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“Ghoulish” Halloween Sensory Activities to Calm Sensory Sensitivity
This article provides helpful sensory activities for developing your child’s sensory skills. For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.
Halloween is one of our favorite times of year and what better time to get our kids involved in sensory activities that are not only fun and “ghoulish,” but also target a child’s senses to help them cope with their surroundings and sensory overload.
Before we get started, it’s important to remember that kids struggling with sensory issues have a neurological disconnect in the brain, which means they can’t interpret the sensory signals that affects their five senses. This may not mean much at first, but when your child tends to struggle with loud noises, certain smells, bright light and is often overwhelmed at family parties, restaurants and large crowds, it usually means they have too much sensory input in their surroundings for their bodies to calm down and function. This could be why you may see unexplained outbursts, tantrums or meltdowns at different times with your child. It’s tough for them to control and can be one of the reasons they can’t focus and learn in the classroom because their bodies have too much sensory input or not enough.
A. Jean Ayres, PhD and Occupational Therapist, once said Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) is like a “traffic jam” in the brain where kids can’t receive sensory information correctly.
So how do we help kids who struggle with these issues and sensitivities? The great news is that sensory activities make kids think they are only “playing” when really they are using these activities as “medicine” for their bodies to cope with their surroundings. And that is where our fun Halloween sensory activities comes into play.
Ghoulish Sensory Activities for the Brain
Holidays are the best time to give your kids the sensory input they need to succeed in school and it prevents meltdowns and overstimulation at family parties and in the classroom. First, find what your child responds to best when it comes to textures, sound, light, physical activity and smell. If you’re not quite sure, try some of these sensory activities with your child to see what they enjoy best.
Where’s Waldo Pumpkin Spice Play Dough
Here is one of our favorites that we already tried in a different article. It’s fun, easy to make and it smells just like pumpkin spice. This sensory activity helps your child with the gooey texture, sweet smell and even hand-eye coordination for reading and tracking words on a page. By adding fun Halloween items to the dough and burying them inside the fun texture, it allows kids to dig through the dough to find the items. To try it out on your own, click here.
I Spy Pumpkin Sensory Bag
Finding the right sensory activities for your child isn’t always easy and sometimes if they hate certain textures, the gooey activities can be a sign of too much sensory sensitivity so we need to find activities that cater to that sensitivity. The great thing about this I Spy Sensory Bag is that it contains all the gooey textures inside the bag so your child doesn’t have to touch them, but it still gives them the opportunity to use their senses on the outside while searching for the hidden objects inside.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pumpkin Guts (medium pumpkin)
- Dollar objects (for example spider rings, candy corn, acorns, eyes). You can find them all at Walmart.
Mix the objects and the pumpkin guts together then help them find the objects inside the bag.
Mystery Halloween Hunt
This is by far my favorite sensory activity and can be great for the kids who need lots of sensory input.
Here is what you will need:
- Blind fold
- Peeled grapes
- Cooked spaghetti noodles (to dye them different colors follow the instructions below)
- Dried Fruit (apricots)
- Popcorn kernels
Add all these objects in separate bowls and then blindfold your child. Remember, if this is too scary for your child, either remove the blindfold or try a different activity. You can tell them you went on a monster hunt and brought back different items. Have them feel all the objects with their hands and fingers. Here’s what the mystery items could be:
- Peeled grapes = monster eyes
- Carrot slices = witch’s fingers
- Corn kernels = vampire teeth
- Spaghetti noodles = Frankenstein brains
- Apricots = trolls ears
After they touch the objects, remove the blindfold so they can see what the items are so they aren’t scared.
Anytime you can mix sensory activities with learning and education is a win win for parents and children. This activity is a great way to get your kids excited about science and gives them the sensory input they need.
Here’s what you will need:
Mix some water, a few drops of dish soap, baking soda and food coloring together in a cup. Place the pumpkin in the aluminum dish and add the mixture to the pumpkin (remove the pumpkin seeds) or place a cup with the contents inside the pumpkin for a better volcano. When you are ready, add the vinegar to the contents in the pumpkin and watch the volcano erupt. Your kids can even play with the bubbles and the mixture as it erupts to give them the sensory input they need.
Enjoy these fun sensory activities and have a fun and spooky Halloween!
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs