Our Halloween Sensory Tub Ideas…

Woohoo, Halloween is not far away now and I am excited to explore it with J. This year J is not far from his 3rd birthday so he’s been getting a bit more into the Halloween spirit when seeing things in the shops, TV shows with Halloween theme etc. I don’t think he quite ‘gets it’ yet but on the actual day when he experiences Trick or Treating I think he’ll then actually process it more.

To start the celebration we have been exploring sensory tubs. These are simply activities that encourage children to explore textures and different senses. It’s a change to fiddle and develop tolerance to touching different items. It also brings in new language and learning too.

So here’s some we’ve explored using our Halloween Cauldren…obviously (haha):

1. Split peas and natural world

This game involves filling, pouring, scooping and tweezers. J explored numbers and capacity (maths) with the scales and built up fine manipulative skills with the tools. He did start to use his hands to and felt the knobby feel of the guords and the smoothness of the split peas.

2. Light and dark

This one included mirrors, torches, foil, metal objects and our pumpkin light. I created this inside a cardboard box to make it darker. J wasn’t as impressed with this one. He played with the torch but then wasn’t bothered with the foil until later (just as I was putting it away).

3. Water and food colouring

This is one of my favourites we’ve ever done. I lined the bowl with foil as I was worried we wouldn’t see the colour of the water in a black cauldron. J added green food colouring to the water (with a lot of laughing). He then used the syringe to squirt water into the cauldron. It made a great noise as it hit the foil which made J have a huge smile. He was engrossed doing this for well over 15 minutes which is a record for him. We also add mint into the water and mixed it all together. It was great for sound and smell senses.

4. Baby Rice play

J has a massive dislike of wet and sticky textures. We’ve been building up his tolerance with foam soap, playdiugh erc but he still barely tolerates those. I knew this would be a bit out of his comfort zone but thought we try using spoons so he didn’t actually have to touch it. J poured the water in and gave a tiny mix but you could see how uncomfortable he was so I didn’t push it. I mixed it more and was commenting about what I was going and what it looked like. This way J could still see the change in ‘state’ (bit of science there) and that I was having fun. One day he’ll be ready to join in more. 

Other ideas we’ll be trying out over time:

-Jelly with bugs/small dinosaurs in.

-Angel Delight (chocolate-for mud) and washable cars.

-Polenta and colored matchsticks.

-Kinetic Sand with moulds and spoons.

There’s tons of ideas over on Pinterest such as…

Rainbow Glitter Slime by Someone’s Mum
Sensory tray activities by The Smallest of Things
Sensory Playdough by The Mum Diaries
 But otherwise just have a look around the house as you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find that you can use for free. I’d love to know what sensory tubs have worked for you? And any we should avoid 😂 

Happy Halloween 👻 🎃 

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