Halloween Sensory Bin for Toddlers

halloween sensory bin contents 1

A Halloween sensory bin is the perfect way to encourage stress-free learning through the Halloween season. Plus it’s crazy-easy to put together! 

Halloween sensory bin

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Our first-ever sensory bin was a water sensory bin, and that was such a hit that Camden played with it all summer. In fact, now that it’s cooler, I have to hide it or he’d still be begging me to fill it with water. 

Now that it’s October, a Halloween themed sensory bin seemed like the next logical bin to create. And it turns out that it’s super easy to put together!


What is a Sensory Bin?

A sensory bin is a bin, tub, bucket, or any container full of items that let children explore with multiple senses. The sensory bins might have things to touch, smell, move, shake, rattle, twist, squish, or any other activities that activate different senses. 

Basically, they are like small contained specific toy boxes. It’s a great way to help kids learn through play. You can find so many different ideas and themes on Pinterest that you could probably do a different sensory bin every single day of the year! I prefer to let Camden play with a sensory bin for a month or more, though. Although I might rotate between a couple to give him some different things to explore and play with.

My reasoning for letting him play with it over and over again is that kids learn new things every time they play with something. They might play with it a different way, or use it the right way one time and create something new with their imagination the next time. The first time they play, they might hear some new vocabulary from you as you name objects, textures, motions, etc. But they might learn that new vocabulary when they hear it over and over again.

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Finding Objects for a Halloween Sensory Bin

I found everything I needed for a Halloween sensory bin at two different places: Meijer (Walmart or Target would also have the same types of things) and the Dollar Store. After that, I also checked out Party City, but they didn’t have anything that I didn’t already have. 

I went to the Halloween section in each store and perused the party favors  and supplies to start with. I found things like bouncy eyeballs, stretchy slingshot skeletons, spider rings, beaded necklaces, and Halloween slinkies. In the supplies I picked up a Halloween cup for Camden to scoop things up with in the Halloween sensory bin. 

Then I looked in the Halloween decor to find filler for the bin. I chose colored shredded paper – orange and black – from the dollar store. I also got a small pack of spider web to try out as well. 

Just look around at all the party things and find items that you know your child could play with in different ways. For example, the balls can be bounced, or rolled, or tossed. The skeletons can dance and play pretend, or they can be stretched.  Slinkies can be stretched, dangled, or twisted. 


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Putting the Halloween Sensory Bin Together

Once you’ve picked out your items, you’ve completed the hard part. And honestly, to me – the shopping is actually fun! I like to think about how Camden could use all the different objects that I find!

Putting together the Halloween sensory bin is the easy part. I filled my bin with the shredded paper first. Then I just dropped the other objects haphazardly on top and let some of them settle. I want Camden to see right away that there are objects, but I also want him to figure out that he can dig down and find other things too! 

You can use any container that you’ve got laying around to put your sensory bin items in. I used a Sterilite plastic dishpan because I have a bunch of them in my basement not being used. Like I said, whatever you’ve got on hand will work. 

Toss all your items in the bin and give them a little shake. Then hand the Halloween sensory bin to your toddler and let him explore! 


Ways to Guide your Toddler’s Sensory Play

Let me start off by saying this: give your toddler time to explore on his own. Every time you get it out, let him play alone at least part of the time. This is also a great time for you to get dinner started or have 5 minutes to yourself! 

But you can also guide some of his learning. Here are some great ways to help:

  • Name the objects as he plays with them. Ask him to say the words. 
  • Ask her to sort the objects in different ways. Sort by color, shape or size.
  • Ask him to show you two different things he can do with each object. Let him come up with the ideas. 
  • Help her use the objects to tell a little story or create a scene. 
  • Have him feel each object and describe together how it feels. 

The important thing is that sensory bins should be pressure-free learning. There is no right or wrong. And if your toddler decides she is done playing, don’t force it. Keep it light and fun! 


What is your favorite sensory bin that you’ve ever made for your toddler? Or if you’ve never made one, what is one you’d love to make?


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  1. Sammi

    This is amazing! I’ll have to share this with my OT friends!

  2. mamahouli

    What a great idea! I have to try this

  3. Noelle

    This is truly awesome!! Thanks for this!

  4. Amanda

    I’ve heard of sensory bins but I’ve never created one for my twins. This looks super easy though and I bet they would love it! I’m going to put one together and see how it goes!

  5. Christina Furnival | Real Life Mama

    What a fun idea to make a sensory bin holiday themed! Love it.

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