If you can’t beat them, join them. Even if the thought of Halloween fills you with dread (no pun intended), the thought of being the only party pooper not involved in your street could be even worse. But don’t worry. There are some really simple ideas that could take your house from not-so-spooky disaster to spooktacular in next no time.
Invest in a fog machine (or hire one)
Sometimes the simplest special effect can add the most impressive drama. Put a dry ice machine in your entryway so that when you open the front door, you’re enveloped in a cloud of spooky white mist. Or set it up outside so it’s eerily covering the footpath to your front door or verandah– we’re shuddering just thinking about it. Add some music or ghostly sound effects to really raise the bar.
Leave no window (or door) undecorated
Whether you choose spiders, ghosts, jack-o’-lanterns, bats or cats and broomsticks, placing cutouts of them all over your windows will have a pleasing festive effect. Get the kids involved by printing out templates off Google Images to make loads of ghastly cardboard cutouts and garlands to stick up all over the house.
Make yourself a monster front door
Monster or mummify? Make a daring impact on arrival by turning your front door into a scary and fun feature. We’ve found some easy tutorials, for example, Modern Day Moms created a simple yet effective front door monster with streamers and paper plates. Easy peasy.
Outdoor glowing jack-o’-lanterns
If you have a front porch, create a warm, welcoming effect by stringing up a bunch of Halloween lanterns. The orange glow will show from a distance, so there’ll be no questioning your Halloween spirit and invitation to trick or treaters to come knocking.
Floating witches hats
These are less warm and inviting, more wow-factor. Lots of people go with the standard orange pumpkin lanterns, so why not think a little left of centre and go for floating, glowing, witches hats. The little witches and wizards in your neighbourhood will love it!
Hang eerie essentials from fencing & trees
If you have trees or a front fence, utilise them. Hang spider-webs, zombies, rubber snakes, flashing fairy lights, spiders, bats, aliens, ghosts, ghouls, pumpkins, skeletons, skulls, bones, and anything else you can think of that’s frightful! Local kids will also love playing with a Halloween treat-filled pinata hung from your tree.
Re-name the lollies
This is so simple, we can’t believe we didn’t think of it before. What child doesn’t find the concept of things that are gross, slimy and disgusting, funny? Why not rename your lollies into things like ghost poop (Maltesers), alien eyeballs (gumballs), monster scabs (honeycomb) and witches warts (strawberries and cream)?
Make the pumpkins the lolly dish
If you’ve spent the time carving out some pumpkins, put them to good use. What about some extra-large pumpkin mouths, with the lollies inside – ready for taking. Children will love having to put their hands inside a forboding mouth to swiftly pinch some candy.
Theme it like you mean it
A theme can tie everything together in your front yard and costume choice in a fun and special way. Maybe you’re going for a spooky Alice in Wonderland, a creepy alien invasion Stranger Things vibe, a Thriller inspired graveyard, or a dark Harry Potter look. Regardless of what theme you choose, once you have one in mind the other ideas will roll in nicely.
Don’t leave them guessing
There’s nothing worse than putting the effort into your Halloween costume, only to have no one recognise what you are. And, as it will be mainly children interacting with you (with a few adult chaperones), it’s probably best to keep it simple and stay away from a cryptic outfit. Superheroes, witches, pirates, ghosts and Disney princesses are always a winner with the kiddies.
Most of all, have fun and stay safe. Five tips for safe trick or treating with the kids:
- Make sure that the costume won’t get in the way of your child’s eyesight or breathing and that they wear shoes that are comfortable and easy to walk in.
- Depending on the age group, have an adult go around to supervise the group of kids while they’re trick or treating. It’s also a good idea to plan a route with the other parents in advance so that you know where the kids will be going on the night.
- Only accept and consume wrapped Halloween lollies for hygiene reasons.
- Remind the kids it’s all just fun and games. To prevent nightmares and a terrified toddler, reassure them before going out that the scary costumes are all just ‘pretend’.
- If you don’t feel comfortable with your child going trick or treating on the streets, why not have a Halloween party at home? A spooky Halloween backyard lolly hunt or trick or treating along your driveway with school friends could easily replace door knocking.
Have a happy Halloween!