Color Sorting Sensory Tub

Halloween Sensory Activity with color sortingUsually when we do a sensory tub I don’t have a clear goal for it but with this mini one I did. This was a simple sorting activity that while focused on color sorting also naturally led to counting and comparing amounts. You don’t need to put this into a sensory tub but by adding the split peas I added sensory  and surprise elements that my daughter loved. When it was all done everything fit into a ziploc and can be taken back out for less structured play from now on.

Gather your materials. You will need some black and orange paper, black and orange creepy crawlies ( we used various spiders, ants, frogs, snakes etc… ) some split peas, and a container. I just grabbed the cheapest split peas at the store and didn’t notice until days later that there was a flavor packing with it. Just discard that if you have one unless you can think of a crafty way of using ham flavoring. If you do I am curious to hear it! creepy crawly color sorting

Pour the split peas in the container and hide the bugs etc… in it. creepy crawly sensory play

Place the paper on either side. creepy crawly color sorting halloween activity for kids

Invite your kiddo to come investigate. I didn’t have to tell her what to do , it was all right there and she naturally placed them on the matching color. As she did I did ask ” What are you discovering?” which started a discussion about that there were way more orange creepy crawlies than black. creepy crawly sensory play for halloween

Then she counted.creepy crawly halloween counting

Much time was also spent on just exploring the split peas. How they sounded when dropped back into the container from various heights and how some stuck to her hand if she squeezed them in her fist for a moment or two. creepy crawly sensory color sorting

Simple activities like these are my go to for short structured lessons. They still leave many doors open to let my daughter explore but include tid bits of more pointed learning. The vast majority of what we do is open child directed play and we fit in little activities like this 2-3 times a week. Kids don’t need giant blocks of structured learning at this age but if they like it and you want to work it in try playful ideas like this.

Books About Creepy Crawlies

All of our book titles are linked to Amazon with affiliate links.
 

spider

The Very Busy Spider was a favorite of my son’s from the get go. We have the board book edition and what I love about it, is that the spider web in it is raised and offers a sensory element to reading the story. This is a story of hard work, persistence and also helps reinforce animal sounds. Perfect for toddlers !

two bad ants

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg is a very interesting story of two ants who decide not to return to the colony and hang out in a sugar bowl eating instead. Of course nothing is as it seems and they have quite an adventure trying to avoid all the dangers of a kitchen, realizing in the end that being a part of a colony isn’t so bad! This is a cute book for preschoolers who will love trying to guess what each new adventure the ants face really are- they include a toaster, hot coffee and an electrical outlet.

i love bugs

 

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!

 

 

 

Spider Web Gross Motor Activity – Halloween Game For Kids

gross motor activity for kids

Finding a fun spooky Halloween game for kids to play that won’t scare the pants of little guys is not always a simple task . This game is simple, spooky but not at all frightening.  As I was making it I wasn’t so sure of how we’d play but the rules evolved and we’ve been playing it all weekend . The giggles were epic and the only screams were  when I forgot the spiders are fake and walked  into the living room and saw them on the floor. This activity works on balance , problem solving and can be adapted for various levels.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some painters tape, plastic spiders, a prize for the end like a glow stick and if the simple version ( explained below) is too easy have some other obstacles like these ghosts ready to make it a challenge.
  2. Start by making a web with tape on your floor. You can do a full web or if like me space is limited just do a half.
  3. Make an obvious start and finish. We call our finish home base.
  4. Add some spiders around the web and the prize ( glowstick) in the center. After the first go I let my son scatter the spiders himself.
  5. Time to play. So the object of this web walking game is to stay on the web and pick up all the spiders then the prize ( glow stick) without falling off the web . Now this can be made very difficult by requiring tippy toes or much easier by only counting a fall onto the floor as a true fall. For us he was out and had to start again if he took a step off the tape.
  6. It was not a big enough challenge so we added ghosts!  He could step over them but if his foot touched one he was out.  Another way to make it much more of a challenge for older kids is to turn it into a timed challenge with a stop watch. 
  7. When he did step off I’d make a cackling witchy laugh and proclaim ” You fell into the goo, ew, ew, ew ! ” He’d laugh and start again

Spooky … a little but definitely not scary! I think this game will be coming out every October for years to come.

Song

You may know the song ” One Elephant” This is a Halloween version that fits this activity perfectly. In my class I used to sing this with me starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. I have had so many requests for songs, I couldn’t ignore this perfect match of song and activity.

One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.

and so on and so on…

Quick Links Supply List

This list contains affiliate links.

Green Painter’s Tape
Plastic Spiders
Mini Glow Sticks

Bug Painting for All Ages

We love bugs and during the summer spend many late afternoons flipping over rocks and seeing what creepy crawlies scurry past. This activity is a great one for families with different abilities and ages because it’s the same supplies but everyone can participate. Of course my son had an elaborate story about an evil spider and super bee to go a long with the painting but my daughter was content with the simple task of making a mess.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic bugs , our little ones are from Lakeshore Learning and our big ones are from Dollar Tree. You will also need some paper , plate and paint.  
  2. For young toddlers I would also suggest some painters tape to hold down the paper so they don’t make an even more amazingly big mess!
  3. Start by pouring the pain tin the plate.
  4. Dip your bug in and make some prints. 
  5. My daughter was skeptical at first.
  6. My son not so much.
  7. I thought the big bugs would be sought after but both of them liked painting with the smaller ones best I think. This also let me sneak in a little exploration about big and little for my daughter. 
  8. As well as allowing her to touch  and explore the bugs we shelter her from in the garden .
  9. I also unintentionally let her explore cause and effect when she grabbed her gleaming white head band with a paint covered hand. Ooops. Still a few girly things to adjust to.

Books About Bugs

An Ant’s Day Off by Bonny Becker is an interesting tale about an ant who has lived his whole life never seeing the sky , or anything beyond the tunnels he works in until one day he decides to take the day off. The text was a little long for my son who kept flip flopping on my bed, but he didn’t want me to close the book either. The story was solid though, my favorite part was when he tried to return to his tunnel and the guard he expected to give him heck, was supportive and even shared that he too has taken a day off.

Buzz by Eileen Spinelli is a really sweet tale about a little bee who loves everything about being a bee, especially flying! When she finds out that bees should actually not be able to fly her confidence in herself and her favorite thing about being a bee is lost.  Luckily that is not where this adorable tale ends and your children will love it. My son came running into the kitchen where I was reading this to my daughter who screamed at me until I let her hold the book so she could touch the adorable little bee.

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!