My Journey out of Debt

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Halloween Screams, for Next to Nothing

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Our cul-de-sac has come to have several traditions.  We commonly get together for football games, have an annual holiday gathering, and we take the kids trick-or-treating around the neighborhood as a group. 

Before the trick-or-treating, we normally meet at someone's home and eat supper.  We all contribute something to the meal, and rotate this activity between the families involved from year to year, so as to not make it a burden on one single family.

Last year it was our turn to host the pre-trick-or-treat festivities.  My wife always looks for ways to take things "up a notch" and make events just a little extra special and a little more memorable. 

She had heard about an idea to have containers filled with everyday items, have the kids put their hands in the containers, and try to guess what is in them.  But for this event the containers would be labeled in a very ghoulish manner. 

The kids would be given a piece of paper and a pencil, put their hands in each of the containers, and write down what they thought was really in them.  At the end, they would get a piece of candy for each one they got right.

First, we needed the containers.  A trip to the dollar store scored us some small plastic cauldrons.   Then we needed to determine what to put in the cauldrons, and what to label them.  This is what we came up with:

Cauldron 1:    Head of cauliflower labeled as "Brain"

Cauldron 2:    Cooked elbow macaroni labeled as "Guts"

Cauldron 3:   A whole can of cranberry loaf labeled as "Heart"

Cauldron 4:   Cooked rice labeled as "Maggots"

Next, we needed to create a place to put the cauldrons.  We moved everything off to the sides of our basement, and hung dark sheets from the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs such that it created a small, dark area. We put dark sheets over some card tables, and put the cauldrons on them.  We grabbed my son's small desk lamp, and put a black light bulb in it.

Of course, our "creepy corner" wouldn't be complete without eerie music.  Searching the internet, I found lots of free, downloadable music for Halloween.  One such site you can check out is http://www.theholidayspot.com/halloween/music.htm.  I downloaded a bunch of songs, set them to repeat on my laptop, and hid the computer below one of the tables. 

So what was the cost for this activity?

4 plastic cauldrons from the dollar store - $4.00

1 head of cauliflower - $1.50

1 package of elbow macaroni - $0.75

1 can of cranberries - $0.75

1 box of rice - $1.00

1 black light bulb - $5.00

Candy - $5.00

Sheets (had or borrowed) - $0.00

Tables (had or borrowed) - $0.00

Lamp  (had or borrowed) - $0.00

Music (had or borrowed) - $0.00

Grand Total -                     $18.00

On Halloween night, our friends and their children came over.  After we had eaten, we sent the kids downstairs one at a time, with their instructions.  We could hear them groan, moan, and even screech a little as they felt the items.  Every time a child made a noise, it made the others who hadn't gone yet get a little more nervous.  It was a blast for not only the kids, but for the parents too!

Do you have other ideas on how to make a memorable Halloween without scaring all the funds out of your wallet?   Halloween is coming up soon, and I'm sure we're all looking for new ideas!

Related links:

Growing Some Memories

Can Your 7 Year old Plan Their own Birthday?

Gimme a Break, a Spring Break

 

Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey Out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan and in his posts he shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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