At the beginning of the week I put together a quick Halloween sensory bin for the Little Tots as they love sensory (and messy) play and I knew this would keep them busy for hours.

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The contents were very simple although with Halloween I always find it hard to include a variety of textures as everything seems plastic. This Halloween sensory bin consisted of:

  • Red lentils (left over from last year)
  • Mini pumpkins (from the £1 shops)
  • Plastic spiders, bats and skeletons (from the £1 shops)
  • Jumbo tweezers
  • Mini spider and pumpkin glass
  • Pom poms

Sensory bins never need to be expensive or over complicated (as the contents will more than likely end up on the floor) and can usually be made with things you already have in the house. As long as there is a base such as (rice, pasta, dried beans, oats, sand, water etc), and small pots and spoons for scooping and pouring you can’t go wrong.


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Sensory bins offer a great opportunity to engage in imaginative play, learn new words, practice fine motor skills and play together with friends. The Little Tots spent ages moving the lentils between the mini pumpkins with their hands and tweezers then filling them with spiders.

They then created it into a spider palace and made stories based around this.

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Of course it wasn’t long before socks were off and feet were in. Luckily I knew this was likely to happen so I’d already put the sensory bin inside the tuff tray to contain the inevitable mess once feet went in.


Areas of learning

  • Physical Development – fine motor skills practice, using tools such as tweezers and pots, enjoying sensory experiences.
  • Communication & Language – strong exploratory impulse, maintaining concentration, using talk in pretend play.
  • Personal, social and emotional development – engaging in pretend play, playing alongside others.
  • Literacy – early mark making.
  • Maths – selecting a small number of objects from a group, knows things exist even when out of sight, counting objects, grouping objects, enjoys filling and emptying containers.
  • Understanding the world – explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.
  • Expressive arts and design – explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body, describing textures, interested in effect of making movements which leave marks, talking about colour, playing alongside others engaged in the same theme.

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More Halloween fun

If your little ones enjoyed this activity then why not try:

  • Create a different Halloween Sensory Bin such as worms (coloured spaghetti) or a witches brew (coloured water)
  • Use the spiders for maths activities such as counting, sorting by size etc.
  • Try some Halloween playdough for more sensory fun
  • Use the spiders to have a go at spider painting
  • Or check out our Halloween Pinterest board for lots more fun.

Halloween Sensory Bin fun sensory play for toddlers and preschoolers with this easy to make sensory tray.

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
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