Halloween celebrations have changed a lot in Ireland over the past ten years or so. What once was a simple celebration (when a black plastic bin liner served perfectly well as a costume!) has now become much more expensive, especially at a time of year when parents are just recovering from back to school expenses and Christmas is looming.
Here are some suggestions towards enjoying a less expensive, fun Halloween for all the family.
- Source costumes by swopping with friends, and visiting second hand shops.
- Encourage older children to be creative and maybe spend some time in a second hand shop with you too, finding the perfect bits and pieces to create their own look.
- Have a party in your own home and invite each child to bring a gruesome dish with them. There are so many of the old games children will still very much enjoy too, such as ‘Pass the Apple’. These can be great fun without much expense.
- Chocolate dipped apples for the callers can be fun to make with your child and you can get good value on small apples; or maybe your neighbour has some growing, you never know! Halloween doesn’t have to mean just a basket load of sweets and chocolates.
- Dress up yourself and get into the spirit of things. Enjoy the day with your children, make it an annual family tradition. It is a day you can laugh out loud and enjoy the innocence of childhood.
- Encourage your children to make their own decorations instead of buying many. It will help you be creative and have fun together while doing it. You may need to visit the euro shop and stock up on some craft bits and pieces. Pumpkins can be relatively cheap and maybe you have chanced growing your own this year – carving them out is great fun and brings out your and your child’s creativity.
- Agree what children are allowed to do on Halloween with them in advance. Many communities have organised free events which can be a good way to meet your neighbours and get out of the house for an evening.
- Do not allow children to trick or treat without constant adult supervision. Encourage children to actually have a ‘treat’ ready, like a song.
- If you have older children, know where they are going and with whom. Call other parents and check out plans. Don’t worry if your teen thinks you are too protective or ‘nagging’; it is better to know than not to.
- Finally try to not dread it or hate it. Halloween can be simple fun without much expense. Your children will get such pleasure from enjoying it with you.
This ’10 Ways to’ article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.
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