As I am working away from home for the next few days, I have asked a couple of my lovely friends to do guest posts for me. Today, Claire, a relatively new blogger and a good friend of mine from school, brings you all the ingredients you need for a great Hallowe’en party. Check out her blog for lots of lovely recipes and tips for being the best housewife (or husband) you could ever wish to be!
I can’t recall how old I was, but while at primary school I had a close knit group of friends and to compliment us, our parents all became close friends too.
We attended summer BBQs, school fetes, sports days, firework displays, quiz nights, all sorts together. The mums all supported each other, the dads talked DIY and football (my poor dad would nod politely as he’s a motorsport man, believes sport is only sport if it involves a V8 and thinks football would just be easier if you gave all the players a ball – much less chasing around!)
We also attended various parties hosted at each other’s homes; birthdays, New Years, anniversary parties etc.
I must say my Mum was a great instigator of these events. And when able, always willing to help or volunteer. She was the one who rallied for the mums to protest about the children being allowed to play in the school field during the hurricane. She organised and wrote a beautiful “This is your life” book for my best friend Jemma. And then there came the Hallowe’en parties.
I couldn’t tell you why she started them. But following the first, they became an annual event, each time hosted at a different home. Each mum trying to out do the first.
They were just fabulous.
The mums went to such lengths from the decorations to the costumes, from the food to the music.
So, while I don’t have any children of my own (yet), as we get closer to Hallowe’en, I reflect on some of the great things my mum did to make our childhood so memorable and hopefully give you [and myself] ideas to make the perfect Children’s Hallowe’en party.
The all-important Hallowe’en playlist must include the following:
1. Ray Parker, Jr. – Ghostbusters
2. Michael Jackson – Thriller
3. Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers– Monster Mash
4. The Rocky Horror Picture Show – “Time Warp”
5. The citizens of Halloween Town – This Is Halloween (from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas)
6. Harry Belafonte – Jump In The Line (Beetlejuice)
7. The B-52’s – Rock Lobster
8. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil
9. Bette Midler – Put a spell on you (Hocus Pocus)
10. Alice Cooper – Poison
11. The Automatic – Monster
12. Stevie wonder – Superstition
13. Hungry like the wolf – Duran Duran
14. Rick James – Superfreak
15. Meatloaf – Bat of Hell
16. REM – It’s the end of the world
17. MC Hammer – Addams Groove
18. The Bus Boys – Cleanin’ Up The Town (Ghostbusters Soundtrack)
19. Bobby Brown – On Our Own (Ghostbusters Soundtrack)
20. The Specials – Ghost Town
At this time of year the supermarkets are full to the brim of great ideas. But, my favourites, new and old are:
· Pumpkin lanterns (of course)
· Lots of spiderwebs (decorate cabinets, fireplaces, stair rails, light fittings)
· Candles (if the children aren’t too young or if they can be kept out of the way)
· Make ghosts using sheets, covering the top of a balloon on a stick (great for the front garden to welcome guests) or hanging on string from a landing or tree
· Black cat silhouettes stuck to the inside of windows
· Cardboard tombstones for the garden
· Bats hanging from lampshades (check out the Sainsbury’s bat template here)
· Apple bobbing bucket
· Drape furniture in white sheets to make it look like the house has been abandoned or you’ve become Miss Havisham!
· Fill vases with black faux flowers. Or go for the Autumnal orange and brown feel with real flowers (shops are full of them right now)
· Have a small cauldron on the food/buffet table filled with strange coloured water and some plastic eyes bobbing on the top.
· Draw ghostly outlines on mirrors
· Either cover up the eyes of people in paintings or photographs, or cover up the pictures completely as people of yester-year would have done at the time of a funeral
· Fill empty jars with strange-looking objects from worm shaped jelly sweets, to black coloured jelly with eyeball gobstoppers set inside.
· Cover your front door in a flock of bats
· If you have a rocking chair and a willing member of the adult team, have them slowly rocking outside the house to scare the occasional passer-by. Obviously dressed up as some sort of nut!
· Hide plastic skeletons in the shoe/coat cupboard
· Line up a few brooms or anything that could be taken as a flying implement outside the house (just like Hocus Pocus)
Image by Mikkel Vang from countryliving.com
· Jelly filled with jelly sweet worms with a few wiggling out
· Anything pumpkin related
· Giant bowl of spaghetti (worms) bolognese
· Ghost Cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes with marshmellow icing that looks ghostlike! – recipe to come)
· Green and orange coloured cakes decorated as fancy as you wish (spider webs look great)
· Candy floss pops (like you get at the seafront) or in bowls, covered with large plastic spiders (so you don’t accidentally eat them)
· Cheese stick witches fingers (cheesey breadsticks with herby finger nails)
· Eyeball cake pops
· Have a large bowl of sweets or popcorn and hidden inside, place a Thing (Addams Family) style hand so as it’s uncovered it scares the children with protruding fingers
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