Mum's the word: Halloween spending habits

ToyNews data shows 38 per cent of mums and dad surveyed spend over £20 on costumes.
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Trick-or-treating, costume parties and apple bobbing… Halloween conjures up plenty of fun childhood memories.

The annual holiday is well-known with children across the world, with thousands dressing up in scary costumes on October 31st.

And ToyNews research shows that the majority of parents we spoke to on Mumsnet, Dadsnet, Facebook, Netmums and Twitter, are more than happy to spend money on Halloween toys and costumes for them each year. 

Some 88.8 per cent of parents we questioned said they celebrate Halloween with their kids, and the same amount make or buy costumes each year. Of those who celebrate the spooky holiday, 43.75 per cent spend money on costumes, while just 6.25 per cent choose to make them themselves, and half of parents say they do a bit of both.

38 per cent of respondents spend £10 to £20 on Halloween toys and costumes each year for their child, while another 38 per cent spend over £20.

23 per cent spend £5 to £10 but not a single parent we questioned said they spend less than £5 on Halloween accessories each year.

“We celebrate Halloween and I usually go for a mixture of buying and making bits for outfits, to try and save a few quid,” says Facebook user Kelly King.

“I try to spend under £10 on costume bits as they rarely last, although face paints are always good to keep.”

Mumsnet user Gazzalw added that while the children don’t always trick or treat, “they normally have a Halloween costume, but not a new one every year.

“My wife tends to look out for bits and pieces in the sales after Halloween has been and gone, and everyone has an eye out for Christmas stuff.”

Spooky shopping

The majority of parents we spoke to (some 62.5 per cent) say they buy their kids Halloween costumes from supermarkets, while 18.75 per cent opt for fancy dress shops, and a further 18.75 per cent choose other stores like Poundland or Ebay stores.

Netmums member Abi M, who shops in supermarkets and fancy dress shops, commented: “I'm picky about what we get - no tacky or shoddy looking outfits unless it’s for little ones who grow too fast to use them again. And it has to look reasonably authentic – no cartoon green-nosed witches here. I also make costumes for ourselves.”

Dadsnet user Banana added: “We buy our stuff from anywhere that sells it fairly cheap, often the kids costumes are from Tesco since they often have quite nice ones. 

“The decorations come from anywhere to Wilkinsons and Poundland, since cheaper is normally better. That way the kids can actually play with them and it doesn't matter that much if accidents happen. Although I swear I am never buying inflatable weapons again, dear God...”

Abi M prefers to buy a small amount of items from different retailers.

“We buy some bits from the supermarket, mainly sweets and novelty goblets, but also some house decorations if they have decent ones,” she tells ToyNews. “We buy some from costume shops and other items from proper gothic-inclined shops and websites, as many also do home accessories designed for everyday use. Other things we make ourselves, like last year's mad scientist lab which was made from household items.”

Trick or treat

One fifth of parents that celebrate Halloween with their kids say they don’t go trick-or-treating, but still dress up and have fun with their little ones. Meanwhile, 80 per cent like to take their kids trick-or-treating.

“We have a childrens' Halloween party on All Hallows Eve, and an adults party on Halloween,” says Crissie H on Netmums. “We also take the children trick or treating on the evening of Halloween.”

Marion E adds: “I always decorate the house and carve pumpkins with the kids. We love trick-or-treaters so we buy a big bowl of treats and love waiting in to see all the fantastic costumes. Now my children are a little older, we also trick-or-treat but only to friends or family.”

Morag G comments: “We don't do much for Halloween but I do light a candle in the window and put beer out for the spirits. I don't let the boys out trick-or-treating as I don't approve of it.”

However they choose to celebrate Halloween with their children, with or without the traditional trick-or-treating pastime, it’s clear the majority of parents are still willing to get their wallets out to purchase themed costumes, sweets, decorations, toys and accessories. 

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Mum's the word: February

This month, we speak to users of Mumsnet about where they buy their children?s toys from. We also asked what the biggest influences are when making this choice.

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