Pinterest and the blogosphere is set ablaze with Halloween crafts and Halloween activities for kids. We are no exception. Instead of a Halloween craft, we are starting off with a Halloween sensory bin which I know will be a hit with my toddler. She loved our Fall sensory bin so much that I had to go back to Dollar Tree to throw together a Halloween sensory activity for her.
The base for our sensory bin is black beans. If you are feeling brave or lucky enough to have kids who don’t like candy corn, throw in some of those for color.
Since, this sensory bin is going to be a simple one, baby A and I did it together. We poured the black beans together and she played with just those for a while feeling them and pouring them between their hands. Then we added some creepy crawlies in there but didn’t stop with only spiders. We even have a stray rhino in there.
After adding all the creepy crawlies, I cut out some orange and black garlands into smaller pieces and stuck them to the insides of the bin.
I have to add that I had my sensory bin under the Halloween Tree. Remember our Fall Tree? No ? I thought so. Click here to see what I’m talking about. That Fall tree has transformed into our Halloween Tree.
How we played and learned with be the rest of the post.
Baking became inevitable since we had muffin liners in there. I bunched quite a few because it had to be firm enough to hold the black beans.
Here are some cupcakes with creature toppings..
We also made “soup” by pouring beans and creatures on top of a pumpkin.
After some serious cooking, we moved on to some colors and number recognition.. Since the bin is brimming with colors, especially orange, black and purple I focused on those three colors for the day.
I would hide few orange scorpions and asked her to find them. We had purple and green scorpions too. This game of “I SPY” turned out to be fun for the kid. We spent a lot of time looking for “ orange scorpions, purple bats, black spiders “ etc.
For numbers, I just wrote down the numbers on foam pumpkins and stuck them to the insides of the box. First, all she wanted to do was peel of the tape from the pumpkins. She peeled off, I stuck them back while saying the number out loud Slowly that evolved into a game. Eventually she got tired of the game and she did not peel off anymore. She picked up her spoon and started simply pointing at numbers. I’d say the peel of tape game did really help us in recognizing a couple of numbers.
Another learning activity we “tried” to do was simple patterns.
I cut up two garlands into smaller pieces and used them to make up a simple pattern and stuck the pieces to the insides of the box. Then I repeated the patterns out loud to her while pointing at the colorful pieces. After a while she gravitated towards the creature rings. Since the plastic bugs in there were actually rings, we put on our rings in a pattern alternating orange with purple.
One the rings were played with, ice trays seemed interesting for her.
Since she was clearly very excited with playing with the ice trays, we scooped in beans, dumped them out. While scooping the beans in alternate slots in the ice tray, I repeated “full, empty”.
All the learning activities did not take a long time since most part of the sensory play was essentially scooping, pouring, feeling the beans while chatting a lot. That’s the large chunk of it. Since I usually actively participate in her play, I try to sneak in a few activities of my own here and there. The best part about actively playing with your kid in my opinion is to hear them talk, hear their imaginations out loud. That is definitely worth all the time I put into the set up ( which actually is not that much)
Ways I could have involved my pre schooler in creating the bin
- Have her stick any materials in a patterns. eg -here the garland pieces in a pattern of her/his choice
- Write a few single digit numbers on foam for his/her younger sibling
Thanks for reading
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