It's Halloween season (all month long for us!), and we have been enjoying Halloween themed sensory bins every day, like this one and this one. Although not all of them have been shared on the blog, we have been mixing up new bins every day for the kids to enjoy.
For today's bin, we mixed up four new coloured batches of rice in Halloween colours (red, green, light purple, and dark purple/brown) and used cinnamon, anise, chocolate and caramel extracts to add scents to them. Anise (smells like licorice) for the light purple, chocolate for the brown, cinnamon for the red and caramel for the green rice. Each colour was about 1-2 cups of white rice and we used liquid food colouring and white vinegar to add the colour. The kids especially like to help mix up these batches because we made them in Ziploc's, which meant they were able to shake them around a lot to mix in the colours. (So fun!) You can add the extracts to the vinegar and food colouring before you mix in the rice.
And since Halloween can be scary for young children, we have been incorporating several elements that are not so scary. The kids enjoy all the costumes and role-playing and actually the only costume that Bean is afraid of is Santa Claus. Yep, you read that right. Every year a man on our trick-or-treating route dresses up like Santa and hands out wrapped candy. It's kind of awesome, and yet Bean is so scared of him. I think it's the big red suit. She actually enjoys the scarier costumes (like werewolves and vampires), but I know that some kids can be scared of the darker costumes on Halloween. We have been reading lots of Halloween themed books and can't wait to go trick-or-treating with our cousins! (Hopefully this year there isn't a blizzard to post-pone the festivities.)
Munchkin and Bean chose which Halloween toys they wanted to add to the bin. These included Safari Ltd Designer Toob Glow in Dark Halloween Figures, Gamma Mutant Space Friends toys from Newbury Comics (bought years ago), rubbery rats, glow-in-the-dark spiders and some snakes and small neon frogs. The kids put the toys they picked out at the bottom of the bin.
Then we collected the bags of rice. I normally let them build the bin themselves because they enjoy adding in everything.
They took turns pouring in the rice.
And then they immediately dove in and started to mix up the rice.
The colours were really nice! And it smelled so amazing, just like a bag of treats!
It turns out vampires like to brew like witches! This little guy is one of Bean's favourites. He's not very scary and he's kind of adorable! He usually wears a cape, but currently Bean's Alien Rabbit is wearing it. :)
Munchkin really likes this Alien Cat.
Bean enjoyed role-playing with the toys and deciding which one got to brew from the cauldron next (there was a long line, and Munchkin was apparently last).
Eventually they wanted to add in their new mini pumpkins and Bean requested that we add in the rice from the other Halloween bin. So now orange and black rice is mixed in!
The colours and scents are so amazing and fit perfectly with the season and Halloween!
Lots of fun was had with the pumpkins! They served as landing pads for the witches and perches for the black cat. The ghost liked camouflaging himself against the white pumpkins. And the cauldron was used the most! Everyone had a turn stirring the witches brew.
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Please always keep a constant eye on you child(ren) when they are playing in sensory bins.