Halloween is right around the corner! For kids this means dressing up in the costume of their dreams and candy out the wha-zoo. What could be better?!!
But as moms, if it wasn’t for the “good candy” we consume after the kids go to bed, Halloween would totally not be as worth it! As moms with four young boys between the two of us, we can attest school parties are less throw a bag of candy corn at them and let them run around wild for two hours, and more about a Pinterest-perfect soiree with a three-course themed meal and homemade games made of paper mache and organically dyed fabrics. Trunk-or-treat has turned in to a spectacle where parents are spending a full week of nights preparing for an over the top display. And some reason, my oldest ONLY wants costumes that CANNOT be purchased at the nearest Target or even Amazon. Not on Amazon? Does it really even exist then? So although the holiday is fun and seeing our kids have the times of their lives dressed up in adorable costumes is heart-warming, you can hear moms across the country breathe a collective sigh of relief when the calendar turns to November 1st.
For these reasons, we have gathered our greatest Mom “hacks” for all of you out there that yearn for a little more time and a little less effort to put forth. We have enough to worry about, right? Well, we hope these tips and tricks will get you those extra winks of sleep we all deserve!
When they want a homemade costume:
This is when you bust out the cardboard and the spray paint! Last year my son wanted to be a fire truck. Not a fireman, a truck. When I showed him ones I could purchase those were not good enough. He wanted it to “not be soft” meaning not fabric. Terrific (said sarcastically)!
In terms of price, this actually worked in my favor, for once. I grabbed a box from our recycling pile and went to work. Cardboard boxes can be made in to a multitude of different costumes: any sort of truck, train, robot, transforming Rescue Bot (which is what he has requested this year), a Minion, the list goes on.
Once I had the box, we cut off one side, as that would be the bottom where his legs and body would be. We then cut a hole big enough for him to fit through. Pro tip: diaper boxes are the perfect size for a child’s costume. Next was the easy part of spraying the entire box red. Once dry, I raided his supply of construction paper, grabbing sheets of yellow, white, gray and black. These sheets of paper would be the wheels, ladder, windows, siren and tools. Last step was to pick up a sheet of stick on letters and numbers, and use them for the “FD” on the back and the truck number. Cut out all shapes and either hot glue or Gorilla glue on for maximum stickiness.
Pro Tip: The BEST way we found to hold the box up without making the child carry the costume is to clip on a pair of suspenders to the sides of the cut hole. It is comfortable for the child and can be adjusted for the height and length needed.
My youngest son got to be the dalmatian to accompany the fire truck, because obviously! You can tell he was thrilled. The truck was a hit that night and is actually still around for dress up play. So don’t be intimidated, anyone can make a homemade costume happen!
When you are in charge of bringing “healthy” snacks to the school or friend party:
Many schools nowadays are trying to steer away from junk-filled parties, and as a mom I don’t hate the idea. We all know full-well our kids will be stuffed with candy for the next two weeks, so providing snacks at least a tad healthy for one afternoon never hurt anyone. Here’s some SUPER easy hacks:
- Jack-o-lantern oranges and fruit cups. Simply draw with a permanent marker on the skin of the orange and the outside of the fruit cups. It took no more than five minutes to complete an entire class worth.
- Ghost cheese sticks. Again use that trusty marker and make two eyes with a ghost mouth. That’s really all it takes.
- Mummy raisins. If you can find crepe paper, it would be ideal to use. I did not have any, so strips of Kleenex did the trick. I added a small piece of tape in the back of the box and then stuck eyes on the front. Mummies in no time. This would also be great on juice boxes or apple sauce packets.
- Grape caterpillars. Another simple trick. Slide grapes on to a skewer until full. For the eyes, I took a little store-bought sparkle icing in a tube, put two small globs on the last grape and stuck white chocolate chips in the icing. You can also use candy eyes, but I didn’t have those on hand, so improvise we must!
When you are in charge of bringing “the good treats” to the friend or school party:
Lollipop ghosts and spiders. Don’t we all remember the ghost lollipops from our own childhood? An oldie but goodie! You can also wrap pipe cleaners around the stick for spider legs, or simply glue or adhere a paper bat to the stick for a fun presentation.
- Mini donut spiders. These are simple, cute and delicious! Using pretzel rods, stick in to the side of the donut for eight legs. Using the sparkle icing again along with white chocolate chips, eyes were made in no time.
- Witch’s Broomstick. Unwrap miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and stick in the same pretzel rods used for the donut spiders.
- Graveyard pudding cups. Talk about a sugar overload! Take pudding cups, and top with crushed Oreo cookies, ghost Peeps and candy pumpkins. Done!
When you need to treat yo’ self:
After all of the chaos has settled, the children have fallen asleep at midnight after their sugar rushes finally wore off, it’s time to treat yo’ self! And that calls for some wine and all of the good chocolate from the kids’ trick-or-treat bags. Cue the evil laugh…bahahahaha!