This is the perfect sensory kit for the season of little goblins.


The goal of this sensory kit is to provide a variety of interesting, theme-oriented stimuli (for a variety of ability levels) that will enhance the sensory environment and encourage a memory tie-in to the sensory experience.

To put together the kit, you will need:

  • Trick-or-treat bag, plastic pumpkin, or pillowcase to hold all of your “goodies”
  • Halloween masks. Simple ones on a stick are easy to hold up in front of your eyes.
  • Other items that might be part of a Halloween costume, such as a cowboy hat, witch hat, fairy wand, pirate sword, white sheet with holes for eyes (ghost), etc. Select items with different textures and colors.
  • Halloween decorations—fake cobwebs, plastic spiders, black cat, black crepe paper streamers, etc.
  • Halloween stationary and cards
  • Pumpkin-scented candles
  • A jack-o’-lantern (preferably a real one with battery-operated tealight inside)
  • Recordings of Halloween music, such as “The Monster Mash,” “The Addams Family Theme Song,” and “The Funeral March of the Marionettes”
  • Candy corn and other Halloween candy
  • Other treats associated with Halloween—fresh popcorn, apples, apple cider, candied apples, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Halloween napkins, plates, and cups
  • Pictures of children dressed in costumes

Activity Ideas and Suggestions

1. Always begin by introducing the topic and explaining briefly the purpose of

the activity. “Halloween is just around the corner, so I thought we might talk

about Halloween and enjoy a Halloween treat.”

2. As facilitator, come dressed in a costume if you want.

3. Pass around one item at a time so that everyone can enjoy an appropriate

sensory relationship with the object.

4. Encourage participants to examine the object. If appropriate, ask people to

describe how the object looks, feels, and smells.

5. Discuss each item. Ask non-threatening questions, such as:

  • Did you dress up for Halloween when you were a child? Did you make costumes for your children?
  • Do you prefer “pretty” costumes (like a princess) or “scary” ones (like a witch or warlock)?
  • If you were wearing this hat (cowboy hat), what might you be?
  • What would you use to scoop out the inside of a pumpkin?

6. Allow people to try on the various items of the Halloween costumes if they want.

7. Play the familiar Halloween music and ask people to hum along. Ask if it sounds spooky or scary.

8. Hand out the food items and ask people to smell and taste each one. Note: Always check for any dietary restrictions.

Unresponsive Individuals

Some of the props in this activity can be used when providing one-to-one sensory stimulation activities for people who are unresponsive (comatose, in the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, etc.). For example, play “The Monster Mash” or other recordings. Record any eye movement, hand movement, facial expressions, or changes in breathing.

More Bang for Your Buck

Also, note that the items in the kit can make for an interesting discussion activity, even with individuals who do not have memory challenges.

Group Size Time of Day Duration Acuity Level
Small (2 - 4)
Medium (5 - 8)
15 minutes Long-term Care
Memory Care
Skilled Nursing/Rehab
Facilitator Gender
Programming Coed
Wellness Domains

Social, Emotional


See list above

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