A well-planned Halloween party can go a long way in keeping your kids occupied before Oct. 31. Since attention spans last about as long as Halloween candy stashes, here are a few cheap activity ideas for party-planning parents.
1. Pumpkin Decorating
No Halloween party is complete without pumpkins, and yet buying jack-o-lanterns for a dozen kids can add up. Plus, you don’t want to risk someone hurting themselves during carving. Instead, buy mini pumpkins and set up a decorating station stocked with glue, glitter, felt, pipe cleaners and other basic supplies. You can also ask parents to pitch in on decorating supplies to further cut costs.
2. Balloon Game
Fill balloons with candy and confetti and pin to a board in the pattern of a pumpkin (or other Halloween character). Have kids throw darts or simply pop balloons with a sewing needle to find out what’s inside. Consult Martha Stewart for more details on how to create this fun activity.
3. Halloween Bingo
Bingo is an easy game for kids to play and very inexpensive to coordinate. Thanks to free printables, you can find festive bingo boards featuring pumpkins, witches, black cats and more for the cost of printing it at home. Check out this roundup of top free printable resources from InkjetWilly.com and stock up on cheap printer ink while you’re there.
4. Witch Hat Ring Toss
Use a large piece of cardboard or foam board as the base, and glue black circle cut-outs to the board. Then, create witch-hat tops out of black poster board and use pool-diving rings as the tossers. Standby with cheap toys picked up at the dollar store to give as prizes.
5. Mystery Bowls
This classic game is especially fun on Halloween when slimy textures can really fool kids. This article from Parents Magazine suggests filling three bowls with cold pasta, peeled grapes and bags of pudding. Blindfold kids and have them stick their hands into the bowl and describe what they feel. Bonus: take photos of kids’ expressions and send them to their parents after the party!
6. Cupcake Decorating
This two-for-one activity takes care of the sweets portion of your party while also serving as an activity. Depending on the age group of your kids, either pre-frost cupcakes or include piping bags with different-colored frosting for kids to choose themselves. Have sprinkles, candy corn, gummy worms and mini marshmallows ready for creative fingers.
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.