Halloween Sensory Tubs

Sensory tubs are the perfect activity for Halloween!
Lots of cool textures, gross feeling slimy things and bright colours. 
This is a Halloween Themed One we had at our Halloween Party.

The Basics:
A sensory tub includes objects that encourage children to explore using their senses.  It is an easy way to teach children about how they experience the world and to enhance their visual, tactile, and Auditory awareness.
Sensory tubs encourage exploration, experimentation and messy play. You can include things that have different textures; smooth, rough, slimy, crunchy, slippery, cold/warm, lumpy with everyday things such as rice, unpoped corn, cooked spaghetti, dry split lentils, beans, shaving cream, water beads, jelly or gelatine.
Here are some great ones that were linked up to our recent BOO! Halloween Link Party
1. Halloween Sensory Bin by blogmemom
2. Halloween Sensory box by Dirt & Boogers
3. Witches Brew Pretend cooking by me, Adventures at home with Mum
4. and here is a great general one for kids of all ages including younger kids who still mouth objects rice-bubble-sensory-tub by Paint on the Ceiling

All you need to do is add some materials that are tactile, they might feel different, have different textures or temperatures, they could have different smells, and put some objects in the bin that children can sift through and find, or bury with some tools to explore with; measuring cups, tongs, spoons, small spades, play safe microscope or just encourage the use of their fingers.
Not only is this type of messy play great in enhances the sensory learning for little ones but it gives a good opportunity for vocalisation, turn taking and of course imagination.

The Brain Box:
I made a Gross looking Spaghetti Brain. It was successful as well! On first attempt I made a cooked pasta brain and attempted to set it in glue in the hope to use it as a table decoration but that was a big fat FAIL of an idea. I came up with another great idea, this one was more practical.
I cooked some spaghetti, soaked it in green and yellow food dye (the yellow adds a bit of brightness to the green). Once the colour had stuck, I drained the spaghetti and then placed it in a bowl. But first I put a circular piece of baking paper in the bottom of my bowl so that the brain would slide out easily. Don't forget this crucial part otherwise you could be digging your brain out before the kids get to see it.

I mixed up some Red Gelatin. You could use jelly but Gelatine in much more rubbery, it sets firmer and withstands room temperature for longer than jelly. In play, I use gelatine over jelly for that reason, it lasts longer and is more pliable with a smooth rubbery feel.
After I packed and pressed the Spaghetti into the bowl I mixed up the gelatine and poured it in, I would have used a litre but you should use enough so that you can see it at the top of your spaghetti (so that all the spaghetti will be set in the gelatin and held together).  I set it in the fridge for a few days until the party.
And this was the result;

It worked pretty well, i used a butter knife just to separate the gelatine off the walls of the bowl and with a firm hand wiggled the brain around in the bowl until I felt it had all separated in one piece. Tipped it out upside down in the sensory tub and Voila. Brains to play with.
In this tub I surrounded it with water beads and plastic eye balls.
If your child Loves water beads like we do, check out my previous posts using Water beads...

The kids enjoyed it, poking at it initially. It wasn't long before there were some plastic rats hanging out of the brain and then there was some imaginary cooking and some digging.
This was the wet box, the water beads remain slippery and cold while the brain was slimy and smooth and warmed as it got broken apart. The water beads could be crushed and squished or bounced around or collected in a bucket. This was the hands on messy tub.

The Pumpkin Seed Box:

This one contained Orange Split lentils, dyed Purple Rice and Yellow unpopped corn. This sensory box was the dry one with lots of different textures. There were some measuring cups and some small pumpkin head buckets so that the children could scatter the 'pumpkin seeds', using hand eye coordination, tracking skills, visual attention and encouraging motor skills through scooping, pouring, measuring, burying, sifting and rattling the seeds around.

There were small Halloween plastic party favours in it as well that could be found under the grains or buried. For visual stimulation I kept the materials pale orange, yellow and light purple so that the bright green, Orange and black creepy crawlies and Halloween things stood out.

The Verdict:
By the end of the afternoon the 2 Sensory bins got mixed around, and there were some great pretend cooking games using the Halloween buckets. One of the 5 year old boys who attended the party mixed up a good brew with some brains, some water beads, bugs, rats, bats, eye balls, creepy crawlies and pumpkin seeds. A bit of everything! 
Dimples pretended to taste the devilish dinner saying "yum yum" and licking his lips.
Messy play is definitly always a hit with young children. The kids ranged in age from 1 to 9 yrs old, and each one inspected  and messed around in the tables at least once, but it was the 3 yr olds who stuck with it and enjoyed it the most :)

The Sensory trays at the end of the evening. All messed up :)
Happy Adventures

Boo! A Halloween Linky


  1. Argh! Sensory overload LOL That spaghetti photo gaave me the heeby jeebies - which is the idea, I expect :)

  2. Wow just wow what a cool idea and so much fun!!

  3. Woah, looks like some super sensory fun there. I love how you explained the benefits of the sensory tub at the beginning as I have a feeling that is something a lot of parents wouldn't be sure of.

  4. I love your creativity and imagination...bet you had fun putting them together! That spaghetti bowl is just genius!!

  5. Wow these looked like so much fun, Im defiantly going to give the brain one a go, my girls would love it. Thanks for linking up to The Tuesday Tea Party :)

  6. Pssst... I'll be featuring this idea on Tuesday Tots this coming tuesday. Thanks for linking it up and you're welcome to grab a featured button if you like :)

  7. Oh, what fun!! Some great ideas for sensory boxes. Thank you so much for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  8. Hello,
    I have done the brain several time. Here how I do it. Cook pasta. Use a round bowl and grease it. Hold a piece of cardboard in the middle (to create right and left part of the brain) add spaghetti on each side. No need to add colour. (if you do try to get a greyish color). When serving, remove cardboard, flip over and add Ketchup on one spot (blood ?). 100 % eatable. big kid love it !



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...