Halloween is a time for all kinds of creative fun! My children love choosing costumes, picking pumpkins, carving jack-o-lanterns, making pumpkin flavored treats, putting up spooky decorations, and obviously eating candy! There are hundreds of fun arts and crafts ideas as well as Halloween themed activities that can bring out the spirit of the holiday (pun intended!). One of my personal favorites, and a clear winner among my children is creating a Halloween Sensory Bin.
What to put in your Halloween Sensory Bin:
Most of these items can be found a your local dollar store, pharmacy, target, farm stand, or backyard!
- Plastic spiders
- Small pumpkins
- Small gourds
- Candy corn (age appropriately due to choking hazard)
- Mini plastic jack-o-lantern buckets
- Plastic Tweezers
- Acorns (age appropriately, due to choking hazard)
- Colored Leaves
- Black and white dry rice
Making Colored Rice:
- Take the amount of dry rice that you plan to put in your bin (I usually fill whatever container I am using about halfway) and split the rice in half. You can also split the rice into thirds and include orange rice in your Halloween sensory bin as well!
- Leave one half just as it is (white).
- The other half can be put into a large ziplock bag.
- Add black washable paint or food coloring to the ziplock bag and shake until all of the rice is coated.
- Lay the colored rice out flat on a piece of wax paper or tin foil and allow it to dry for 24 hours.
- The result will be black rice!
- Mix the black and white rice together and pour them into the sensory box.
Time to Play!
Add in the plastic spiders, pumpkins, gourds, and other such Halloween themed items of your choosing. I always give my children measuring cups, paint brushes, and magnifying glasses to provide opportunities for filling and dumping, and all types of further “scientific” exploration. Having a chance to explore with their hands helps their fine motor skills, while interacting with one another or with an adult enhances social and language skills. The best part is that a well made sensory bin can keep children busy and engaged for hours!
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About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.