Halloween is just round the corner—given a thought to how you’re going to make it a night that will haunt your kids’ memories forever?
Over the past few years, festivals in India have gone global with a vengeance! And kids today are not merely secular—celebrating Diwali, Eid and Christmas with equal gusto—but also budding world citizens. No wonder, then, that Halloween, with its plethora of folklore, mysticism and colourful rituals, has caught their fancy in a big way.
Yes, Halloween is the coolest thing ever to hit them and they revel in every moment of it. And let’s admit it—Halloween, with its spooky aura of witches, bats, black cats, haunted houses, jack-o-lanterns and other accoutrements, is a party on a platter as far as the kids are concerned.
This year there are, of course, a number of cool events and venues to check out in Lajpat Nagar, Vasant Vihar, Sirifort and GK1, but there are also many ways in which you can make this Halloween memorable for your kids and their friends, right at home—at just a little cost and barrels of fun! All it needs is for some enterprising mommies in the colony/apartment complex/ playgroup to get together and do some creative planning for a Halloween party, complete with decorations of lighted pumpkins, bats, witches, black cats, and some haunting music in the background. And here are some creative ideas to help you along:
1. Costume Party
What is Halloween without the fancy dress? A costume party brings out the kid in everyone, and hey presto! Before you can blink an eye, you are deluged in Batmans (Batmen?) and other superheroes, with the younger ones going for Smurfs or the Disney lot.
You could, however, be different and confine the theme to ‘Spooky’ or ‘Strictly Homemade’, with prizes for ‘the scariest costume’, ‘the most innovative costume’, ‘the best homemade costume’, etc.
2. Face Painting
A ‘Face Painting Corner’ at the Halloween party beats the ‘Tattoo Corner’ at birthday bashes any day. Perhaps some artistic adults could take on the challenge. There are plenty of DIY videos on You Tube for inspiration. Or the older kids could take a stab at painting each others’ as well as the little ones’ faces. Or else, you could hire a professional from your friendly neighbourhood party planner’s. The kids will love it—and so will you!
3. Treasure Hunt
If your Halloween bash is not confined to a hall, and you have open space in the complex or colony at your disposal, you could organize a treasure hunt. This could be a simple, one-step game where kids pick slips containing clues out of a bowl and search for the hidden treasures. If you have some exceptionally creative people in your group, you could even make it a multi-step affair, with one clue leading to another, and finally to the treasure, in a series of steps. But this is strictly for the older kids only. The younger ones need instant gratification, after all! And the treasures need not be expensive or elaborate—a box of coloured pens, a candle-making kit, a chocolate bar—the fun is in the hunt, not in the price of the treasure!
What is the first thing in any Halloween picture? A Jack-o-Lantern, of course! These carved pumpkins with candles burning inside scream ‘Spooky’! And they’re by no means as easy to make as they look (believe me, I’ve tried!) But who says you have to use real pumpkins? Buy a batch of plastic ones from the market and have the kids decorate them with enamel paints, paper cut-outs, or anything else. You could also get some plain plastic balls and have the kids paint them as Jack-o-Lanterns. The younger ones could make theirs on paper sheets, colour them and cut them out!
5. Trick or Treat!
Yes! Now we come to the point! The whole point of Halloween for kids is its culmination in trick-or-treating! Have the party in the early part of the evening so that the kids have plenty of time to go round and collect goodies.
And just so that this doesn’t become a nuisance for the elderly people of the community or others who might not wish to participate, request the adults who are part of the Halloween group to stick a picture of a pumpkin or a witch-on-a-broomstick to their front doors, so that the children know which doors to knock. Also, set a one-hour time limit in which they must wind up their trick-or-treating. It would be a good idea to have a few responsible adults stationed at strategic places, just to ‘keep an eye on things’, so to speak.
And now, stick your witch on the front door, keep your hamper of candy ready, don a scary mask, and get ready to give the little tykes the scare of their lives, along with showers of candy.
Wish you a Haunt-a-licious Halloween!