Homemade Halloween on a Budget

Of course you want your kids to have a spooktacular Halloween, but time is running out and so is your budget. We know as an online student, you’re busy – balancing work, school, and family – but at the same time, not wanting life to pass you by while you’re at the computer. So, we wanted to offer some ideas about how to still make Halloween doable amidst all your other commitments – quick and easy tips to create a fantastical feast, costumes, and games with things you already have at home or can easily pick up on your way!

The Food

Halloween food ideasDon’t be spooked by the task of creating creepy treats; just take what you were going to make anyway, make some slight changes that won’t take any more time, just a little more creativity (which could be a good thing before you hit the books), give it a name, and voila – you have spooktacular food that will delight and sustain even the pickiest of goblins.

Let’s say you were going to make pizza for dinner. Make the toppings on the pizza look like a jack-o-lantern face; pepperonis and olive slices make nice eyes, add a mushroom for a nose, pepperoni or onions for the grin and add a broccoli floret for the stem! If you were instead going to have Sheppard’s pie, make the mashed potatoes look like ghosts on top of the meat and veggies; pile up the mashed potatoes into mounds and add two peas to each mound for eyes. Grilled cheese and tomato soup becomes Grilled Jacks with Blood soup just by cutting out jack-o-lantern faces in the bread before adding the cheese and grilling! With a simple name change, blue-corn chips become “dried bat wings.”

Dessert is easy too; how about a caramel apple dipping station. Slice apples and put the slices on short skewer rods, melt caramel pieces (as directed) and put sprinkles and chocolate pieces into small bowls. Let your family dip their apples in the caramel, then add sprinkles and candy pieces to create their own treat!

The Costumes

Costumes can be created from anything on hand – all you need is 10-15 minutes between work and homework, and again, a little creativity.

Cereal Killer:
Take a box of cereal and a butter knife. Position the butter knife in the box of cereal like it has been stabbed into it. Add some string around the top for someone to wear it around their neck and voila – a Cereal Killer. You could also add fake blood to the cereal box around the knife for effect.

Halloween gamesShadow:
All you need is black sweatpants and a black mask or face make-up. Put these on and follow someone’s every move like a shadow. This might irritate whomever you decide to follow, so choose wisely.

Mocking (insert last name and add an s) ex. Mocking Jays; Mocking Tarantinos; Mocking Smiths etc.:
Your kids dress like you and you dress like your kids. This costume varies based on the members of your family. Kids can wear business attire and carry briefcases and the parents can wear jeans and mimic the hair and attitudes of their progeny. You could have a lot of fun with this one and it would make a great family portrait too!

The Games

Bobbing for apples is a classic Halloween game, but who wants to get their faces wet? So let’s bob for doughnuts! Take doughnuts and attached them to string. Hang the string on a tree-branch, or something at an appropriate height. Have your kids, using only their mouths, try and eat the doughnuts. This will keep them entertained and be quite fun to watch as well.

Halloween safety tipsOnce the Halloween candy is home what can you do with it? Before you give it to the dentist for cash, use the candy and create a bar-graph representing their candy stash. All you have to do is separate the candy into different brands/kinds/colors (however your kids want to represent their stash) and line up the candy. Use different lines for different brands/kinds/colors. This will create a representation of their candy which is sure to make an impression – you could take this time and teach them a thing or two about graphing as well (age permitting), unless school is the last thing you want to think about at the moment!

Whether you are staying in or going out this Halloween, CSU OnlinePlus wishes you and your family a happy, fun, and safe holiday. It’s our mission to provide you with a variety of resources and support along your educational journey. From helping you advance your career with a master’s degree to offering ideas like these to make you the coolest parent on the block this Halloween – your success is our cause!

We’d love to hear your ideas as well! Share them with fellow online students here; after all, you’re the task-juggling experts!

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