4 Spooky Sensory Activities for Toddler Playtime in October

When school started last month, I knew that I needed to have a plan to keep my 1 year old busy during school days. I prepped sensory bins and activity boxes, and they have really served me well day to day – so I’m updating everything (and giving it a fun Halloween twist!) to keep my sanity for another 30 days of virtual schooling.

You can take a look at my previous posts for toddlers here:

I will list the supplies for the sensory activities next, but you may want to take a look at all of these ideas and then jump back up to supplies once you decide what you want to do.

Do you have other Halloween-inspired sensory activities that you are doing? I’d love for you to share pictures + ideas with us on social media!

You can jump down to the four boxes and come back and review supplies later.

Supplies for all 4 boxes

Large sensory bin containers

If you already have a plastic bin or sensory table at home, you can make any size work for these bins. I like to use a bin that has a lid so that I can make them in advance and store them. These two bins are good options:

  • Sweater Box (15-5/8″ x 13-1/8″ x 6-3/4″ h)
  • Modular Storage Box (16. 25″ x 13″ x 6. 125″) – this is for a 4-pack, so you can prep an entire month in advance!

Spider Web Sensory Box

Monster Soup

Halloween Slime

Spooky Oobleck

  • Things you probably already have at home:
    • Corn starch – you need a lot depending on the size of your container, so you may want to add more to your grocery list
  • Things to buy:
    • Food coloring
    • Plastic eyeballs – these are eyeball poppers, but you can use the large style as well
    • Plastic spiders – any style spider is fine, these are a bit more substantial to stand up to the oobleck
    • (Optional) Plastic cauldron – this will up the display of your activity, but isn’t necessary

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Ideal Age Range:

Ideal age is 1 – 3. Know your child and adapt as needed, some things are harder for really little kids and some things will lose the interest of older kids. (Always reach out in the comments if you need suggestions on how to adapt activities!) And as always, supervise your kids closely as they do these activities.

Mess Factor:

Medium to High. The mess level depends on where you set this up for play. There is definitely the potential of getting little sensory items all over the place, but they shouldn’t leave a lasting mess. The slime and oobleck have the messiest potential (but you CAN make slime that isn’t awful!)

Prep Time:

Varies per activity. Ranges from 2 – 20 minutes.

How to Prep:

So many of these activities can be done with whatever fun Halloween (or toy) items you already have. You don’t need to copy pictures below exactly – simply find items that are on sale, that are in your grocery store, or that are lying around and incorporate those.

Below you can see the posts that inspired all of the activities that I am going to be making. Each week as we play with our sensory activities, we will update this post with pictures and play notes.

Let us know what questions or comments you have below!

Spider Web Sensory Box

I have a lot of nostalgia for fake spider webs from decorating when I was growing up. And when I saw this post from Happy Toddler Play Time, it made me very excited! Even though the webs are a little messy, this is a bin that can easily be played with inside – without you losing your mind! Some of the spiders and eyeballs that I use for this bin, I will reuse for the other activities (bonus!).

As I mentioned above, don’t go crazy buying new things. Take a look at any Easter decorations you might have and try to pull some orange, white or black (probably not black) eggs from what you already have!


Monster Soup

We had a lot of success with our Construction Sensory bin that used black beans and I was really excited about all of the Halloween goodies in this Monster Soup activity by Productive Pete. My plan is to reuse the same Halloween treasures from this bin for the slime and oobleck activities – I also will probably incorporate some into whatever socially-distanced Halloween activities we do!


Halloween Slime

I know that slime is VERY controversial. I’m with you – I HATE all of the slime kits and toys that we’ve been given thus far in the 6 years that I’ve been a mom. BUT, I am a huge fan of the Elmer’s Slime Activator that we used in our glow-in-the-dark slime post, so I know that it is actually possible to make slime in the right consistency that doesn’t make a total mess!

I really love the look of this Halloween slime from Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails and we’ll be combining this idea with our slime recipe (which is only 2 ingredients).

Halloween Slime Recipe for Sensory Play

Spooky Oobleck

Oobleck is something that I have not made before. But when I saw this pictures from The Best Ideas for Kids, I knew that I had to try it. The recipe is actually pretty simple and I am going to be incorporating some of the same spooky treasures that I’ve shown in the activities above (I love to stretch one purchase for an entire month.)

I included a link to buy a plastic cauldron to display this in. I think if you are doing this activity for more than one child, or as part of a Halloween party for your pandemic pod, then the cauldron is fun. Otherwise, it isn’t necessary and you can use whatever container you have. Beware: the larger the bowl, the more oobleck you need to make!!

Halloween Oobleck

On top of providing sensory stimulation + filling up the time between naps, I am excited that I can start to introduce the Halloween spirit with these activities. As I mentioned above, I plan to use a lot of the same Halloween trinkets throughout all of these activities. What I am also excited about is that after October, I’ll be able to package all of these things up with our Halloween decorations and save them for years to come.

I love building my holiday collections so that I can rotate in new books + toys along with all of the decorations. It add to the overall fun in our house!

You can jump back to supplies to review what you need.

I would love to hear about the sensory activities you are putting together for your toddlers for this spooky season. Leave us a comment below!

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