Hey there internet! It’s been a loooong time since I have shared some ideas, style and stories with you. I’ve been a busy mom of two babies under the age of two-years-old, and it is not for the faint of heart. My greatest DIY project of all time has been figuring out motherhood along with creative ways for my kiddos to play and learn – and keeping the house somewhat clean (I don’t think a completely chaos free house will exist until my boys are 18 LOL! but I do love me some chaos… 😉 )
Now that my oldest has stopped putting absolutely everything in his mouth, I can finally whip up some fun sensory bins – and what is more fun than celebrating spooky season in August with a Halloween-themed sensory bin!
Why a sensory bin? Well, young children are constantly using their senses daily to make literal sense of the world around them! Every day provides and endless amount of sensory learning – but you can also provide an endless amount of open-ended play by bringing out a sensory bin full of new and exciting textures, shapes, colors (even scents if you wanna get real crazy) and watch their little brains make new connections.
I want to start with a disclaimer – my oldest son is almost 2-years-old, but I would only recommend this activity for toddlers anywhere from 2-years-old and up under close adult supervision to ensure no tiny pieces are swallowed, or threads come undone and wrapped around small fingers. You know your child best – this sensory bin may not be suitable for all kiddos, so use this idea as inspiration if you need to tailor the objects to best fit your child!
This sensory bin is made completely out of items from my local Dollar Tree – so it is both entertaining and affordable. You can find Halloween out NOW (yes, in August!) at your local store.
I chose some fun mesh craft tubing in orange and black. I like it because it doesn’t have any wires poking out which you gotta watch for if you purchase certain ribbons. My little one decided they were caterpillars once all was put into the bin, although I insisted they had to be spooky worms…
I found some adorable tiny soft pumpkins in the fall décor area of my store as well. It can’t be a Halloween bin without some pumpkins in the mix! They also had some faux leather decorative pumpkins and other artificial pumpkins (many were covered with glitter and I wasn’t into the idea of glitter sticking to hands thus sticking to everything in the house…).
My favorite addition to this bin were the big plush pom poms I found in our dollar “plus” spot. They were $3, but by far my son’s favorite pieces to play with. He told me they were flowers! It was awesome to see him create and imagine!
I had some wooden ornaments that were gifted to me that I also added but the Dollar Tree sells a variety of different wooden ornaments as well that really spook things up.
The container I used as my bin was also a Dollar Tree find! That’s crucial to creating your sensory bin – a container. You can use a tub like this with a lid (that can later be used for more toy storage) OR if you have a water/sand table, you could simply fill it with Halloween things to explore. Even a plain shoebox would do the trick! (or treat?)
I decided instead of putting the tubing directly in the tub as is, I cut mine into 2 inch ropes.
The rest this project is simply filling it up with spooky features that you feel your child will engage with best! I even cut up some soft Halloween ribbon which could be used to thread through the ornaments if you’re making this for an older child to work on some fine motor skills.
Voila! Now you’re ready to PLAY spooky sensory games for hours! I shared this with my son right after nap and he thought it was just grand.
We talked about the different colors, what the tubes were, what shapes we could make with the objects, we even layered the ornaments on top of each other and put the witch’s hat on the ghost and pumpkin to make them look extra spooktacular.
My son really took the lead and started creating and telling me the things he was making out of the objects. My favorite was when he took a mesh tube and a pom pom and made a “banjo”.
I hope you have fun celebrating Halloween season with your tot by creating a sensory bin! Let me know what you added to yours in the comments.
Stay spooky and happy play day!