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As soon as pumpkin spice hits Starbucks, I’m thinking about Halloween and all the fun activities I can do with my kids and their friends! I try hard to make sure that our fun is inclusive- and that means having several sensory-friendly halloween activities in my arsenal.
Ok. I know when you hear sensory-friendly, you automatically think low light, low noise, and more calm. But that’s not it at all!
Yes, that’s what many places like movie theaters and children’s play areas do on occassion to make their establishments more accessible to individuals with sensory needs, BUT that’s not the ONLY way to think about sensory-friendly environments.
What does sensory-friendly mean when it comes to Halloween activities?
Simply put, sensory-friendly means taking into account the sensory preferences of the kids in your life. Since every person is different, the sensory needs of each child will be different.
For example, my oldest LOVES doing activities that involve different textures. If it involves anything squishy, rough, cold, she’s all about it. We have friends that prefer activities where they cannot get messy- because messy is a stressor for them.
Does that make sense?
Basically, do activities that you know the kids will enjoy. But have a back-up plan just in case something goes awry with your original activity.
I’ve put together a BIG list of fun Halloween activities that DO NOT involve carving a pumpkin. Or glitter. Because glitter is the worst.
Top Sensory Friendly Halloween Activities for Kids
Instead of just giving a list of ALL the awesome activities, I’ve broken it down by sensory preferences so it will be easier for you to find an activity your children will love.
Halloween Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are a fun, relatively no mess activity.
My oldest LOVES the feeling of a big bin of dried corn. There is a farm near us that makes a corn pit every fall that’s full of different toys and a play structure. My kiddo would LIVE in that pit, but there is no way I’m putting a corn pit in my backyard. Not happening.
But you can make a smaller sensory bin out of just about anything and keep them at home!
Paper and Pencil Activities
These are super simple printable activities you can do with your kid or let them do alone. Just print them out, grab a pencil, and you’re good to go!
I think some of these would be really fun in the car!
- Halloween Bingo Cards
- Halloween Word Searches
- Halloween Crossword Puzzle
- Printable Halloween Masks
- Printable Halloween Look and Find
Paper and Glue Activities
If you’re brave enough to break out the glue, these are for you. Lots of activities that involve cutting paper and pasting things together.
The paper bag puppet is super cute- definitely check that one out!
- Frankenstein Paper Plate
- Bat Hairbow Craft
- Frankenstein Paper Bag Puppet
- Bat Handprint Craft
- Pumpkin Face Magnets
I rarely break out the paint at our house. My kids just make too much of a mess and I hate cleaning up after them.
But, if you’re down for some paint, check these out!
Small plug- we’ve started using tempera paint sticks instead of paint with brushes and it’s the bomb.
Grab a set of them here and let your kids paint some stuff! It’s as close to mess free as a craft can get!
Crayons. Paper. Instant activity.
These are some simple coloring printables with a Halloween theme! Print them out, toss some crayons at your kids, and you’re good to go!
No Muss, No Fuss Activities
These are HUGE hits in our house. Sticker books, activity books, and magic painting are all no fuss, no mess go-to activities.
I may (or may not) give my kids these books when I’m folding laundry to keep them occupied for more than 5 minutes.
Seriously. I own a small stockpile of these books.
Family Fun Activities
Ok. So, I found these cute games to play together as a family- or with friends- and we’re definitely going to give them a try this fall! Especially the scavenger hunt.
It’ll be a really fun way to work on language skills and teamwork!
I love that these aren’t ‘traditional’ Halloween crafts. The sewing activity looks like it could be fun for BOTH of my kiddos! And the window clings are going all over my sliding glass door.
What do you think? Find something that the kiddos in your life will enjoy this fall? Leave me a comment and let me know which activities you’re going to try!