Are you ready for Halloween this year?
Onetime still hasn’t decided what he wants to be yet, and I’m just hoping that his final idea will be as easy as the black cat costume we whipped up last year!
Now that I’m back at work teaching full time again, I’m always looking out for fun activities to do that are super fast to prep, and which work on an academic skill.
Today’s ghost sensory jar game can be made in under 5 minutes and is a fun Halloween math activity that can be modified to challenge kids of all ages.
Read on to find out how to make one and how to play the game!
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Inspiration for a Counting Ghost Sensory Jar
As a Teacher-Librarian, I’m always looking for connections between books and fun activities. In fact, the idea for this jar came after I read the adorable Halloween book Ten Timid Ghost to Onetime.
Plus – the illustrations of the timid ghosts (who are trying to hide from a mean witch who wants them out of their house) are just too cute! A Halloween favourite at our house.
How to Make a Ghost Sensory Jar
- Empty glass or plastic bottle with label removed
- Goo Gone or a Magic Eraser to remove label goo!
- White beans dried
- Black beans dried (optional)
- Black-eyed peas (optional)
- Red lentils (optional)
- Black permanent marker
- Hot glue gun (optional)
- White acrylic paint (optional)
1. Wash out your bottle and remove the label.
2. Choose 10 white beans that look like the shape of ghosts. Write the numbers from 1 to 10 on them. Underline the numbers 6 and 9.
3. On the front of each white bean, make a simple face with two eyes and a mouth. Aren’t they cute?
4. Mix the ghost beans into a bowl with black beans and lentils OR with more white beans OR with black-eyed peas for a real challenge!
5. Pour the beans into your bottle and seal tightly or with hot glue.
6. Add a ghostly face to the outside of your jar with the permanent marker.
Ta-da! You’ve got a creepy counting ghost sensory jar game!
How to Play the Counting Game
There are different ways to use the sensory jar, depending on your child’s age.
Free Play (best for 0-2 years)
Give your child the jar and let them shake and explore! They’ll likely notice the ghosts and might ask about the numbers on their backs. I recommend creating the game with black beans and white bean “ghosts.”
Guided Search and Find (3-5 years)
Say a number and ask your child to find that number on a ghost in the jar, OR ask your child to find a ghost and then tell you the number on it. I recommend creating the game with black or white beans along with the “ghosts.”
Independent Play (5-9+ years)
Challenge your child to find all 10 ghosts in order from 1 to 10, or backwards from 10 to 1! Use white beans as the background along with the “ghosts” OR to make it super challenging – use black-eyed peas as the background filler.
- Make more ghosts with higher numbers!
- Instead of numbers, use the letters of the alphabet.
Can you think of any other ways to use these adorable little white bean ghosties? I’d love to hear your ideas. Please leave me a comment below.
Find even more hands-on Halloween activities for young children on my Pinterest board:
Follow One Time Through’s board Halloween Fun on Pinterest.