The first smidges of red and yellow in the woods are a sign that it is time to plan a Halloween party. We love hosting Halloween parties at our home. We invite several families and some have several children so keeping our Halloween party simple and cheap (after all Christmas is coming) is a priority. We’ve found several ways to create fun and cheap Halloween party crafts.
As a former preschool teacher, I am inclined to set up party activities and crafts much like “centers.” The idea being that there are designated places with all the preparations and supplies, as well as examples ready for our party guests. This way guests can choose a “center” and work on a craft or activity for as little or as much time as they like. This is really important when hosting a Halloween party for mixed ages.
Halloween party painted pumpkins (with a twist):
I am really a brave mom but with a handful or two of extra children in the house, including toddlers, the sharp knives aren’t coming out. That doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy pumpkin decorating though.
Mini pumpkins are often 2 or 3 for a dollar, which makes them an inexpensive Halloween craft and fun party take home gift.
The “twist” to our painted pumpkins is the scraps of fabric or ribbon tied to the top. I can take no credit for this idea. One year my daughter and I were hosting a crafts table at a country fair with mini pumpkin painting and corn husk doll crafts. She took several strips of ripped fabric from the cornhusk dolls table and tied them to the top of her pumpkin stem. Soon every child wanted to create a “do” for their mini pumpkin and we began siphoning fabric strips from the corn husk doll table to the pumpkin painting table.
Drop cloth or newspaper
Cups of small amounts of paint
Scraps of fabric, yarn or ribbon
Tip from experience: Only put out the tiniest paintbrushes you have available. Kids get less paint at once and can actually make more purposeful brush strokes- and less mess.
Halloween card pumpkin prints using apples:
Cutting apples in half and making red or green or yellow apple prints is a popular fall craft. Did you know that if you use the same idea with orange paint the print will resemble a pumpkin? This past year, this craft got even simpler after I found a large and round orange ink pad at an education store.
As you introduce this party center, encourage guests to make a handmade Halloween card for a friend or grandparent or any loved one.
Folded squares of card stock
*This is a cheap party remember? Use what you’ve got in the way of paper. Kids do not care if all of the cards are the same size, color or weight.
Small amounts of orange paint on a paper plate OR a large orange ink pad
Green markers for stems
Tip from experience:
Corn on the cob holders inserted into the back side of the apple ahead of time make it much easier for little hands to pick up the apple halves and make paint prints. (You can have extras stored in the fridge if some apple halves die in the line of duty. This way you’re not pulling out the big knife at the party. If you don’t use them, enjoy a well deserved snack after the party.)
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Use what you’ve got that you already know kids enjoy.
Lego jack-o-lantern Halloween party crafts:
Pull out all of your orange and black Lego’s for a Lego jack o lantern center. Put them on a tray to define space. This is a great job for the kids before the party. Have them create a sample to sit on the tray to give your guests some inspiration.
Orange and black Lego’s
Pumpkin play dough center:
This time encourage your kids to mix the colors! Let them mix red and yellow play dough to make orange for a play dough pumpkin center. If you have green for stems and black for faces great, if not it is not important.
Throw out any Halloween cookie cutters or even jar tops to make circles. Add pieces of cut straws, which are perfect for “poking” out a jack-o-lantern face. Don’t’ forget the trays or even shoebox lids to define the working space.
Trays or shoe box tops
Cookie cutters or jar lids
Three or four activity centers are plenty for a Halloween party for young children. To make your party run smoothly, have the center area set up and clearly defined and have a sample of the Halloween party craft on display. This will be a fun job for your own children while you’re preparing for the party.