Call me crazy but I seriously LOVE Halloween.
I love the eerie costumes, the spooky decorations, the ghoulish treats. I don’t even mind the intense sugar rush that my kids get after trick or treating.
Sure, Halloween isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for us, it’s something fun to look forward to every October and help us all get over that nearly-there end of the school year fizzle.
It gives the kids another occasion (as silly as it is) to get excited about and it gives me an excuse to buy extra lollies and channel my inner Nigella Lawson with some Halloween treats to eat after the kids go to bed.
Even if you don’t get into Halloween as much as we do, here’s how we’re doing Halloween this year. And I pretty much picked it all up amongst my grocery shopping which for a time-poor mum like me, is totally winning!
We got everything we needed, from pumpkins and decorations to costumes and candles, from our local Woolworths. Their Halloween stash is seriously epic this year (feels like much more than I’ve seen in past years) and well worth a look, especially if you do trick or treat with local kids.
So here’s my top tips and tricks for a stress-free Halloween for mums who want to give the kids some spooky fun.
1. Get into the spirit and dress for the occasion
Whether the kids plan on wearing their costumes to go trick or treating or you are attending a Spooky Disco at school, the best Halloween costumes are quick, easy and cheap.
Woolworths’ Halloween costumes are super lightweight and affordable (kids range between $12-$15), making them an ideal choice for the hotter weather. They won’t overheat under their costumes and you can easily dress them up with a dash of Halloween make up ($4), witches hats ($2) or one of these rubber masks ($4). Best of all, it takes all of five minutes to get ready for the big event.
We even got the dog one of their Pet Costumes ($6). Because how can you not?? Not sure she’s loving our spooky new look as much as we do! 😉
2. Insectify your home
Halloween is probably the only time of the year where we embrace creepy bugs and insects crawling all over the walls. We placed a Felt Glitter Spider ($4) and orange spiderwebs ($2 pack) on our entrance table to add to the fear factor. The Light Up Candelabra ($12) with its fake flickering flames adds to the mystery and makes things even spookier as the sun goes down. According to my 9yo, “they’re the very old ones that Draculas used” 😂… plus it catches the light on the glitter skull ($3 in black, silver or gold) perfectly.
3. Embrace your inner zombie
It’s just not Halloween without that eerie cemetery feel. I let my boys pick out a few decorations this year and of course, they both wanted the super spooky graveyard props, including this light up RIP Halloween Tombstone ($10).
The boys loved this and added the big bag o’ skeleton bones ($12) which actually looks eerily real, it made the perfect faux gravesite. The spider cobwebs ($2 in orange, green or purple) added the perfect finishing touch to our indoor cemetery.
Taking the headstone outside with the bones, recreated a pretty awesome look too! You can imagine just how good it looks as the sun starts to go down and the lights begin to really glow.
4. It’s all about the entrance…
Not everyone celebrates Halloween but if you have little trick-or-treaters wandering around the neighbourhood, you may want to let them know that you’re open for business!
Add some Halloween balloons ($2 pack) to the mailbox to let passers by know you are ‘open for business’ and place some decorations on and around the door to welcome them in. The Skeleton Paper Garlands ($3) come in a variety of patterns. So cool!
We got this cool battery operated Spooky Doorbell for $12 where a spider quickly jumps down onto your finger when you press the button. Then the eyes light up and it speaks a spooky message! The boys love it and it really does shock unsuspecting fingers! Mwah-ha-ha-ha!
It’s just not Halloween without a few ghostly goodies to trick the kiddies. In addition to the talking doorbell, the Animated Prisoner in Cage ($20) is motion activated. As soon as someone approaches, it comes to life. His eyes glow red and he breaks through his jail bars and starts screeching ‘leave me alone’ with the most spooky laugh. It’s hilarious and by far Master 7’s fave!
Then there’s the Large Hanging Ghost Skeleton on the right ($15) – he simply hangs around, hands straight up and gives you the eye as he swings in the breeze in his raggedy wrap.
And of course, it’s all about bones and rotting corpses at Halloween, so a Small Bat Skeleton ($6) never goes astray. It gave the boys a thrill! My youngest even insists that it sleeps in his room after Halloween is over. #notgonnahappen
5. Creep up your candy dish
If you are partaking in Halloween trick or treating you will need to have some lollies on hand to give to the mini trick-or-treaters. We loved this battery operated scary candy bowl ($25) and it’s such a cheeky way to serve the treats! The minute a little hand reaches for the sweets, out come the bony fingers to catch them! Frighteningly good fun!
6. Carve your way to success
We always set an afternoon aside for pumpkin carving. Massive whole pumpkins can be tricky to track down but Woolies have them for $3 per kg. They also have a three-piece pumpkin carving set ($2) that helps to get into the nooks and crannies for a clean cut!
I don’t let my boys carve their own pumpkins just yet, but I do let them pick out the patterns and ‘help’ me or Dad during the process.
To carve a pumpkin you need a Sharpie pen (to draw the design), a pumpkin carving set or sharp knife (to cut out the shapes) and a strong large spoon (to remove the seeds). Take this activity outside in the garden because it can get messy! If you do go outside the lines when carving, remove any excess Sharpie pen with nail polish remover.
Here’s a clever pumpkin face template to print and trace out to give you the spookiest pumpkin face yet … enjoy!
If you don’t feel like carving a pumpkin, you can also buy a Plastic Light Up Pumpkin ($25) from Woolies instead. Complete with its own disco projection lights that change colour, it’s a treat and a real statement piece – again another hands-down winner for our household.
7. Spooky yet yummy treats for all
If your kids are attending a Halloween party at their school then you may get suckered into baking something for it… well, I was anyhow. Check out these blood-and-brain and Halloween bat cupcakes, which can easily be made with a packet of cupcake mix, some frosting, syrup and Oreo cookies.
These are fun to make with the kids, great for a treat after school and ideal if you are hosting a Halloween themed bash, even if it’s just with the family.
Discover Halloween at Woolworths
Whether you’re new to the Halloween game or have been scaring your kids for years now, I hope you enjoyed my Halloween hacks. Make sure you head to Woolworths to find everything you need for Halloween.
They even have a Halloween hub on their website with heaps of recipe ideas and decoration inspiration. Check it out now and get ready for your best Halloween yet!
This is a sponsored article for Woolworths