What to do with Halloween Leftovers?

Now that Halloween is done, most parents are looking a the left-over Halloween stuff and pondering whether you can toss it all yet?  

Here are 3 great ideas to get a little more use out of those Halloween things (before you toss them or pack them away) while also engaging children in wonderful developmental activities:

1. Hammer and nails with old pumpkins- grab a handful of nails and a hammer (or golf tees and a toy hammer) and let your child enjoy hammering away.  This task is great for building eye-hand coordination and bilateral skills (using two hand together).

2. Paint a pumpkin- put down some newspaper and give your kids a paint brush and paints to re-decorate their old Jack-o-Laterns.  Read here to learn more about how painting on real objects helps build developmental skills.

3. Save all the little grab bag items to put into sensory bins.  Things like small spiders, fake teeth, eye balls, erasers, or other small items.  Toss them in with a bin or rice or beans and let your kids enjoy.  Add in some spoons, tongs, or cups for more challenge and skill development.  When the kids are done, pack up all the small items into a bag to re-use next year.  Learn more about sensory bins (how make them and their developmental benefits) in this post.

halloween sensory bin


Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.  www.paigehays.net