Love it or hate it, Halloween is bigger than ever, so grab your broomstick, put out your pumpkins and stock up on the treats! Spooky season or silly season? You decide.

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10 things all parents go through at Halloween

Nomadic Lass / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: nomadic_lass

Ever made an emergency outfit from toilet paper? You’re not alone.


1. You start planning parties and costumes as soon as they go back to school

Good call - you need to get ahead of the game on this one. Any remotely ambitious plans will require a bit of forward planning.


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Planning Halloween

Dion Gillard / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: diongillard


2. You allow the kids to eat a month’s worth of sweets in a day

It goes against the grain to hand out brightly coloured sugar hits to trick or treaters, but for one night just go with it. You can ‘edit’ your child’s booty at the end of the night while being assured that other parents will do the same. If you still despair, stock up on non-food treats such as stickers, spider rings and vampire teeth – kids love that stuff and you’ll sleep better at night (as will the kids!).


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Children eat sweets on Hallowe'en

Peasap / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: peasap


3. You’ve been ‘sketching out’ some pumpkin carving ideas

No longer reserved for kids with blunt knives and spoons around the kitchen table, pumpkin carving is now practically an Olympic sport. Forget the grinning Jack ‘O Lantern and start carving up some rock gods and zombies – make a production of it, get some stencils and get competitive.


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Pumpkin witch head

Joe Shlabotnik / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: joeshlabotnik


4. You vow that this is the year the pumpkin innards don’t go to waste

This year just do it. Pumpkin is packed full of vitamins and minerals, and roasting the seeds is worth it too as they are great sources of protein, magnesium and manganese. Try turning that potential pumpkin waste into a spicy pumpkin soup.


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Pumpkin flesh

Blue Adept / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: Blue Adept 


5. You’ve made a monster mash-up playlist

Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party, or just welcoming trick or treaters, playing spooky tunes adds a spine-chilling touch to the evening. 


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Filippey / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: Filippey


6. You had a momentary lapse in judgement

You briefly entertained the idea of dressing the kids in their animal-patterned PJs for the Halloween party. Can you get away with it? No! Get thee down to the supermarket for an affordable and suitably Halloweeny witch, zombie or skeleton.


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Hallowe'en dressing up

Nomadic Lass / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: nomadic_lass


7. You’ve been making huge vats of jelly

It’s messy, but all children love being blindfolded and digging around in jelly to find buried creepy crawlies. Great for a kids’ Halloween party – just have several miles of kitchen roll to hand.


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8. You are trying to find scary movies that aren’t terrifying

Kids want to be thrilled, but not too paralysed with fear that they’ll never turn the light out again, so make sure you vet all potential movies first. And no, your 12-year-old’s friend is not ‘allowed’ to watch The Exorcist at his own house.


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Scary movies

Nomadic Lass / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: nomadic_lass


9. You haven’t planned ahead

It’s an hour until trick or treating and you’re winding your 10-year-old up in toilet roll so they can be a mummy.


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Toilet paper rolls

Groume / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: Groume


10. The kids are allowed to draw on your face and mess up your hair

For one night only you are at the mercy of the kids who are armed with a face-painting kit, lots of hairspray and some keen back-combing skills. 


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Face paint pots

Arun Joseph / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: more_pi-dah