5 Awesome Halloween Sensory Bin Ideas!

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With requests for Halloween costumes and tales of witches, ghosts and pumpkins on the rise I put together a series of Halloween sensory bins to capture the imagination of our two sensory seeking toddlers!

The Halloween theme lends itself to so many fun sensory bin set ups. From pumpkin patches to spiders and skeletons, Halloween makes for engaging set ups with lots of learning and skill development opportunities.

Halloween Sensory Bins
Halloween sensory bin ideas

Halloween Sensory Bin tip: we used the Ikea Flisat table for all our Halloween sensory bin play. Don’t worry if you don’t have sensory table, you can use craft trays or storage bins to the same effect. If you have an Ikea Flisat table then check out our Ikea Flisat table hacks and, our favorite, the Ikea Lego table hack.

Halloween Sensory Bins
Halloween cauldrons and spiders!

 

HALLOWEEN SENSORY BIN BENEFITS

Sensory play is fantastic tool to encourage kids to explore, engage and create.  Our Halloween themed sensory bins are focused on developing a range of skills including:

  • Fine motor skills: incorporate cauldrons and scoopers to allow toddlers to transfer small sensory fillers and improve muscle strength in their hands
  • Language and vocabulary skills: both our one and two year old learned so many new words through our Halloween sensory bin play. We talked about growing pumpkins and tied it in with our annual pumpkin patch visit, and explored numbers, body parts and insects.
  • Creative skills: as with most sensory activities the open ended play opportunities are endless. We had pumpkin eating bats, dancing skeletons and tending for our pumpkin crop.
  • Independent play: our preschooler has engaged in some great independent play sessions with some of the taste safe Halloween sensory bins. His play sessions have lasted up to 45 minutes and have been fantastic to observe.
Halloween Sensory Bins
Halloween spaghetti junction!

 

5 EASY HALLOWEEN SENSORY BINS

We’ve included our 5 favorite Halloween sensory bin ideas which are relatively easy to set up and were mostly created with ingredients already in the pantry and craft cupboard.  

Halloween Sensory Bin tip: Amazon, Dollar Tree and Michael’s are all great options for stocking up on Halloween themed sensory bin ingredients. We had lots of fun stocking up on cauldrons, spiders, bats and jelly eyes for our craft cupboard!

Halloween Sensory Bins
Our dollar store Halloween collection!

 

1 | SPIDER CATCH

This easy to set up sensory bin consists of colored rice and Halloween spiders. We add some small cauldrons and wooden tongs and scoopers to encourage work on developing fine motor skills and counting. 

  • 350g of rice
  • Orange food coloring
  • Vinegar
  • Toy spiders
  • Wooden scoopers and tongs
Halloween Sensory Bins
Our spider catch and eyeball rice set up!

 

It’s relatively easy to color rice for sensory play:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of uncooked rice
  • Add food coloring and mix to desired colored
Halloween Sensory Bins
Our orange Halloween rice

 

2 | PUMPKIN PATCH

A pumpkin patch Halloween sensory bin is ideal for incorporating explanations on fruit growing and fruit picking. 

  • Play pumpkins
  • Play mud: we used our favorite play mud recipe from our guide on how to make play mud. We thickened up the mud with some ground coffee beans and a little vegetable oil to make it more soil like. 
  • Dried Moss or Natural Raffia 
Halloween Sensory Bins
Pumpkin patch fun!

Our toddlers loved digging up the pumpkins and talking about why fruits and vegetables grow to different sizes.

Halloween sensory bin tip: we love using our wooden letters to add a literacy element to our sensory bin play.

Halloween Sensory Bins
Our Halloween pumpkin patch

If, like us, you’re fans of an annual visit to the pumpkin patch then this is a great Halloween sensory bin to tie in with your real world trips! 

Bringing our sensory bins to life with a pumpkin patch visit!

 

3 | SPAGHETTI EYEBALL JUNCTION

Slimy and colorful, this spaghetti eyeball sensory bin is great for toddlers and preschoolers. 

  • 500g spaghetti 
  • Food coloring 
  • Play eyeballs
  • Play spiders
Halloween Sensory Bins
Spaghetti eyeball junction

This Halloween sensory bin requires some preparation:

  • Cook the spaghetti al dente (approximately 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time)
  • Immediately rinse spaghetti in cold water
  • Add food coloring and mix through

Halloween sensory bin tip: we added some decorative spiders web to add to the sensory experience and enhance the fine motor skills needed to explore the sensory bin

Halloween Sensory Bins
Spiders web is a great addition to Halloween sensory play

Our one year old loves feeling the spaghetti slip through her fingers and the colored spaghetti is great for sparking discussions and learning around colors.

Halloween Sensory Bins
A colorful Halloween sensory bin set up

 

4 | BLACK BEAN POTIONS

Black beans are another great Halloween sensory bin filler. We use Halloween props such as skeletons and eyeballs to contrast with the beans.

Halloween Sensory Bins
Black bean Halloween potions

Halloween sensory bin tip: uncooked black beans are NOT taste safe so you will need to closely monitor this sensory activity. Our two year old is really good with not putting things in his mouth or up his nose (so far!) but our one year old is only allowed to play with this sensory bin when we are watching closely for any stray beans making their way towards her face!

Halloween Sensory Bins
Skeletons, eyeballs and spiders!

 

5 | Rice Concoctions

Purple, orange and green colored rice make for a fantastic and simple Halloween sensory bin filler. The sensory bins are easy to accessorize with Halloween themed toys including pumpkins, eyeballs, spiders and bats.

Halloween Sensory Bins
Halloween colored rice

We use these as an invitation to play and leave scoopers and tongs beside the sensory bins to encourage our toddlers to explore and learn. 

  • 350g of rice
  • Orange/Purple/Green food coloring
  • Vinegar
Halloween Sensory Bins
Orange and green Halloween hues

Again, to color rice for Halloween sensory play:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of uncooked rice
  • Add food coloring and mix to desired color
Halloween Sensory Bins
Purple rice, eyeballs and cauldrons!

If you don’t have access to Halloween props then it’s easy to DIY some great alternatives.

We dyed farfalle pasta with black food coloring as a substitute for bats. I hope you’ll agree that they look awesome as bats when mixed through the orange rice!

Halloween Sensory Bins
Bow tie pasta bats!

 

For more sensory bin ideas

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