Now that the weather is getting cooler, it’s time to bring some of our boredom busting activities indoors. One of my favorite ways for my kiddos to learn, explore and play is through sensory bins. A mom fail on my end, led me to create this fun and tasty, edible Halloween sensory bin.
An Edible Sensory Bin Filler
My daughter chose to bring Oreos to her class birthday party (the perfect non-dairy non-egg classroom treat btw) and I sent a few too many packages. Her teachers sent me home with the rest of the leftovers, and I totally mom failed by leaving them in my car for a week.
The package flap was just barely open, but the Oreos were somewhat stale. I HATE wasting food, so I decided that the Oreos would make a good base for an edible sensory bin. My coffee bean sensory bin was also created under similiar circumstances.
My daughter is in preschool, so she is way past the stage of putting objects in her mouth. However, this is a great sensory bin for a toddler to start with, whom you aren’t quite sure if they are ready for a sensory bin! If they do want to try a bite, no harm, because the base of the snesory bin is totally edible!
The magic of this activity is trying to hide the fact that the dirt is actually Oreos, the sooner they know the less likely they are to concentrate on getting their hands dirty and using their senses to explore the bin.
Using All Five Senses In Edible Sensory Bin
A sensory bin is a great way for your child to explore using many of their five senses. The best part about this edible sensory bin is that you can actually let them use their sense of taste at the end.
Sense of Smell
The entire time we were playing with the sensory bin, my daughter kept saying that it didn’t smell like dirt, it smelled more like marshmallows. I loved that she was using her nose, and carefully figuring out my trick (or treat).
Sense of Touch
A sensory bin is a great way to allow your child to sift their hands through the bin and explore different textures and feelings.
Sense of Hearing
Even though you wouldn’t think it, when the Oreo pieces are sifted together, they make all sorts of fun noises. The elemnets of the spoons, and metal measuring cups also add different sounds to the box.
Sense of Sight
The sensory bin alone, is just plain fun to look at! All the different colorful objects against the black background visually allow your children’s sense of sight to go wild.
Sense of Taste
I would NOT tell your child that the sensory bin is edible until the last possible minute! Obviously just the Oreos are edible, and they can evoke some pleasant tastes for your child. Warning–Once they realize that it is Oreos, they may no longer want to play and just want to snack.
Practicing Fine Motor Skills
We eventually added some tongs into the mix, and asked my daughter to use the tongs to place all the eye-balls in one pile, pumpkins in another and then the spiders in the last pile. This is an excellent way for you to continue to work on fine motor skills.
If you are looking for some additional sensory box enhancement, this indoor toddler sensory bin guide is a great place to start.
Creating A Halloween Sensory Bin
The base or “dirt” of this fall sensory bin comes together in less than a minute! Just dump a whole box of Oreos into your food processor, and lightly pulse until you have a mixture of big and small pieces of “Halloween dirt”.
Then dump the mixture into a shoe-box sized sensory bin! I love these smaller bins, especially if my preschooler is working on the sensory bin alone. You can usually find them at the Dollar store, for well, one dollar! They are large enough that you can get your hands in the box, you can scoop around, and you can set it up anywhere (like a kitchen table) or small toddler table and chair set.
Then add some easy and inexpensive Halloween items! Most of these were found at the Target dollar spot, and others at the dollar store. I found a mixture of googly eyes, pumpkin candy corns, plastic spiders (that were actually rings), and eye-balls that were actually little pieces of chocolate candy. Leftover Halloween candy would make a great addition to the dirt, as well as orange sprinkles and any other little Halloween trinkets you can find.
I always love adding spoons, measuring cups, and small bowls so my kiddo can scoop, dump and play however and wherever her imagination takes her.
Make sure to have your kiddos wash their hands before starting with the sensory bin (seems counterintuitive before they are about to get messy) but since the sensory bin filler is edible, we aren’t adding more germs into the mix.
After play is over, you can easily store the extra dirt in a large gallon ziplock container and play again later. You could also add some to some pumpkin pie pudding for a fun treat.
Have fun with this spooky, fun and tasty sensory bin!