little-to-no help (oh, the sense of independence and accomplishment!) and they can be reused each year… what’s not to love?
The next item on my to-do list is to come up with classroom treats. We all know there will be an abundance of candy on the big day, so I want to send something that will be a bit different, but still a lot of fun, for the kids.
Here are some ideas:
- Crisp rice treats cut out in Halloween shapes are inexpensive, but every kid I know loves them. Buy Halloween-themed candy and tubes of black and orange icing at your local bulk food store, then get your child(ren) to decorate them. Tip: some brands of crisp rice cereal also make a gluten-free version, so it’s easy to make this recipe allergy-friendly.
- Loot bags filled with inexpensive dollar store finds that kids will actually use, like Halloween-themed erasers, pencils and stickers. Tip: buy a few packs of stickers and cut them up so that there are a variety of designs in each loot bag.
- If you’re the adventurous type, and can sew, you could make these adorable bat masks for the class. Tip: plan ahead and make a few each week leading up to Halloween.
Last on my list… the costumes. For me, planning starts this week. I’ll make a list of my kids’ top 3 picks and, depending on their choices, I’ll either have to dust off my sewing machine or start scouring the local thrift stores. And, of course, I’ll search online for resources, like Pinterest, for inspiration. No matter what your child wants to dress up as, I can guarantee there’s a board dedicated to it. (OK, don’t hold me to that one… but I am pretty sure you can find almost anything on there!)
Here are a few of my favourite Pinterest DIY kids’ costumes:
- Despicable Me minion
- Lego building block
- Raining cats & dogs
- Fried egg
- Flower fairy
- Rocket man
- Flower pot
No costume is complete without a fab bag to collect sweet treats! If you can sew (or know someone who does), you’ve got to check out this tutorial to make the cutest Halloween bag I’ve ever seen.
If you’d like more kids’ costume ideas, check out my Holiday DIY pin board.