Saturday, October 27, 2012

Edible Halloween Sensory Experience

As part of the costume party we planned at our daycare, I volunteered to create a sensory table experience for the kids.  At our center, the sensory tables in each classroom are always the highlight of play.  From the babies to the oldest of the school-age children, they get a lot of fun and great learning from the sensory table activities.
I had a few ideas of my own on what could go into the sensory table but I took to Pinterest to find some more and let me just say that there are a lot of creative moms and teachers out there.  Because of the diverse age of the children, I decided to stick with all edible items.  Now I don't mean that you would want to eat them or that the children should eat them, but that if a baby stuck their hands in and then put their hands in their mouth, they wouldn't get sick.

I also decided that because I had to work the day of the party, it had to be things that were easy to make and could be done ahead of time so I wouldn't be rushing around like a maniac the afternoon of the party.
I wanted things with different textures and sensations and colors as well.  I also had to consider that several kids in the school have severe nut allergies.
So here is what I narrowed it down to:

  • soaked dried black beans (soaked in water for 2 days & drained well)
  • colored sticky rice (boiled in water with purple food coloring)
  • colored oiled spaghetti noodles (cooked according to directions then mixed with two different green food colorings and coated in canola oil)
  • pudding
  • pumpkin guts & seeds
  • lumpy Jello (green Jello stirred every so often as it set up)
  • mini pumpkins & gourds
  • a hollowed pumpkin

Other ideas include:  colored oatmeal, colored grits, cotton candy, olives, coffee beans, peeled grapes, goop - made from equal amounts of cornstarch & water, lychees, beets, shredded purple cabbage
I used as many of the little buckets McDonald's gives out at Halloween and the little trick-or-treat buckets as I could round up.  I could stack these two high on the shelves of my fridge covered with plastic wrap.
Everything basically fit in a paper box from work that I could easily carry in and out.
This made for fast set-up and clean-up that day of the party too.  I caught a lot of parents exploring the sensory table too.  We provided baby wipes for cleaning hands (you will want a big package of these!).

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