Halloween is this week already!! I feel like Summer just ended. We have been having a total blast with this holiday since Layla is old enough to understand it more. She actually enjoys watching Hocus Pocus, painting pumpkins and can’t wait to go trick or treating! We’ve been doing some Halloween sensory bins for my toddler and I wanted to share in case you’re looking for something festive and out of the box to do with your littles. Sensory bins are awesome invitations to play, it basically gives kids freedom to explore through their senses.
If you’re not familiar with sensory bins, it can seem overwhelming when you search Pinterest and see a gazillion ideas. I usually always start with a “base” or “filler” for our sensory bins, such as rice, beans, sand, cotton balls, pom poms, water, etc. Our fillers stay in a ziplock bag for future use so we’re not wasting it. Below are 6 ideas that involve stuff you probably already have around the house or can visit the local dollar tree/order from Amazon to grab the rest! At the end of the post, I will link up the tools, table, and whatever else I can.
1. Spooky Spider Scooping
For this activity, I used dried black beans and then filled it up with dollar store trinkets, including something for my toddler to scoop the beans or items into. She really had a blast with this one, and continued to ask for it days later.
2. Kinetic Spooky Sand
You’ll see that I reused a lot of the little items like spiders, eyeballs, but changed up the base to kinetic sand. If you’ve never tried kinetic sand, it’s like a wet sand that can be formed. AKA not as big of a mess as regular sand would create. As my daughter uses sensory bins more and more, she does a better job of keeping the mess contained in the bins. But I try to do these activities while my baby is napping, otherwise she’s getting a mouthful of sand lol.
3. Nature Inspired Bin
This is not obviously halloween themed, but I wanted to throw it in because it is a super cool one to do in the Fall. Go in the backyard or on a hike, collect nature items, bring them in and let your little one use their imagination. We used different color leaves, pinecones, acorns, and Layla liked scooping the pinecones into her bowl (which she decided to do on her own). They can make “nature soup” or just use different tools to transfer the items.
4. Orange Mysterious Goop
I threw this one together in a few minutes with arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), water, and orange food coloring. Guys this was a messy one, but I’ve learned to pick my battles and worry about the mess later. I used a 2:1 ratio for the arrowroot to water and then added a few drops of food coloring, spiders, and eyeballs. Layla used her tools but of course really found it interesting to use her hands in the goop! Another word for it is oobleck, it’s a little like slime!
5. Spider Rescue
Yet again, another easy one. This one won’t be a long activity though. I just stretched out some fake spiderweb material and stuck it with tape, added some orange pom poms and spider rings. I told Layla we were “rescuing” the spiders and then she played with the spider web for a solid 5 minutes. Like I said, not a long activity but still fun and festive!
6. Orange Jello for the Babes
I always feel guilty when I’m setting up sensory bins for Layla and Gabriella wants to play but obviously just puts everything in her mouth. So this one is for the babies and young ones. I literally just made orange jello and put it in a bin. Easy, festive, EDIBLE, and big sister liked to play alongside her. This one was sooooo messy, haha, but the girls had a great time with it.
It would be a blast to have a monster bash and incorporate one or two of these activities onto the agenda. These tools are our favorite and are used a lot when we do sensory bins! Another option would be these ones or this wooden set. The table we have is from Ikea and is called the FLISAT table with TROFAST bins. I love having this table to do sensory bins and then we cover them when we’re not using it and it’s just a regular table!
I hope these activities inspire you to get in the spirit of Halloween with your kiddies. I know things are looking different this year with Covid, but we can still celebrate the holidays with our children in many ways!