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Monday, September 28, 2020

40 Halloween Sensory Play Ideas: Spooky Sensory Bins, Slime, Spaghetti & More

If your little ones love sensory play and love Halloween then they'll love these squishy, squelchy and slightly spooky Halloween sensory play ideas. You can make them as cute or creepy as you like depending on their age. There's 40 different Halloween play activities so there's something to take your fancy no matter what age your kids are. Toddlers, preschoolers and school kids will have loads of fun celebrating Halloween this year with some spooktacular sensory play.

girl making witches potions in a field


When some people think of sensory play all they can think of is mess, but it doesn't have to be messy! Although in our house, where we firmly embrace the mess, that's all part of the fun. Whether you want to do messy sensory play, or more controlled sensory play like sensory bottles {see the bottom of this post for some options}, the benefits of sensory play are undeniable.

Like most types of play, sensory play is all about children exploring different materials and working out how things interact, however sensory play is firmly focused on them using their senses to do this. Most often this is done through tactile stimulation by using different textures, temperatures or surfaces. E.g hard or soft, warm or cold, squishy or firm. 

It can also include auditory stimulation by shaking or banging items to see what sounds they make. Items and play bases can be made more visually appealing by using bright colours, or light and dark contrasts. And finally sensory play can also include different aromas by scenting bases like playdough or potions.

By touching, smelling, seeing and hearing objects and sensory bases in different ways children are developing nerve pathways within their brain as they problem solve and learn cause and effect by interacting with different elements. They're also using fine motor skills, learning to self regulate {as sensory play is often quite calming and focused}, developing language skills when engaging in imaginary play with sensory elements and it can help foster social skills when exploring a sensory activity as a group.

A huge plus of sensory play is that you can theme it to fit in with any type of subject matter you want, whether it be a particular part of a learning curriculum, or to suit a specific holiday. The following Halloween sensory play ideas are all fun, age appropriate ways to explore different Halloween elements like creepy crawlies, pumpkin guts, monsters and witches, without being too scary.

kids carving pumpkins for halloween
Image by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash


Ok so I know I just said sensory play doesn't have to be messy, but... before you embark on one of these spooktacular sensory bin ideas, be mindful if sensory play is going to get messy then this is where it'll happen. Before you freak out though, there's so many ways to minimise the mess and sensory bins can keep kids occupied for ages {which is worth a little mess as far as I'm concerned}. 

To limit the chances of rice or beans etc flying everywhere use a tray or big plastic storage tub for your sensory bin, then either take it outside for play or put a splash mat or old sheet underneath it to catch any spills. Also if it's a dry sensory base it's nothing the broom or vacuum can't handle!


Halloween Rice Sensory Tray

halloween creepy crawly sensory rice invitation to play

Younger kids will love this simple Halloween rice sensory tray. They can scoop and pour the rice as well as find and study some creepy crawlies. Find my instructions here to recreate this sensory tub, including how to dye sensory rice.

Halloween Water Sensory Tub

halloween water and spider sensory bin

For a really simple Halloween sensory tub, fill a large plastic container with some beakers, mini spiders and orange water. Kids can splish and splash, exploring measurement and making some spooky potions with this easy Halloween water sensory tub from The Keeper of the Memories

Spider Web Sensory Bin

spider web sensory bin for halloween

If you're scared of spiders you may find this spider web sensory bin a little uncomfortable, but the kids will probably love it. For a totally different sensory tub grab some fake spider webs and lots of creepy crawly friends to recreate Happy Toddler Playtime's Halloween spider sensory tub. Just be careful to pack all those critters away afterwards because you don't want to step on one in the dark, trust me!

Colourful Halloween Sensory Bin

halloween themed sensory bin with rice and black beans

This colourful Halloween sensory bin uses multiple sensory bases in all different colours. Simple Fun for Kids have used orange rice, white rice, black beans and some Halloween props to provide lots of different visual and tactile sensory fun.

Spooky Black Bean Sensory Tray

halloween sensory bin with black beans

This halloween sensory bin is so visually appealing with the contrast of bright colourful halloween party favours against the black beans. Kids will have loads of fun scooping, pouring, raking {with skeleton tongs} and hiding and finding all the spooky creatures. Find out how to set up a spooky halloween black bean sensory bin at Fireflies and Mudpies.


Witches and Halloween just go together so well. I dare say most kids {and adults even} have dressed up as a witch for Halloween. Why not take it a step further and create your own special bubbling or frothy concoction with these cool witches brew recipes.

Fluffy Witches Brew Slime

fluffy witches slime with spiders

Witch’s and wizards aren't just about potions, they also love making fluffy slime for Halloween! Follow this fluffy witches brew slime recipe to make the perfect stretchy candy corn themed slime. Add in some plastic spiders and bugs for an authentically creepy concoction.

Hocus Pocus Witches Slime

hocus pocus witches brew slime

If your kids love slime they'll love this hocus pocus witches brew slime! Create some sticky, slimy witches brew with spiders and spooky eyeballs by following the instructions at Simplistically Living.

Eyeball Witches Brew Slime

purple and green eyeball witches brew slime

Another fun version of witches brew slime is this colourful eyeball fluffy witches brew slime. Follow the fluffy slime recipe at The Soccer Mom Blog and add in some colourful plastic eyeballs to make some creepy witch slime.

Foaming Witches Potion

foaming bubbly witches brew

This foaming bubbly witches brew is such a fun sensory experience. Complete with heaps of creepy crawlies, the kids will bring magic to life creating their own witches potions. Find out how we made our foaming witches brew.

Fizzing Witches Brew

bubbling fizzy witches potion with bugs

Create a bubbling, fizzing, bug filled witches potion just like The Craft Train. You'll need some baking soda, vinegar and some plastic creepy crawlies. Pretend to be a real witch adding slugs, bugs, snakes and lizards to your bubbling brew.

Colourful Fizzing Witches Potions

colourful bicarb and vinegar witches potions for halloween

These colourful witches potions will bubble and brew to life with spectacular force as kids watch on in awe. With a twist on the traditional bicarb and vinegar science experiment, these witches potions combine science and creepy crawlies into one spooky, fun activity kids will love. Find out how to bring your own colourful witches potions to life here.

Edible Witches Slime

edible witches brew slime

If you want to make a witches potion that can actually be eaten, try this edible witches brew slime. The words slime and edible don't normally go together, but this one is completely edible as it's made from melted gummy bears and full of other Halloween gummy lollies. Follow the instructions at Teach Beside Me to create your own edible concoction. Sensory play + a snack in one, although I take no responsibility for the sugar high that may occur after!


Ah slime, we have a love/hate relationship with slime in this household. The kids love it, and I hate it. To me it doesn't seem worth the effort, however they can't get enough of it! I've never actually made slime that didn't come in a kit, so when I went searching for Halloween slime ideas, I was surprised there are so many homemade versions out there. Some of these are so easy I'm even going to give them a go. Even if you're as adverse to slime as I am, there's probably a recipe on this list that'll take your fancy {some are even edible}.

Zombie Slime

This zombie slime is fun to make any time of the year, but is extra fun to make at Halloween. Follow the instructions at STEAMsational to make your own sticky, stringy, slightly gross zombie slime.

Eyeball Slime

green halloween slime with eyeballs

Whether you're making favours to give out to trick or treaters, party guests, or making a huge batch for some sensory play, this halloween slime with eyeballs is sure to provide loads of ewwy gooey, sticky fun. Use the elmers glue halloween slime recipe from Little Bins For Little Hands to recreate this creepy green slime with eyeballs. You can use the same recipe to make different coloured slime with other props like spiders, insects, pumpkins or halloween confetti.

Glow in the Dark Slime

glow in the dark fluorescent slime

If you want to take your slime to the next level try this glow in the dark slime for some spooky night time sensory play. Find out how to make glow in the dark slime at Steam Powered Family. Use a black light to watch the fluorescent slime glow.

Spider Web Slime

spiderweb slime

Make this simple, but effective spiderweb slime with just 2 ingredients! Add a pipe cleaner spider, or fill it with heaps of teeny plastic spiders. Follow the instructions at STEAMsational to create your own sticky spiderweb.

Dish Soap Spider Slime

spider dish soap slime recipe perfect for halloween

If you want to make spider slime, but don't want it to be sticky then try this dish soap spider slime. It stretches out to make a spider web like appearance, but has a silly putty feel rather than sticking to everything. Follow the recipe at 123 Homeschool 4 me and remember to add lots of plastic spiders.

Black Glitter Slime

black glitter slime

This black glitter slime is the perfect addition to Halloween play. Try mixing it up with different colours of glitter or adding some mini spiders to make it extra spooky. Follow the instructions at Crafts by Amanda to create your own batch.

Halloween Oobleck

orange halloween oobleck with spiders

This one isn't technically slime, however this orange halloween oobleck provides just as much sticky gooey fun as slime. Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid which can be both a solid and a liquid depending on the force applied to it. So not only does it provide great sensory input, it's also a fun science lesson at the same time. Make this halloween oobleck by following the instructions at Steam Powered Family.

Pumpkin Slime

halloween slime with pumpkin seeds

Nothing says Halloween like pumpkins, so if you want some truly Halloween themed slime, make a batch of this pumpkin slime. If the kids love pulling the pumpkin guts out when creating jack-o-lanterns then they'll love this jiggly slime that contains real pumpkin seeds. Follow the instructions at Natural Beach Living to create your own Halloween pumpkin slime. We also have a big list of pumpkin slime recipes and experiments.

Candy Corn Slime

candy corn edible slime

This candy corn slime is completely non-toxic and in fact is completely edible {although I wouldn't tell the kids that unless you want to suffer the sugar high after!}. With just 5 ingredients this slime is super easy to make. Follow the instructions at Crayons & Cravings to make your own candy corn slime.

Monster Slime

metamucil monster eyeball slime

Another fun slime recipe to try out at Halloween is this monster slime with googly eyes. This slime is super easy to make and has a really interesting special ingredient {no it's not the googly eyes}, it's Metamucil... yep you read that right! Find out how to make it at Pink Stripey Socks.


I know some people aren't fans of using food for sensory play, however in our house we love to use food in sensory setups, mainly because it's taste safe so I know if the girls mouth anything it's ok {although I do discourage it}. Cooked spaghetti is such a fun sensory medium because the texture is almost in between dry and wet. It's not dry and hard like uncooked rice, but it's also not wet and fluid like water. It still provides a lot of opportunities for fine motor development by squishing, cutting, pulling, poking and tearing it, and it jiggles like worms, which is always a winner with little kids.

Spooky Halloween Sensory Spaghetti

This spooky Halloween sensory spaghetti was actually the first time my girls played with sensory spaghetti. The vibrant colours attracted them and they loved the squishy feel of the spaghetti compared to the dry sensory bases we normally use for play. Make your own Halloween sensory spaghetti by following my instructions here and use as many or as little Halloween props as you like {depending how creepy you want it to be}.

Orange Halloween Sensory Spaghetti

orange spaghetti halloween sensory bin

This orange Halloween spaghetti sensory bin is a little more creepy with the addition of the skeleton hands {which are actually skeleton hair clips}, however you can leave them out if you think they're too much for your kids. Combine mini cauldrons, spiders and sensory spaghetti to recreate this spaghetti sensory bin from Taming Little Monsters.

Witches Spaghetti

spaghetti witches brew sensory play

Have some fun with a big witches cauldron and some sensory spaghetti to make spaghetti witches brew. Mix bright slimy spaghetti with all kinds of creepy crawlies. Follow the instructions at Kids Craft Room.

Eyeball Spaghetti

purple spaghetti and eyeballs halloween sensory tray

This inviting spaghetti sensory tray has an added bonus, it glows in the dark! Not only does it look beautiful in the daylight, at night the creepy eyeball bouncy balls come to life and stare back at you in the dark. Spooky by day, slightly scary by night, recreate this squishy spaghetti sensory bin from Simple Everyday Mom.


Playdough is an amazing sensory material as it provides visual and tactile sensory input as well as providing so many opportunities to develop fine motor skills whilst it's being played with. Playdough can be coloured and scented for all different types of themed invitations to play. Halloween playdough invitations typically involve orange, black, green or purple playdough and some spooky props.

Playdough Jack-O-Lantern

jack-o-lantern pumpkin playdough invitation to play

How adorable is this playdough jack-o-lantern pumpkin?! Recycle a cereal box and celebrate Halloween with this super cute build-your-own Jack-O-Lantern playdough activity from Barley & Birch. Use their pumpkin templates or design your own features to decorate your playdough pumpkins.

Pumpkin Spice Playdough

taste safe pumpkin spice playdough

This taste safe pumpkin spice playdough is perfect for Halloween. While we never encourage the girls to eat our sensory play activities, it's always a bonus when something only involves edible ingredients. Find out how to make pumpkin spice playdough at Crayons and Cravings.

Free Halloween Playdough Mats

free halloween jack-o-lantern playdough mat
Have fun creating different jack-o-lantern faces with our free Halloween playdough mats. There's also a spider playdough mat as part of the free set. Download the free Halloween playdough mats here.

Playdough Monsters

playdough monsters with free printable accessories

Make your own playdough monsters with the free eyes and bones playdough accessories printable from Picklebums. Use a combination of playdough, printable accessories and other props like plastic teeth, beads and pipe cleaners to bring your monsters to life.

Playdough Spiders

playdough spider invitation to play
A fun way to combine loose parts and playdough for a fine motor workout is with a build a spider playdough invitation to play. You'll need some playdough and some loose parts like googly eyespipe cleaners and anything else you can think of so the kids can create their own spiders. Set it all up like our playdough spider invitation and watch the creativity come to life.


Sensory bags and bottles are a great way for younger kids to join in on themed play and safely explore items that might otherwise pose a choking risk. They're also a no mess sensory play activity! Sensory bottles are a great way for kids of all ages {and adults} to help deal with anxiety, feel less stressed and less overwhelmed. 

They're also great to use to calm down before bed and as a screen free quiet time activity. They provide a great incentive for tummy time for babies and are great for eye tracking as they watch the movement inside the bottle or bag. Always make sure sensory bottles and bags are appropriately sealed and used under strict adult supervision so young children can't access the contents inside.

Monster Sensory Bag

monster gel sensory bags for halloween

This monster sensory bag is so simple to put together and provides so many learning opportunities. It's a great way to improve hand strengthening as kids squish and move the googly eyes around into the monster shapes. Follow the instructions at Team Cartwright to create your own monster sensory bag.

Glow in the Dark Ghost Sensory Bottle

glow in the dark ghost sensory bottle

This glow in the dark ghost sensory bottle looks super impressive in the dark and is actually really easy to make. You'll need a plastic Voss water bottle {or similar plastic bottle}, some white glow in the dark loom bands and a few other simple items. Follow the instructions at Rhythms of Play to create your own ghost sensory bottle.

Water Bead Jack-O-Lantern Sensory Bottle

waterbead jack-o-lantern sensory bottle
If you want to introduce water beads without the kids actually touching them, try this jack-o-lantern water bead sensory bottle. It's so simple to put together using a Voss plastic water bottle and some water beads. Follow the instructions at Teach Me Mommy to create your own.

Jack-O-Lantern Glitter Sensory Bottle

jack-o-lantern glitter sensory bottle

For another fun jack-o-lantern sensory bottle, try this glitter sensory bottle from The Craft at Home Family. You'll need a plastic sensory bottle, glitter, glue, water and food dye. Have fun creating different jack-o-lantern faces for your sensory bottle - will yours be happy, scary or just a little bit spooky?

Spider Sensory Bottle

spider sensory bottle for halloween

This spider sensory bottle is a little bit creepy {especially if you're scared of spiders}, but it's also really cool. Watch the spiders suspend in glitter and slowly float up and down in the bottle. Follow my step by step instructions to create your own spider sensory bottle here.

Halloween I-Spy Sensory Bottles

halloween sensory bottles

These Halloween I-Spy sensory bottles are a great way to help kids calm down, without being too scary. Use purple, orange, black and green coloured pom poms, beads, sequins and Halloween party favours to create these bottles following the instructions at Fireflies and Mudpies.

Witches Brew Sensory Bottle

witches brew sensory bottle

This witches brew sensory bottle works as a calm down bottle and an I-spy sensory bottle. Full of creepy crawlies, mini bones and eyeballs, there's lots for kids to look at and count as they watch all the items float up and down in the bottle. Follow the instructions at Pocket of Preschool to make your own.


If the kids, or you, need to chill and de-stress {maybe after all the sensory play} then make some of these adorable DIY Halloween stress balls. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions from Red Ted Art, or you might end up with flour everywhere and nobody wants that!

DIY halloween stress balls made from balloons

40 halloween sensory play ideas for kids


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