It could be that lots of parent groups are ready for Halloween, and maybe even have been for weeks. But if your group isn’t there yet, don’t worry. There are lots of fun and easy-to-execute ideas for Halloween; here are some of our favorites.

Quick Costume Swap

Families in the U.S. will spend an average of $66.78 on Halloween costumes in 2018, according to a LendEDU survey. That's just one reason many families might still be in need of costumes at the last minute. Save them the stress of buying whatever’s left at the local store by organizing a quick swap. You could even do it on your group (or school’s) Facebook page; ask users to post pictures and comments of costumes they need, or ones they have to swap.

Halloween Costume Swap Flyer

Easy Crafts

If you don’t mind working with toilet paper, options for quick Halloween crafts are endless (think toilet-paper-tubes-wrapped-in-toilet-paper mummies). But other ideas, such as paper plate witch hats, are just as simple and quick. Check our Pinterest Halloween board for more ideas.

Holiday shop all done? Thank your volunteers so they’ll be ready to help next year

Crafty Snacks

There are many snacks that double as quick Halloween craft ideas, and most are easy to organize: juice boxes wrapped to look like mummies, oranges with jack-o-lantern faces, and cheese sticks decorated to look like monsters. You’ll find more ideas for crafty snacks on our sister site,

Pumpkin Decorating

This activity is tried and true, but it’s an easy one to pull together even if time runs short. Purchase an adequate number of small or medium pumpkins, markers, and some small craft items (googly eyes, felt bits), and let kids be as creative and spooky as they like.

Collect Treats for Troops

What makes this idea a win all around is that in addition to spreading cheer to troops, it’s practically designed to be a last-minute effort, since collecting leftover candy can’t be done until after Halloween. Most kids get more candy than they can handle—and most parents are only too happy to donate some. Use our Treats for Troops flyer to advertise your effort. We also have a helpful list of organizations that will accept donations for troops and veterans.

Originally posted in 2015 and updated regularly.