Fun Halloween Sensory Activity Ideas for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Older Kids

Two toddlers play with a pumpkin Halloween activity.

Halloween is such a great time for kids and families to have fun together! Although all types of Halloween activities for kids are sure to make this spooky season exciting, sensory play ideas will also promote learning like improved social skills and brain development. By teaching your children the history of Halloween, you can integrate interesting information during all play sessions.  

As a parent, I know just how busy this season can be. From preparing costumes to decorating your house, planning the evening’s events to organizing activities, you’ve got a lot going on, so I want to help make your Halloween season easier for you and your family. In order to do so, I’ve curated my favorite halloween kids activities for all ages: toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids!

 Do sensory play the easy way: get it shipped right to your doorstep! Take a look at my Halloween Activity Products or Halloween Messy Play Party PDF.

Halloween Sensory Items for Setup

For all sensory play activities, my first piece of advice is to keep the mess contained. You can review my Messy and Sensory Play Tips for the best ways to do so. The primary way is to contain the mess to a determined sensory play space and communicate boundaries. This will teach your kiddos to practice responsibility, while leaving less of a mess for you and them to clean up! You can also purchase my Mess Maker Apron to protect kids’ clothing. Here are a few other halloween sensory items that will help to contain the sensory materials to a smaller space to make messy play a little less messy.

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Halloween sensory table 

A sensory play table for year round use can be decorated special for the Halloween season. Consider adding some ghosts or spider webs and spiders. Or, if those would be too scary for your kiddo, hang a string of pumpkin lights to make your sensory play table Halloween themed! Then remind your kiddo that they can freely explore within their play space on the table.

Halloween sensory tray 

A sensory tray can be another great space to contain Halloween sensory play activities. Make it a game! Tell your little one that a challenge of the Halloween activity is to keep all of the materials on the tray. 

Halloween sensory tub 

Sensory tubs come in all shapes and sizes! Add a Washable Drop Cloth underneath so that any materials that make it out of the tub, land on the cloth for easy cleanup. The bath tub is another great location for sensory play activities. Use materials like Orange Oobleck that can wash right down the drain! 

Indoor Halloween Sensory Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Once you’ve chosen your space for sensory play, then you can choose the activities that will best suit the age, abilities, and interests of your kiddos. The primary concern with toddler play is the kiddos putting unsafe items into their mouths that are made of toxic materials or may be choking hazards. Please, always observe your child during sensory play, as well as choose activities that are appropriate to your child’s unique developmental stage and capacities. Here are a number of age-appropriate, fun activities for Halloween with toddlers that you can choose from.

Throw a Halloween Party

I’ve gathered all of my favorite activities, materials, and instructions to throw a holiday celebration for toddlers and preschoolers in my Halloween Party Downloadable PDF.  

Mix Halloween Pumpkin Goo

Toddlers may be too little to carve a face in a pumpkin, but they can drench it with oobleck! You can make your own oobleck and then dye it orange with washable, non-toxic liquid watercolors. Use food coloring for a taste-safe option, but be aware that it may stain. This liquid and solid combination fluid will fascinate your toddler and keep them entertained, while they pour the sticky goo over the top of pumpkins. Just wash the pumpkins off afterward and carve them so they become Jack-O-Lanterns or just plop them around the house as fall decor.

Spray a Jack-o’-Lantern 

Take a coffee filter, some easy trigger spray bottles, some liquid watercolors, and construction paper. Help your kiddo cut a Jack-o’-Lantern face into the construction paper. Then fill the bottles with water and the liquid watercolors. Let your little one spray design the coffee filter with their favorite colors. Hang it to dry, then glue it to the back of the construction paper. Now your kiddo has their very own paper Jack-o’-Lantern! 

Paint a Halloween Pumpkin

Your littles might not be able to paint within the lines, but let them free paint a pumpkin! With a focus on process-based art (instead of product-based), your kiddos can explore the painting with their hands and feeling the gooey substance, practice agency by choosing their favorite colors, or use paint brushes that will improve their dexterity and strengthen pencil grip. Be sure to use washable, non-toxic paint for children who are still putting things in their mouths and observe them to ensure they don’t ingest the paint. 

Dive Into a Halloween Sensory Bin

You can buy my Halloween Sensory Bin to receive all the materials you need shipped right to your doorstep. Or check out my blog post on the best DIY Halloween sensory bin fillers for in depth instructions on the best products to combine for some sensory fun.

Shake a Halloween Sensory Bottle

Combine green hair gel, water, and googly eyes to make a spooky Halloween sensory bottle! This will last you all year and doesn’t make a mess. It can be a great sensory activity to give your kiddos on long car rides to keep them focused and having fun.

Smash Ghost Slime

If you make slime with white glue, then the goo will also be white! Add some googly eyes and make it into a ghost. Your kiddo can shape and destroy the ghost as they please. This can be a particularly helpful exercise for children who are afraid of ghosts, as it gives kids control over the freaky creatures. 

Draw Hidden Ghosts

Grab a white crayon, some watercolor paints and a paintbrush, as well as some white card stock. Have your little ones draw a ghost shape with the white crayon. Then paint the over the ghosts with whatever color your kiddo prefers and see how the ghosts pop off the page!

Shape a Cotton Ball Ghost

Cut some paper stock into a ghost shape, grab some glue, and let your little one practice placing the cotton balls onto the shape. Add some googly eyes and you have a ghost!

Make Paper and Yarn Monsters 

Do you have any old toilet paper rolls laying around the house? If so, grab them for Halloween craft time! You can do so many things with these fun cylinders and some monster parts. Wrap with white tape and add eyes to make some mummies. Glue colorful construction paper and wrap yarn around the center to create fun monsters. Color and paint whatever shapes your little one wants to make wild creatures!

Make a Spaghetti Monster

 For some gooey, cold fun, make some spaghetti monster! First boil the pasta, dye it, and cool it. Then put it in water in a freezable container. Add a bunch of other monster parts and freeze it overnight. In the morning, take it out of the container and throw it in the bath so your little one can play with their own monster!

Free the Spiders

Throw a handful of plastic spiders into the bottom of a plastic bin or cardboard box. Then use white yarn to create a spiders web around the opening on the bin! Once the web is finished, have your littles free the spiders one by one by reaching in. They can practice their counting while playing this Halloween game.

Read a Halloween Story

There are so many great Halloween books out there to help teach kids about Halloween and the Day of the Dead. Some of the books also focus on sensory play! These books can also help to soothe kiddos who may find this season a little scary. 

Salt Paint a Spider Web

Take a piece of black construction paper, then draw a spider web with white glue. Let your little ones pour salt over the lines of glue then apply liquid watercolors to the salt! They can also add Halloween themed glitter! Hang the art up for fun, Halloween themed decorations.

Halloween Sensory Activities for Older Kids

Witches brew fizzing over the top of the cauldron.

Fizz a Witches Brew or Pumpkin

This sensory activity also includes a great science lesson! The Witch's Brew Kit and the Fizzing Pumpkin Kit both use the same chemical reaction to create a bubbling cauldron and a foaming pumpkin! When citric acid and baking soda react with one another, they change chemically and form sodium ions, citric acid ions, carbon dioxide gas, and water, which create a bubbling effect! Do these activities multiple times by buying some refill packs.

Halloween Balloon Battle

Strap some small balloons around the outside ankles of your kiddos. Then let them run around and try to pop each other’s balloons only with their feet! This will be a fun chase game that will keep your kiddos active as they practice whole body, kinesthetic play.

Mystery Balloon Game

Fill a large, opaque balloon with Halloween themed treats, then let each kid pop their balloon to see what’s inside!

Bake Eyeball Cake Pops

 Baking is always a fun holiday activity. Instead of the usual cakes and cookies, let your bigger kids make some cake pops then decorate them with frosting to look like edible eyeballs!

Make Halloween Cookies

If cake pops seem like a little too much work, simply order some Halloween shaped cookie cutters and bake some spooky seasonal sweets! Little ones can also decorate with their favorite frosting and sprinkles.

Make Each Other Mummies

Grab a toilet paper roll and spin around a friend until they’re covered like a mummy. 

Create a Soda Bottle Bat

Paint the outsides of a plastic soda bottle until it’s all black. Then cut out wings and ears and glue them to the bottle. Finally, add eyes and you have your very own soda bottle bats! You can tie them to a string and hang them around your house.

Make a Halloween Light

Paint a mason jar with Halloween themed things, then place a small electric tea light inside to light up the night!

Carve or Paint a Pumpkin

You can carve your pumpkin all the way through, or just deeply scratch it to make a beautiful design! Consider making your pumpkin silly instead of scary to not spook the younger kids this Halloween. Remember to cook the seeds and put some salt on them for a healthy Halloween snack! You can also have your kids paint the outside of the pumpkin instead if knives don’t seem like so much fun.

Tips to Keep Kids Safe During Halloween

Teal pumpkin project flyer


Although Halloween is meant to be fun, it can also be a scary time in unsafe ways for some families. To keeping kids safe on the streets from traffic to avoiding major allergens for some children, here are a number of Halloween safety tips that ensure all kids are safe this season. Remember that many children have food allergies, so review this allergy-safe candy list to diversify your options. Or consider offering non-food treats to hand out and placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to show kids with allergies that they're safe to receive treats from your home.