With Halloween just around the corner and a child or three to entertain, no doubt you are perfectly prepared. The pumpkins are exquisitely carved, the creepy costumes (hand) made and the house positively gleaming with ghoulish garlands.
Ha ha! In our wildest dreams.
In reality it could be a very different story – I know it is for me. There’s something about Halloween that somehow tests our mothering skills. We unintentionally find ourselves on a public scoreboard where we are swiftly categorised according to our Halloween efforts. The results range from Brilliant mother, Could Try Harder Mother, to Pity Your Kids.
Christmas is a ‘must’. However hectic we are we always manage to pull Christmas off. But Halloween’s a different story. Some years, if you’re particularly busy, you can get away with doing almost nothing. Meaning the mums that manage the Halloween crafts, costumes and cooking standout like shining examples of how it should be done. While others (myself included) can only look on enviously.
Not this Halloween. This year will be different. This year we’ll be all over Halloween like zombies on a graveyard at midnight. It’ll be stress free. And not only that – it will be FUN!
But where to start?
Fear not. We have the perfect 5-step plan to transform you from spooky-mum to super-mum all by 31 October. It’s easy, it’s cheap and your kids will love you for it.
Further reading: Check out these hilarious Halloween decorations.
1. Cackling countdown paper chains
Get ahead and give the impression you are totally in control.
Start the countdown for Halloween by making a simple paper chain with your children. Use black and orange/green paper ideally or colour in some white paper.
Make the number of links match the number of days until the 31st October. Each day your child can remove a link until there are none left. Or do it the other way around and add links until you have a paper chain to hang up on Halloween.
Wow mum is so on the ball already.
Source: Makes and Takes
2. No carve pumpkin lanterns
Of course, all Halloween-happy mums manage to effortlessly decorate their houses. And we’ll not be outdone this year. Forget the drama, danger and possible death of pumpkin carving and get crafty with some no carve pumpkin decorations instead. You can even cheat and buy cheap pumpkin decoration kit … which you can use again next year, yay.
3. Spidery Halloween supper
While you’re in spooktacular mum-mode make sure you provide some edible delights for your children. Don’t stress as I’ve discovered two easy Halloween recipes that the kids can make without too much mess. And when I say easy, I mean you don’t need a degree and 5-years’ experience in a pastry kitchen.
Start with these Spider Web Pizzas. Just buy the pizza bases and let the kids get creative as they happily weave their own cheesy webs. Mums jobs: Stand by and ooh and ahh.
Finish your seasonal supper with these so-easy-it’s-not-funny Spider Cup Cakes. You can make the cakes in advance and freeze them or buy some plain cupcakes and let the kids decorate them. Mums job: Take some photos and pop them on Facebook so everyone can see you have Halloween covered.
For more easy-peasy Halloween food read this: Halloween food that is spookily simple.
4. Eerily easy Halloween costumers
No Halloween is complete without trick or treating. But your children grow so fast that you probably end up forking out for a new outfit every year?
Remember to keep my adjectives in there when you give them the choice. It makes them sound more exciting and it’s less likely they’ll ask to be a zombie bride or something equally as complicated.
5. Trick or treat basket (with love from mum)
Lastly, and the finale to your ‘look at me this Halloween’ efforts, why not nip to a dollar shop and grab some super-cheap trick or treat baskets? (Please avoid plastic though.)
Stick a little note on them wishing them Happy Halloween from their oh-so-clever mum.
Present them to your children (maybe with some start-up booty) as they head off happily to frighten the neighbours.
Stockist: Riot Art & Craft
My final words for an easy Halloween
In wrapping up, it's clear that conquering Halloween as a mum doesn't require magical powers.
By plotting your Halloween game plan well in advance and enlisting your little goblins, you're on your way to a spooktacularly smooth experience.
Opting for costumes that don't require a PhD in sewing and enlisting decorations that practically put themselves up will have you cackling with glee.
Remember, safety's the name of the game, so make those pathways so well-lit that even the resident werewolf can't miss them. And when it comes to the candy haul, exercising a bit of "quality control" (wink, wink) never hurt anyone.
Don't be afraid to recruit other mums into your Halloween dream team; after all, it takes a village to turn a bunch of sugar-fuelled monsters into sleep-ready angels.
So, as you juggle the cauldron of costumes, candy, and chaos, keep that broomstick handy for any unforeseen curveballs. With a pinch of creativity and a generous dollop of laughter, you're set to enjoy a Halloween that's easier than wrangling a group of sugared-up ghosts.