Messy and sensory play has proved to be the favourite activity for all children and all ages and what keeps them occupied for longer, while learning and developing skills such as fine motor, observation, coordination, communication and more.
Here are a few simple activities that we love for this exciting Halloween season!
1. Painting pumpkins
Super simple! Use water based paint to decorate some large or small pumpkins. Can you paint a happy pumpkin? Can you paint a sad pumpkin? An angry pumpkin? You can wash the pumpkin as many times as you like and you will have a fresh clean canvas again and again!
2. Messy pumpkin soup
Cut out the top of the pumpkin. Set up a table (ideally a tuff tray) with bowls, spoons, safe knives, scoops, a bit of water, droppers... and let the kids empty out the pumpkin and mix it with water to make their own halloween potions. It can be as messy as you like! You can add shaving foam, leaves from the trees, halloween pasta shapes, water with food colouring, etc. one thing at a time. It's a simple science activity to observe and experiment with different textures and ingredients.
3. Halloween "dry" sensory bin
Mix dyed rice, halloween pasta (from Lidl), pompoms, pipe cleaners, beads, fake spiders and skeletons, etc. in a bin / box. Add some scoops and bowls around it and you have the perfect sorting fine motor sensory bin ready to go! You can play games like "I spy with my little eye." and call out a thing that's in the bin. Or set up a pretend halloween shop and sell those items, ask how much they are, etc. Sort out the items (big/small, by colour or by shape...)
4. Halloween "wet" sensory bin
Same as the dry bin but with a wet base. These are some options for your base, and you can add any halloween items from your local pound shop (fake spiders, plastic pumpkins, skeletons, scoops, etc.)
- Boiled spaguetti with food colouring. Boil spaguetti for juts 5 min, let it cool down, add it into a ziplock bag and mix it with a few drops of food colouring. You can use safe scissors to cut this pasta, its a great fine motor skills acitivity. You can also draw a pumpkin or a witch on a tray and pretend the spaguetti is the hair so kids have to give her a haircut.
- Jelly. Make your own jelly and hide fake spiders and other items inside.
- Gloop. Simply mix water with food colouring and add cornflour until it thickens and has a slime-like texture.
SHAVING FOAM SPIDERWEB
GLOOP (Cornflour and water)
FROZEN JELLY AND BLACK DYED RICE
5. Halloween fine motor shapes
Pipe cleaners are perfect for this. Can you create a spider? A hat for a witch? a pumpkin? You can also find beads and make bracelets with them. A great activity to develop fine motor skills and attention to detail, shape recognition and learning new words.
6. Halloween sensory bags
Draw a pumpkin face with permanent marker on a ziplock bag. Mix these ingredients inside:
- water + food colouring + shaving foam
- water + food colouring + corn flour
- water + food colouring + bay oil
Each set of ingredients will give you a different texture. Tape the sides of it to avod leaks and stick them on a table with tape or on a window. Press around the liquid to move it all over the "pumpkin face". A very relaxing sensory activity.
7. Halloween sensory bottles
Add anything halloween themed / related into a clear plastic bottle. Use calpol lids to close them so the kids won't be able to open them. Here are some ideas of things you can mix in the bottle:
- Coloured rice and halloween pasta (from lidl) as a shaker
- Cut plastic straws into small pieces and put them in the bottle with water
- Water + food colouring + baby oil
- Water + pompoms + glitter
- Water + plastic spiders