13 Fiendishly Smart Halloween Tips
© Zeotrope Media 2011
Halloween is a great holiday. We can be naughty in a socially acceptable way. As kids, we'd play dress up. Maybe it was as a pirate, maybe a cowboy or a princess. These days vampires and zombies are the rage. It doesn't matter what we wear. We don costumes pretending to be someone we're not.
It doesn't change much when we mature. The lesson of Halloween remains deep within our psyche. We can go off our diets, act like someone we're not and be naughty. Oh, I already said that.
Before that all happens, the Frugal Yankee suggests we prepare ourselves and those near and dear to us for some frugal and fanciful Halloween fun. Here are 13 Fiendishly Smart Halloween Tips. They are designed to amuse your kids, delight yourself and keep the wallet from getting withered like a skeleton. After you've sucked the blood out these tips, be sure to see our other articles on costuming, pumpkin carving and a few others.
Let's start by shrinking some heads.
This a great Halloween decoration and easy to make.
• Take some apples, peel them.
• Coat the exteriors with lemon juice and 2 tsp of salt.
• Using an Xacto knife or vegetable peeler make eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Don't worry about artistry, you'll why see in awhile.
• Put cloves in the eyes, uncooked rice in the mouth for teeth. Dried cranberries, raisins, also work.
• Put apples on a wire rack and place in a warm, dry place.
• In about 14 days, they will start to shrivel and look cool
For a little added effect, on Halloween, put a couple of heads in a slowly simmering pot of mulled cider. Don't tell your kids. Then ask them to get you a cup of hot cider.
Young kids may not necessarily understand macro economics, but they do like bright shiny pennies. Make small bags with new pennies in them. And speaking of shiny stuff, get rolls of stickers. Kids love them too. (Be sure to check out our Daily Tips section, where we have a recipe for removing stickers from unwelcome locations.
Some Sticker Web Sites:
ART FOR SCARES SAKE
Let the inner artist out for a 'scare' drive. Have your goodie box full of crayons, markers, or anything where kids can explore their right brains. How about individual wrapped pieces of molding clay or sketching pads? Let your own creative side out and find creative treats for those little trick and treaters.
JELLO FOR BRAINS
You can buy brain molds or alien molds or many other kind of creepy molds. Then make some raspberry jello and use the mold. It almost looks good enough to eat. Add Gummi worms to add that tasty disgusting panache.
Heck if you want to have a little fun, make the jello 'runny', put in the gummi worms and put in a big shallow bowl. Then every once in a while grab one and eat it. A dangling a worm dripping with red goo from your mouth is perfectly gross.
This is simple and fun.
Melt some butter and add red dye to it.
Then microwave some popcorn. Pour the butter over the corn.
Simple, tasty and kind of gross.
YEAH, WE GOT THAT
If you have the time, order some specialty pencils. There are plenty of web sites which will make and turn them around in a fairly short time. You can also check out office supply stores. They do it as well. You don't have a lot of room for copy, but you could have them printed up with something like "BOO TO YOU" "TRICK OR TREAT" or something more creative. While you're poking around think about pencil toppers, like an alien or a monster to top off the experience.
BOYS MAKE NOISE
Your neighbors may hate you, but the kids will love it. Find a small toy that makes some noise. It could be a kazoo, an old fashion noise maker, or even New Year's Eve popper. Anything that amplifies kid's natural noisy tendencies is good for at least a few minutes of fun. Dollar stores and internet web sites dealing in bulk are always good places to start. According to one history of Halloween we read, noise makers were once part of the Halloween experience years ago. So you're being retro before anyone else
You can buy kazoos in bulk (500 for around $250.00) at KAZOOS.COM
Learn a skill or improve on one you already have. Making balloon animals easy and fun. If you re learning for the first time, they are plenty of web sites with instructions and idea. There are even DVDs you can buy, but guess what? You may not give balloon animals out to trick or treaters, but you'll have fun decorating your door way with them and your kids will have a gas helping you.
BOIL, BOIL TOIL & BUBBLES
What kid doesn't like a bottle of bubbles?
Check out your local dollar store and buy some.
If you have time, price out case lots on the internet.
Then blow, baby, blow.
The Frugal Yankee is not fond of real tattoos, but it seems kids old and young have a rebellious streak in them. You can feed that streak by buying some fake or temporary tattoos. The kids can be cool without scarification. Best source for tattoos is the web, but your local toy store may have them as well.
Here are a few web sites with tattoos for sale:
Note: Temporary tattoos are regulated by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration). The Frugal Yankee always stresses due diligence whenever you buy anything, especially web purchases.
Get some small bags and fill them with dried fruit (apples, cranberries, raisins, etc.) nuts (unsalted peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc), and seeds (dried pumpkin, sunflower, etc). Tie an orange ribbon around the bags.
If you're feeling creative, make a POTATO STAMP that says VOMIT BAG and then stamp lunch bags and use these instead.
Warning: Since nut and peanut allergies abound, be sure parents are aware you are giving out nuts.
TOYS 'R THEM
With candy and other treats costing more than you think they should, think outside the goodie box. Head over to one of those dollar stores and pick up some inexpensive toys. Yo-yos and squirt guns come to the Frugal Yankee's mind, but look around on the shelves something might jump out and bite your imagination.
Remember what I said about Halloween giving us permission to be naughty. Well, here's the one of the real reasons why everyone loves Halloween - chocolate. Recent scientific studies have shown this confection is chock full of antioxidants and helps blood pressure levels. Sadly, that's dark chocolate with no additives like sugar, but I am not looking. Indulge.
Other articles you may enjoy:
5 Frugal Halloween Costumes
A Frugal Halloween
Halloween Costumes - The DIY Way
Halloween Safety - Not So Scary
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