If I could have a redo on the career path I would go into party planning for children. There is nothing I love more than creating a fantastic event for a birthday or a holiday. I love it all, from the decorations to fabulous themed foods, nothing gets my creative energy flowing more than planning a great day. Unfortunately, as with so many things in life, themed parties can become quite expensive and nothing can ruin the memory of your little ones superb soiree more than getting the exorbitant bill afterwards.
With Halloween just around the corner I thought I would challenge myself this month and create a Halloween hoedown for 12 children for under $50.00. That’s just a bit more than $4.00 per child, which sounds pretty good to me. During my planning I discovered that hosting a great wallet-friendly event is possible but it requires a little dash of craftiness, some well-spent time on Pinterest, a few trips to the dollar bins, and clipped coupons from local craft supply retailers.
My spooktacular party will include 2 games, 2 crafts, 2 snacks, and of course a take-away treat bag. I started by scouring Pinterest for Halloween games, there are a ton listed but I chose “Pin the Heart on the Skeleton”. This project is adorable and could double as a stand-alone Halloween decoration. The skeleton is made of felt and I can use it again for each child. This is a major bonus! Once I downloaded the free pattern, I gathered inexpensive supplies. I used two white felt sheets that already had the adhesive on the back and at $0.99 each these were a bargain. I also used a piece of large black felt and picked up a bag a pre-cut felt heart stickers. You could cut your own hearts from construction paper or plain red felt but this saved time and wasn’t that expensive. I found funny eye masks at another retailer in their dollar bins and used a 40% off coupon for the craft store. My total for this game was around $7.00, not too shabby. For my second game I found a cute drawing game called “Roll-A-Pumpkin”. This game requires a pair of dice, construction paper, and markers. We have all of these things on hand so my total cost for this game…FREE!
It was a little more challenging to think of a craft. There are a lot of options out there but I knew I wanted a craft that the children and parents would really appreciate and that would be memorable. The first thought that came to mind was some kind of picture. I know that for me once I’ve stuffed my little ones into those super cute costumes capturing that image is a must. My own mother still has a fading picture of me in my plastic Snow White apron complete with the suffocating mask and she adores it. At my son’s last birthday party I had the idea for a photo booth and found a very inexpensive one to construct. This simple photo booth uses basic PVC pipe and a fabric back drop. The best part is I can easily disassemble it and use it over again. Just change the background fabric to match your theme and you have a “go-to” photo booth for each of your parties! Since we already had this on hand all I had to buy was new fabric. You’ll need about 3 yards but discounted holiday fabric is easy to find and I managed to scarf up a Halloween themed print at about $4.25/yard.
Oriental trading is a great site and a seasonal wonderland filled with all sorts of holiday goodies at bargain prices. I found discounted Halloween photo frames at a clearance price of $5.25 for a pack of 12. If you are willing to provide your email and sign up for notifications they often offer free-shipping or coupon codes on top of the discounted savings. Now, the kids will have a unique photo-frame and a great snapshot to go with it! For our second craft, I had the good sense to scarf up Halloween stickers and foam crafts at the end of last season for 80% off. Much to my husband’s dismay they have been sitting dormant in my garage for a year. Now it’s time to break them out and relish in the savings. If you aren’t a Halloween obsessed Mom like myself and failed to stock up last year these items can still be found at area craft stores and are usually always on sale. For about $5.00 you can find a pretty simple foam craft or sticker bucket and let the children create!
For the party, I planned one fun snack and one snack on the healthier side. I found these adorable paranormal pretzels in October’s Family Fun magazine. The idea is simple; white pretzels with melted, colored, candy-pieces in the top two loops for the eyes, and a colored sprinkle in the middle. You can find a large container of Greek-yogurt covered white pretzels in the store for about $3.50, grab a medium bag of M&M’s, some sprinkles you probably already have on hand, and you’re good to go. I also plan to serve ghost bananas and pumpkin Clementines. Click on the link for ideas on how to create these easy, healthy, and memorable party additions.
Since everyone is bound to be inundated with candy during official trick or treating I decided to keep my treat bags simple. Check out this clever mama’s blog and print out her free “Bugs and Kisses” tags. These treat bags use clear cellophane bags filled with Hershey kisses, assorted bugs, and spider rings from the dollar store. You can tie the printed tags to the bags with matching ribbon creating a treat that is too easy and so cute!
$6.00 Treat Bags
That leaves me just enough to grab a dollar store table cloth, plates, and napkins for my $50.00 limit. If you partner with a fellow parent or two you could split the cost and mix up a couple of Creepy Cosmopolitans to enjoy at the end of your great budget friendly Halloween party. Or you could reward yourself and make them anyway, you deserve it!
Readers, do you have any secrets for throwing a great kids party? Anyone have a few tried and true websites, retailers, or go-to games that you like to use? I look forward to hearing your suggestions and planning my next holiday bash soon!
Melissa’s Creepy Cosmos for Halloween (Go ahead, you’ve earned it!)
Stoli Orange, Splash of Cranberry juice, Splash of Triple Sec, Freshly Squeezed juice of 1 lime, Splash of Prosecco,
Shake Well and Pour into Martini Glass