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Halloween has always been an okay holiday to me. I was never super big on dressing up, and I would probably prefer tricking or treating for Thanksgiving dinner instead of candy. Just imagine… going door to door receiving big spoonfuls of stuffing and mash potatoes from your neighbors.
Since I will very soon be a stay-at-home mom to two (due date in 3 days!), I have been on the hunt for activities that’ll keep my toddler busy and entertained. The few busy boxes I’ve made are most certainly getting the job done, but I’m always on the look out for more ideas.
I’ve come across quite a few sensory boxes on Pinterest, so I thought I’d give a Halloween-themed one a try! The great thing about sensory play is that it’s not only about keeping your little ones busy. There’s a whole lot of learning that goes on when they are given the opportunity to explore with their senses.
Sensory play can help develop fine/gross motor skills, language skills, social development and cognitive growth. Here are just a few articles that discuss the importance of sensory play in toddlers.
Sensory Play: Is This Really Necessary from Two Daloo
Why Sensory Play is Important for Preschoolers from Not Just Cute
After reading about all those benefits of sensory play, I dove right in and made my own for W. Here’s our Spooky Halloween Sensory Box for Toddlers.
Spooky Halloween Sensory Box for Toddlers
Sensory play can most certainly be messy, so it’s best to take some precautions if you don’t want to spend your entire afternoon picking up tiny black beans. Be sure to take a look at my previous post on How to Keep Messy Play Not So Messy.
W’s at the point now where he can follow most of my directions about keeping the sensory inside the box. We discuss the importance of trying our best to keep the beans in the box or at least on the lid. I also find it helpful to take some time to guide him before he digs in. Here are some examples of questions I may ask in the beginning…
What creatures can you see in the box?
What colors are they?
How do the eyeballs feel? The spiders? The worms?
What sounds do the beans make when you scoop them up with the pumpkin?
After guiding him a little in the beginning, I backed off and let him have fun. He really enjoyed picking off all the lentils that stuck to the sticky eyeballs. He also liked stretchy the worms out and hiding them inside the pumpkin.
Lots of these materials can be found at your local dollar store. You don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to make sensory boxes fun.
- Squishy eyeballs
- Plastic spiders
- Stretchy toy earthworms
- Dried black beans
- Split red lentils
- Mini Plastic Pumpkins
- Mini black kettles