October isn’t always the most cheerful of months. With children going back to school, the nights drawing in and the weather getting colder, it seems a long time since summer and a longer time until Christmas.
Cheer up your household with a Hallowe’en party for your children and their friends, and don’t forget to plan some themed games such as apple bobbing, treasure hunt for spooky prizes or ‘pin the tail on the black cat’.
A great ice breaker is ‘dress the mummy’, where children split into two teams and wrap their chosen ‘mummy’ in bandages made from toilet roll. The winner is the team that wraps either most quickly or most convincingly.
Here are our top ten choices to help your party get off to a great start.
1. Wooden Halloween garland, The Contemporary Home
Make sure everyone knows where the party is by hanging this wooden garland above the front door or party room. In chunky wood with bright and cheerful illustrated letters including a cat, snake, pumpkin and a pair of pointy witch boots, it’s perfect for setting the scene. £9, available from The Contemporary Home.
2. Halloween paper cups, Poundland
Part of a range that includes plates and bowls, these Halloween-themed paper cups are great value at 40 for £1 and will help you keep the clearing up to a minimum after the party. For more information and stockists, visit the Poundland website.
3. Halloween milk chocolate pumpkins, Ellie Ellie
These cute little seasonal treats are perfect for serving up as games prizes or after the party meal, and come in a resealable jar with lid on the off-chance there are any left over. £9.50, available from Ellie Ellie.
4. Bat-shaped shortcake biscuits, Tesco’s
Seriously moreish, these bat-shaped biscuits will lend a suitably spooky edge to your celebrations. For added atmosphere, serve with red or black napkins. £1.75, available from selected Tesco stores around Halloween time.
5. Halloween cookie cutters, Poundland
Alternatively, have some pre-event fun by making your own Halloween biscuits, with this set of five cookie cutters, £1 from Poundland. Use a standard shortbread recipe, then decorate the finished biscuits to your heart’s content with coloured icing and licorice or silver balls for eyes.
6. Ceramic pumpkin candle holders, Gisela Graham
If, like us, you find carving real pumpkins a bit fraught and are always worried your children might end up with fewer thumbs than they started with, take the easy option with this set of three ceramic tealight holders by Gisela Graham. Reusable year after year, they’re perfect for hanging outside your house or in a window, and they’re less mess too. £20 for three from The Contemporary Home.
7. Halloween cake cases, Wilton
Make your own fairy cakes with these printed cake cases, and decorate the finished cakes with green and red icing or spider designs. For an easy ‘eyeball’ design, cut out circles of white fondant icing and stick them to the cake with a blob of glace icing. Add another, smaller, coloured circle for the iris then add a ‘pupil’ made from black fondant icing or licorice. Draw on bloodshot ‘veins’ with a red food colouring pen for a spooky effect. Cake cakes cost £3 for 72, available from John Lewis.
8. Halloween cake stand, Littlewoods
Display your homemade goodies to best effect on this three tier cake stand, £5 from Littlewoods. It holds up to 24 fairy cakes, and will provide a centrepiece for your party table.
9. Ghost napkins, Tiger stores
Finish off your scary decor in style with these ghost napkins, featuring a friendly ghost guaranteed not to be too frightening for younger guests! £1 for a pack of 20, visit the Tiger stores website for more information and stockists.
10. Halloween tinsel, Marks & Spencer
Help your party sparkle and shine with this Halloween tinsel, £4 from Marks & Spencer. Use it to decorate the room or table, or drape around your guests to help them get into the mood.