Sometimes you just need a quick prep activity that you know kids will play with for an extended period of time. This easy Halloween sensory bin is perfect for those times! Set it up as a Halloween activity at home or in the classroom to encourage sensory exploration, pretend play, fine motor practice, color sorting and more!
GET A FULL WEEK OF HALLOWEEN THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE PRESCHOOL LESSON PLANS.
Halloween Sensory Bin Materials
- Bins and bowls-I always suggest using what you have on hand when possible, so check your stash for bowls or bins that will work. We used a large Halloween candy bowl and a black cauldron from our Halloween supplies, and some little green bowls.
- Sensory filler of choice-We used some black water beads we had leftover from our watermelon sensory bin this summer. Black beans or cooked pasta noodles dyed black would also be fun for this Halloween sensory bin.
- Fine motor tools-I gathered some scoops, tongs, and a pair of jumbo tweezers.
- Creepy crawly toy creatures-There are tons of options out around Halloween time, so use what you find or already have on hand. I happened to stumble upon this set of party favors at Walmart, and they were perfect. They all came in one set for uner $4, and I love how there are different color options…we were able to use them for some great sorting activities I’ll explain below.
See the Easy Halloween Sensory Bin in Action
Watch this quick video to get a glimpse of some of the sensory exploration and color sorting practice inspired by this invitation to play.
I set this Halloween sensory bin out as an invitation to play. Instead of putting all the items in the bins from the beginning I set everything out around and gave the kids the opportunity to put them materials together as they saw fit. They loved pretending to be monsters and witches as they mixed up their Halloween “stew”.
At first they spent most of their time pouring the water beads, adding creatures, and mixing up their stew. Listening to them chat about their creations in silly Halloween voices was so much fun!
As time went on they started exploring with the fine motor tools and transferring items from one bin to the other. This is great fine motor practice, and they don’t even realize it!
Later I introduced color sorting to extend the activity a bit and weave in some additional learning goals.
For younger toddlers and preschoolers you might have kids choose one color and gather all the creatures that are that color.
With older preschoolers and kindergarteners you might leave the question a bit more open ended and instead ask how they think we could sort the creatures. This can lead to discussions about different ways to sort. You could sort by kind of creature (all the spiders, for example) or by colors (all the green creatures for example). Then you could sort the same sets again a different way (perhaps all the green spiders) to challenge their thinking again.
There are a lot of possibilities with this easy Halloween sensory bin. We’ll be leaving it out (covered when not in use) for the rest of the month to encourage ongoing play and exploration.
GET A FULL SET OF HALLOWEEN THEME ACTIVITIES
The 132-page Halloween Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) -at Word Family Bat Game (in color and b/w)
2) Candy Corn Science Experiment Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
3) Candy Corn Uppercase, Lowercase, and Beginning Sound Picture Puzzles for Letters C, A, N, D, Y, H, O and R (in color and b/w)
4) Candy Corn Counting Cards 1-10 (in color and b/w)
5) Halloween Costume Syllable Sorting Activity (in color and b/w)
6) Haunted House Colors Board Game-3 variations to work on color recognition or color word recognition (in color and b/w)
7) “Look at the Costumes” Emergent Reader-3 variations
8) 0-35 Halloween Number Cards (in color and b/w)
9) Halloween Roll and Graph Math Game (in color and b/w)
10) Halloween Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
11) Build a Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Mats and Shape Pieces
12) My Jack-o-Lantern Recording Sheets-2 variations, one to focus on shape recognition and one to focus on writing
13) Spider Number Mats and Ways to Show Numbers 0-10
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.