Here at New Mummy's Tips we have been testing out some of the Halloween ranges out for you.
Aldi’s Halloween Baking and Party Range
- Ice Cube Trays
- Pumpkin and Skull Cake Tins
- Silicone Jelly/Cake moulds shaped like Ghosts and Pumpkins
- Paper Plates
- Table Cloth
Available from: Aldi while stocks last.
Initial Reaction: Lots of products to get the party started. I couldn’t wait to start baking
Pros: Easy To Use Look Great Ideal for kid’s party You can use the silicone moulds for jelly’s and cakes which is great.
Cons: After some experimenting you can’t use cake mixes in the silicone moulds there is just not enough fat in them to stop them sticking.
Value for money? Great value
Overall Reaction: We had great fun making spooky cakes and jellies. We are going to use food colouring for our actual Halloween party so the cakes are extra spooky. You can most of you Halloween party goods from Aldi, there are selling children’s costumes for £3.99, Adult costumes for £7.99 and much, much more. You can get full details on their site.
Orange Hello Kitty from Build a Bear
Available from: Build a Bear
Initial Reaction: Looks a lot bigger than I thought it would.
- Great colour
- BG absolutely loves it
- Bow is detachable
- Build a Bear is a great fun to do
Value for money? Reasonable for the size of Kitty and the experience
Overall Reaction: We didn’t visit Build a Bear this time to make it but we have been before and it’s a great experience. You get to choose your bear, stuff it and give it a heart all for the price of the bear. You can buy outfits at an extra cost. It’s a great experience for children and adults. Prices start from £9 and can be a nice treat.
By CarolSpooky Cupcakes from Fabulous Bakin’ Boys
The Halloween cupcakes are available in two flavours - Chocolate n’ Blood Orange and Blackcurrant n’ Apple
Consisting of two layers, a chocolate or apple flavoured sponge with a fruity blackcurrant or blood orange topping, the spooky treats contain only natural colours and flavours and are baked in a nut-free bakery.
Price: £1.49 for 6
Available from: Tesco, ASDA, Budgens, Londis, and Dairy Crest, as well as on EasyJet flights.
Initial Reaction: They look really good, the colours are fantastic
- Great colour
- Taste nice
- Look spooky
- Individually wrapped
- Topping is not too thick
- Sponge is moist
- If you more than one they get a bit sickly
Overall Reaction: I took these to our local toddler group to test out, they didn’t last very long! The Chocolate and Blood Orange was the favourite but both went down well. These are ideal if you want to do something for Halloween and haven’t got the time or energy to bake. A nice treat for everyone.
Price: £1.29 and £1.10
Available from: Waitrose
Initial Reaction: They look yummy and disgusting at the same time
- Taste good Nice and gooey
- The caramel in the Deadhead is red, nice touch
Cons: Not enough in the bags
Value for money? Average
Overall Reaction: They taste really nice and have a spooky look to them. Great for Halloween parties or for trick or treaters.
Waitrose have a large selection Halloween theme products.
Poundland Halloween products.
The items I was sent are as follows:
- Witches dress up outfit,
- hanging plaque,
- Girls stripy tights,
- Decoration set, (door and curtain cover)
- Large felt loot bag,
- Hanging ghost,
- Punch bowl,
- 2 pack character masks,
- Inflatable pumpkin,
- Witches hat,
- Glow in the dark bat suckers,
- at decoration,
- Pack of 8 party straws
- Table cloth.
Available From: Poundland
Suitable from: age 3+
Initial Reaction: I was very pleasantly surprised by the huge choice of Halloween items, all seemed to be of good quality.
Pros: Everything you could possibly need for a party and cheap enough that you can buy lots.
Cons: The only negative i can find was that the outfit was quite flimsy and therefore won’t last very long.
Value for Money: Extremely good value for money.
Overall Reaction: I am very pleased with Poundland's Halloween items and will definitely be buying more this year.
Annoying Monster , interactive soft toy
Price : £20
Available From : www.annoyingmonsters.com
Suitable from : age 3
Initial Reaction : When the parcel arrived and we discovered the annoying Monster my 2 boys
(2 and 4) instantly loved it.
We read them the back story from the box about the annoying monsters being sent to earth
from another planet for being simply too annoying !! Then they got stuck in, pressing all the buttons and discovering it,s functions.
Pro's: The kids love it, it keeps them entertained and makes them laugh
Con's: Some more easily offended parents might find some of the noises it makes
(belching and farting loudly) a little offensive.
Value for money : At £19.95 I think this is probably priced just about right for what
Overall Reaction: My children got a fair amount of fun out of this toy, in particular
a feature it has which enables them to record their voices and play them back repeatedly.
However I think it's a novelty toy which will probably have limited appeal before
So for a novelty gift this is a good one , particularly if your giving it away
and don't have to listen to it scream and fart and live up to it's name in your own home.
Monster Mutt on DVDBy Ella
Monster Mutt follows the Taylor family children in a quest to save their beloved pet dog from the clutches of an evil megalomaniac!
When the Taylor family’s family dog Max is kidnapped by the evil CEO of mega corporation Envigormax, to be used as a test subject for a new super energy drink, the Taylor children must race against time to rescue their beloved pooch. Things go from bad to worse when the trials go horribly wrong and Max is transformed from the family’s loyal pet to a slobbering “Monster Mutt” that leaves a trail of destruction in its wake!
Available from: Amazon and other film retailers
Initial Reaction: Looks quite cheesy but funny Pros: Family film Funny Cheesy Not too long
Cons: A little scary in places for a U, there is a very scary rabbit at the beginning.
Value for money? Average
Overall Reaction: We enjoyed watching this film; it’s funny and scary in places. Ideal family film for Halloween. BG thought the big dog was funny.
Snazaroo Face Painting Sticks
Price: Around £5 for pack of 6
Available from: Good toy retailers, party supply stores and online.
Suitable from: 3+
Initial reaction: I was looking forward to trying these out. Ruby loves having her face painted and at events and fairs it’s always the first thing she asks for. I was a bit nervous about my own abilities though!
- Clean and easy to use
- Non toxic and hypo-allergenic
- Removes easily with wipes or soap and water
- Good value
- Great for parties and Halloween
- My own lack of artistic ability was certainly a hindrance. There’s lots of great tips and inspiration on the Snazaroo website, but still, you need some basic ability to draw!
Overall reaction: They were very simple to use, and I think with a bit more practice and confidence I could get convincing results! If you have even a tiny bit of artistic skill (which sadly I don’t!) I’d recommend trying these out. Certainly much cheaper than hiring a face-painter for your parties. Snazzaroo also have a free iphone app with guides and create your own designs.
Available from: The Handpicked Collection
Suitable from: 3+ (although it isn’t a toy)
Initial Reaction: I was intrigued by this product. A party table centrepiece isn’t something I’d ever considered buying. What’s it for? Just to look at, to add to the party theme. Clearly there are people out there who take their party planning much more seriously than I do.
Pros: The pirate ship is very pretty, with lots of detail. The little flags on the rigging and the chain on the anchor are great touches. The little treasure chest is another great detail, and very sturdy once it’s assembled.
This is about the right combination of scary and wholesome for me. The pirates are all armed (including one with a gun: warning if you’re not keen on that sort of thing) and they have ‘realistic’ rather than very cartoon-y faces, but the skull and crossbones has a friendly smile and the cute little parrot adds a bit of fun.
The pirates and accessories are all double sided, so the display would look great from all angles.
The ship was relatively easy to assemble, although I did manage to rip it a little bit as I didn’t have one of the folds tucked in properly. Be gentle, take your time and don’t force it and it should be fine. I folded the ship down again after use and that was almost no bother too (I ripped it again, because I had another piece tucked in the wrong place – obviously I’m not good at learning from my mistakes!). You can turn the main sail sideways and the whole thing is almost flat for easy storage.
Cons: You can’t play with it! Imagine the scene: look darling, I’ve got this lovely pirate ship for your party, but it’s just to look at, you mustn’t touch it”. That wasn’t really going to work in our house, so we did play with it, and I can confirm: it isn’t a toy and if you use the anchor to pick up the pirates and drop them in the sea, they’re going to get a bit crumpled, and maybe not stand up again.
Their cutlasses and hooked hands are quite delicate and will bend easily. Which won’t be a problem if you leave it sitting in the middle of the table like you’re supposed to. (NB as this product isn’t a toy, it isn’t safety tested for playing with, so if you do decide to let the kids play with it after the party, supervise closely.)
From an eco point of view, I like that it’s mostly made of cardboard, but I felt that the pieces could have been arranged much more closely together to cut down on waste.
Value for money? Honestly? It’s mostly cardboard and it costs £20. I suppose if you were reusing it year after year then you’d get value for money, but I think if you’re the sort of person who gets so into a party theme that they have a decorative centrepiece, you’re probably not going to do the same theme every year. For me personally, I’d rather spend half an hour with my kids making a pirate ship from cereal boxes and toilet rolls and spend the £20 on any number of other things.
Overall Reaction: The Pirate Party Table Centrepiece is a nicely designed and well-made object. There’s a lot of detail and, especially with the matching accessories (such as paper plates and cups, napkins and invitations) it could make for an impressive party centrepiece.
My list of pros is longer than my list of cons, but my main con is a really big one: I just didn’t get it. There are lots of ways to have a memorable Halloween party that kids will love, and I don’t think that a pirate ship that says “look, but don’t touch” is one of them.