Halloween is definitely the start of my favorite part of the year , it is the lead up to Bonfire night and my birthday and of course Christmas , so we always start to get little excited come the end of October.
Every year we have our own little party.
We decorate the house , make gruesome food and design home friendly frightful games , and on the weekend closest to Halloween, we have our special Hallows Party, just us and the kids.
This year , things have been on a tight budget for us.
We gave the kids a budget of just £50 to decorate the house , the table setting and we even bought a door mat for just £1 too and was surprised when we ended up with so much from Poundworld that the house looked wonderful .
From Tablecloths to hanging Trick Treat decorations ,huge wall murals and even haunted cake stands , the party was looking amazing , it just needed a few extra personal touches.
I have not taken the kids trick or treating for a couple of years now, I kind of stopped doing it after a spell of cold winter nights , blistering frost and poorly children getting too cold after school that it just was not fun anymore so this year we took the idea of 'You've been booed?' from Happiness Is Homemade .
A fantastic idea where you place a sign on two of your neighbors doors with a sweet (treat ) and they then pass it to two more neighbours or friends which I have never seen before but made me think a little more differently about the experience , especially suited for the younger children who like to celebrate , and more than that made the whole experience more safe .
We went a little further due to the fact there are only 2 children in our small cul de sac street and made three and filled a Halloween treat bag with Halloween themed sweets and trick spiders and a skull trinket. We also made Halloween bookmarks, added a little book we picked up out and about and printed of some colouring , puzzle and craft pages to keep them entertained .
Not just for the treaters but we also made these into some fun activities to keep the children busy at home to.
On the Friday , our local community center held their party and as always , my children like to dress up and with them getting a little bigger now , getting a bit bored of the same outfits, we decided to make our own this year to use up old clothes and save a few pennies.
My girls still had their flower girl dresses from our wedding years back , there were a few different sizes so luckily we had two that were able ot be used and so we decided to decorate them ourselves. Again we printed of templates and cut them onto foam sheets, had them sewn on to the dress and added some grey mesh fabric as well as some old Halloween themed cloth we had lying about and we were so impressed with the end results , I really don't know why I had not done I before.
With a little tissue paper and PVA glue for the wounds and some face paints to bring it all together they both looked fantastic .
We went to the party, it was fantastic and because their dad was working we met him there and enjoyed hot-dogs and homemade cakes and toffee apples.
The main event for us is always our own party we decide to hold and so after printing of lots of banners and buying a few essentials , we decided to make a rather frightful feast .
My neighbour does not celebrate Halloween but she loves to send us homemade cupcakes over which she adds spooky themed sweets onto and so we always make our theme around these.
This year we decided t make a gravestone trifle instead of a cake and it went down even better than we had hoped.
What could be better than jelly, angel delight flavours mixed and lots of fresh whipped cream ?
We had the children making grave stone biscuits earlier on as an extra activity for them and when it was all added together it looked fantastic.
Seeing so many great ideas on the web inspired me to try something new and so we also bought some ready to roll puff pastry and let the children make their own mummy sausage rolls, I have to admit these tasted amazing and even surprised me how well they turned out , we even added a little passata to give it that extra flavour.
We based all of our food around Halloween and even made more treats such as Bogeyman's Bogeys (popcorn covered in green icing sugar ), witches hats (pizza cut into triangles), tongue sandwiches (ham and tomato ketchup sandwiches), teeth (yogurt covered fruits), and so many more things.
Our little pumpkin absolutely loved his Gooey brained spiders they made (Jaffa cakes with sugar strand laces and chocolate buttons to decorate).
We always do so much its usually hard to share it all but not just the food was frightful, you should have seen our Slow cooked Hot chocolate .
We literally made most things and anything possible such as the photo props which we just printed and laminated.
We had so many different games to play throughout the day and night.
Of course the classic , bobbing apples in the sink with a frozen hand we made with a glove filled with water, add some red jelly or tomato ketchup to the water with the odd floating spider and they love it .
This was a new one for us ,We all love pin the tail but we needed a more appropriate theme so came up with the idea of making a web made of wool which we had spare and printed a spider , added it to some wool t replicate the web and played pin the spider on its web.
The younger ones loved this especially.
We placed point markers on plastic cups and threw little spiders in , another great game to get those motor skills working .
We printed our some bingo grids and loved matching our spooks to the bingo sheets.
For each bingo shouted they got a treat.
We did play so many more games.
Our favourite had to be the musical ghouls game.
We filled black and orange balloons with sweets, spiders and fangs and when the music stopped they had to choose one balloon and pop it with their bottom, it was very fun and a great laugh to watch especially. Everyone's a winner every time the music stops so no twisting kids complaining they never won anything .
We had a fun filled packed day, baking , crafting, games and so much more . We never finished until around 9pm to which we then sat and wached 'The nightmare before Christmas' movie, our favourite. Honestly ,my children know all the words and sing along to all the songs .
On the Sunday , Our local Intu shopping center at Gateshead was hosting a few different things for the children to enjoy . We had already had such a busy weekend so another day would not hurt, after all we had not spent much at all with all the savings we had made , so what better way to unwind than to go for a little window shopping in the run up to Christmas.
There an actual trick of treat event where the children were given treat bags , they had to look for pumpkin stickers that retailers and restaurant had placed in the windows and if they went inside the shop , the shop would give them a treat. This consisted of sweets and lots of them , one of the restaurants in the food court even handed out special chocolate cookies which were delicious .
In house of Fraser , we even had all the children's faces painted all for free and even more added sweets for their treat bags. Joshua decided on a paw patrol ,while his brother chose a scary zombie .
We all had a wonderful day. I loved that they had thought about the new and inventive ideas to keep little ones entertained while us adults shopped. We loved seeing their little faces light up each time they saw a new window sticker and it was a great family bonding day .
On Monday night , after a good night sleep we went to our regular church where although they do not celebrate Halloween , we spent our time away from the dark side of things , making some wonderful cakes, decorating some pretty pictures and making some crafts that spoke and taught us about stories of the bible . It was nice to have the children still have the church included in their lives throughout this week , I think its an important addition to our lives lately I try to keep encouraged.
Because the weather was not so cold during the day on Halloween on the Tuesday and the children are home educated so this year had no excuses for having to wait til night time, we were able to take them earlier on in the day , less frightening, less cold and more safe .
They loved it and got quite a large amount too which we never expected .
Usually we would carve out pumpkins on the up running to Halloween , this year we left it a little late and actually done this on Halloween Day itself .
This time however we decided to decorate them rather than carve them . This was more for the idea that we could use the pumpkins after we had used them for decoration for the trick or treaters to make something tasty, such as soup or curry.
My favourite was the Starry night and flying witch , but I also loved the sequins toppers too , so fun and so easy and a wonderful wsy to get creative, they don't have to look scary to be in the theme .
To end the night we grabbed some bubbles witch we made stickers naming them Orbs for and pretended to have a Seyonce .
The children all sat in a circle , we told scary tales and told them to close their eyes, blew the bubbles and when they opened their eyes they saw the spirits floating by (bubbles ). They were fascinated and it finished of the Halloween week perfectly.
Sharing Halloween traditions is something I love to with my children just like my mum did with me .
I remember every year the old lady next door would send me a big bag of pear drops to ensure I would not go knocking on her door later on, my mam would allow me to invite one special friend and she would make us a fantastic Halloween themed tea party before sitting down to watch The Worse witch or Hocus Pocus . I remember the chocolate Frijj milkshake she would place in a bowl and call is poop (to put it nicely ). Makes me giggle every time I remember it but its those moments I want my children to have and grow up remembering .
Do you have traditions you keep for Halloween, maybe your making new ones?
Let me know in the comments below.