For SunnyGirl’s first Halloween last year, she went as Mr. Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.
At 8 months old, she wasn’t quite walking yet so we decked-out her stroller with plush movie characters Lock, Shock, and Barrel. She had a lot of fun playing with them while LittleMan trick-or-treated, but at the end of the day I locked the plushies away for a whole year, until this Halloween.
The plush characters were the perfect touch for our Nightmare Before Christmas sensory bin, though the bin could easily have been a success without them.
The base we used for this bin was dry pinto beans, though black beans probably would have been more appropriate, I didn’t have any on hand.
Also in the bin are some tiny pumpkins made from orange wooden beads and green pipe cleaner, the scoop from our pumpkin carving kit, a ghost-shaped cookie cutter, skull-shaped ice cube tray, dice, and plastic insects.
We also have a small Christmas tree borrowed from our small world play area, for which I made some candy canes by twisting red and white pipe cleaners then bending and cutting to size. There are a couple bats which I made a few years ago by cutting black foam to shape and gluing onto wooden clothes pins which I painted black. Around the base of the tree we have some beaded garland. I borrowed a Santa hat and toy sack from our Build-A-Bear costume bin.
Inside the toy sack I hid a small rubber rat.
(Some of these contents might not make sense if you haven’t seen the movie.)
SunnyGirl was mostly interested in playing with the beans and small pieces of the bin in a bit of self-directed fine motor exercise.
She did a bit of one-to-one correspondence.
LittleMan practiced his pre-reader skills with some story re-telling and dramatic play.
He especially enjoyed putting the various aspects of the bin into the toy sack and then taking them out to decorate the tree.
I truly appreciate the way they can both play so peacefully side by side with the same bin despite their age difference of 3 years.