Fine Motor Activity: Halloween Sensory Bin
Ah, Halloween! It’s hilarious how before kids, Halloween was an amusing holiday but hey, no big deal. If I want candy, I will just go to the grocery store and grab some. Now as a mom with two kids, Halloween is probably the second most important holiday in the year (can’t really beat Christmas)! My favorite part of Halloween is that the celebrations start mid-September, and you have a whole bunch of pumpkin patches to go to throughout October. In the pumpkin patches, we see lots of Halloween related creatures, such as ghosts, black cats, bats, etc. Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to make a Halloween sensory bin full of “scary” creatures to build my children’s vocabulary and familiarize them with this fun holiday!
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Sensory bins are very popular for toddlers, but the thing with toddlers is… they may want to dump the entire content out instead of looking through the bin. Moreover, some toddlers tend to put everything in their mouths, hence the small cards and beans may be dangerous for them to play with. Hence, this may be more appropriate for older preschoolers. That said, not all toddlers are created equal, and while my son would have completely annihilated this sensory bin when he was 2, my daughter had no issue keeping everything in the bin at the same age. I will leave it to you to gauge whether your toddler is ready for this activity!
– Halloween Bingo Board (I found one for $1 at Target, or you can print a free one here)– Scissors (if using printable)
– Dry beans (or rice, spaghetti, corn kernels, etc.)
– Medium-sized bin
1. Print out the Halloween Bingo Game if using printable. You just need one board and the Bingo cards.
2. Laminate the printable if you choose. It’s not necessary, but lamination just makes the printable harder to destroy by your kid if you want to do this activity more than once.
3. Cut out the Bingo cards.
4. Fill the bin with dry beans. You can use whatever material you would like here, I just happened to have dry beans on hand. Rice, corn kernels, pumpkin seeds, or even cooked spaghetti are some other ideas you can use to fill the container.
5. Hide all the Bingo cards in the dry beans.
6. Give your kid a pair of tweezers so he/she can find the Bingo cards! Make sure you say out loud everything he/she finds to reinforce the vocabularies.7. Whenever my kid found a Bingo card, I had her match it to its location on the Bingo board. You don’t have to do this, but I figured why not work on some matching skills as well!
Overall, a very simple and fun sensory bin activity that works on strengthening children’s fingers with the tweezers (fine motor skills). My daughter had lots of fun finding the Bingo cards, and for some reason, her favorite one was the witch. I thought my 4 years old son would be too old for this, but he also enjoyed playing with the sensory bin as well. He asked me about all the creatures and how they are related to Halloween. He couldn’t understand why a skeleton is scary if it’s part of our body. Then after a whole bunch of questions like that and me struggling to answer them, he decided it would be fun to hide the Bingo cards for his sister. The two started playing together, and I sat back and enjoyed watching the siblings spending some quality time together.
I picked a bin with a lid so that I could store the dry beans and the Bingo board and cards on the shelves until Halloween has come and gone. It’s a great repeatable activity! And to my relief, only a few dry beans fell out during the activity and no disaster happened. Sensory bin for the win!
What other Halloween related activity are you doing with your kids?