The Easiest Halloween Sensory Bin for Toddlers & Preschoolers

What’s the easiest Halloween sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers? One that doesn’t require dying ingredients and buying lots of new resources, that’s what!

Every Halloween we create a version of this sensory bin. Sometimes we dye rice, other times we use what we have in our store cupboard. Creating themed sensory bins like this one are a fun and hands-on way to help very young children make connections to the celebrations of the season.


A square image of a Halloween sensory bin filled with orange lentils and black and white bow pasta. The sensory bin also includes a toy cauldron, pumpkins and leaves



Why should you create a Halloween sensory bin?

Creating themed activities for young children helps them to connect to the world around them and learn about seasonal events in a fun and hands-on way. Autumn is no different which is why it can be fun (and educational) to create a Halloween sensory bin.

Here are some benefits of creating this Halloween sensory bin:

Making connections to the world around them: following seasonal themes helps children to understand the events that are happening in their culture.

Language and vocabulary building: there’s plenty of opportunities to learn new and topical words such as ‘pumpkin’, ‘cauldron’ and ‘potion.’

Fine Motor Skills: Using items like scissor scoops in the Halloween sensory bin means those little hands get a good workout

Hand-eye coordination: Scooping the lentils and pasta into the cauldron requires hand-eye coordination, as well as a skill called crossing the midline – there the dominant hand crosses over to the other side of the body.

You can read more about the general benefits of sensory play here. 

a horizontal image of the Halloween sensory bin with a small child's hand scooping up lentils with a fine motor scissor scoop to place into a toy cauldron


What resources should you put in a Halloween sensory bin?

The items you put in your Halloween sensory bin will really depend on what you have in your store cupboard and craft cupboard. I never recommend specifically going out to buy items specifically for sensory play – unless you have the intention to save and keep them year after year.

In this case, we used the following in our sensory bin:

  • Red lentils
  • Black and white ‘bow’ pasta
  • Fabric leaves
  • Halloween sequins
  • real mini pumpkins
  • a toy cauldron
  • scissor scoops from Learning Resources
  • Nature treasures – conkers, pinecones and twigs

We placed all of the ingredients in a large plastic storage tub with a messy mat underneath to catch any spills.

At Home Autumn Art & Sensory Camp

If you enjoyed this simple Halloween sensory bin and wanted to find more fun Autumn themed activities, check out the At Home Autumn Art & Sensory Camp in my membership group. If you would like to access the content, you can check it out here. 

This image shows a timetable for an Autumn art & sensory camp. The pumpkin hammer art is one of the activities included

Autumn Blog posts to read next:

If you loved this blog post about creating the easiest Halloween sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers,  you might also enjoy some of our other Autumn posts. Most are suitable for both toddlers and preschoolers:

Autumn Art Ideas for Preschoolers

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Mask

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt story basket

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt pre-writing skills  activity 

21 Autumn Ideas for the Entire Family

Autumn Activities for Kids: 25 Playful Prompts

Autumn Loose Parts Play

Autumn Preschool Leaf Cutting Tray

Apple Playdough Activity

Farm Playdough Ideas

Sunflower Sensory Play Activity 

Pumpkin Hammer Art 

Pumpkin Gloop 

Simple Autumn Sensory: Pumpkin soup

You can also search the keyword ‘Autumn’ in the blog search bar for the most up-to-date Autumn blog post listing.


Interested in learning more?

If you  want to learn more about sensory play and the importance of play in the early years, you might just like my exclusive membership, ‘How I drink my Coffee Hot’ too. The membership costs just $5 per month and you get access to 10 mini courses on a range of topics including sensory play, play spaces and starting school. Here are some membership posts that you might enjoy:

Sensory Play Mini Course

Starting School Mini Course 

Play Space 101 Mini Course

Toys 101 Mini Course

Sian Thomas
an image of This Playful Home founder, Sian Thomas. The photo includes a photo of her daughter when she was around 18 months old

I’m Siân (rhymes with yarn), a play advocate, proud parent to three, and former teacher. My mission is to infuse more joy and less overwhelm into the lives of parents. Discover play-based activities with me that not only make learning FUN but also forge deep connections with your young learners, creating memories to cherish forever.