Spooky and Fun Halloween Tuff Tray Ideas For Toddlers & Beyond

Combine development with spooky fun for some exciting Halloween tuff tray ideas for toddlers and beyond. These sensory setups are ideal for Fall, all the way into Halloween.

From cutting witches hair to scooping pumpkins, your little ones will be enthralled with Halloween and are all designed to help promote the development of key skills too.

Here are some of the best Halloween tuff tray setup ideas to get stuck into!

15 Spooky and Fun Halloween Tuff Tray Ideas For Toddlers & Beyond

1.Witches Spaghetti

This Halloween tuff tray is a delightful sensory activity that features a witch’s face created with various materials.

Kids can explore and engage with colored rice, spaghetti, spooky numbers, and assorted Halloween-themed objects.

The tray includes spoons and cups for filling and emptying, and scissors for cutting practice on the witches ‘hair’, providing a fun and educational experience.

What you will need:

  • Colored rice (green and black)
  • Cooked spaghetti (dyed orange)
  • Plastic numbers with Halloween decorations
  • Small pumpkins and other spooky decorations
  • Spoons and cups for filling and pouring
  • Scissors for cutting practice
Instagram image credit: @tufftraytinkerer

2. Forest Floor Exploration

This forest floor exploration tuff tray is perfect for autumn-themed sensory play.

Kids can immerse themselves in a natural setting filled with leaves, sticks, and pinecones, all centered around a friendly pumpkin. The activity incorporates number cards for educational fun, making it a great way to blend learning with nature exploration.

What you will need:

  • Assorted autumn leaves
  • Twigs and small branches
  • Pinecones
  • Wooden discs
  • Number cards
  • Plastic pumpkin
  • Assorted artificial leaves and bark pieces
Instagram image credit: @misstomsteaches

3. Potion Making

Enhance fine motor skills, number recognition, counting, and imaginative play through potion making. Kids can scoop, pour, and explore various items to create their own magical potions.

What you will need:

  • A hollowed-out pumpkin with seeds
  • Numbered potion bottle cutouts
  • Plastic cauldron
  • Magnifying glass
  • Tweezers
  • Small spoons and cups
  • Assorted Halloween-themed cutouts (skeletons, spiders, etc.)
  • Small sensory items (acorns, rubber insects)
  • Plastic pumpkins and other Halloween decorations
Instagram image credit: @mr_c_classroom

4. Shaving Foam Spiders Web

We LOVE this shaving foam spiders web tuff tray which is perfect for open ended messy play.

Little hands will love guiding the spiders and getting their fingers messy in the process. You’ll need some shaving foam, a textured foundation which could be something like tissue paper or a fake spiders web and of course, plastic spiders!

Instagram image credit: @early_years_playtime

5. Halloween Excavation

This Halloween excavation game is a fun sensory activity where kids can dig through jelly to find hidden Halloween goodies and sequins.

It’s a great way to combine sensory play with fine motor skill development and Halloween excitement.

What you will need:

  • Jelly (various colors: orange, red, green)
  • Halloween-themed goodies (plastic spiders, bats, skeletons, etc.)
  • Halloween sequins (ghosts, pumpkins, bats)
  • Small spoons
  • Themed bowls and trays for excavation
Instagram image credit: @mini_wonders_play_sessions_

6. Catch The Spiders

This spider web tuff tray activity is designed to enhance fine motor skills through a fun and engaging Halloween-themed game.

Kids can use tweezers to catch spiders and place them into a pot, navigating through a web made of tape.

What you will need:

  • Tape (to create the spider web)
  • Plastic spiders
  • Tweezers
  • Small pots or cups
  • Assorted small items (like green peas) for additional challenges
Instagram image credit: @_playislearning_

7. Brewing Cauldron

This brewing cauldron tuff tray activity is a fantastic Halloween-themed sensory play experience. Children can mix and stir various items in their cauldrons, enhancing their sensory development and fine motor skills while having fun with spooky elements.

What you will need:

  • Dried beans (black, white)
  • Orange lentils
  • Plastic cauldrons and pumpkins
  • Wooden spoons
  • Plastic skeletons, insects, and other creepy crawlies
  • Assorted Halloween-themed pom-poms
  • A large black cauldron at the center of the tray

Kids can use the wooden spoons to scoop and pour the beans and lentils into the cauldrons, mix the items together, and explore the textures and sounds.

Instagram image credit: @year_r_classroom

8. Pumpkin Scooping

Kids can use spoons to scoop and explore various materials and creepy crawlies, enhancing their fine motor skills while having fun with a spooky twist.


  • Mixed dried beans and seeds
  • Plastic insects and spiders
  • Cut-out pumpkin faces
  • Plastic spoons in various colors
  • Large black tray base

Children can use the spoons to scoop and sort the beans, seeds, and insects, while the pumpkin faces add a festive touch to the activity. This setup encourages sensory exploration and fine motor development in an engaging Halloween setting.

Instagram image credit: @sensoryplay_send

9. Cauldron Hot Pot

This Halloween tuff tray uses Gelli Baff as a sensory base, providing a fun and tactile experience. Kids can dig, scoop, and explore various Halloween-themed items hidden in the Gelli Baff, enhancing their sensory and fine motor skills.


  • Gelli Baff mixture (buy and add water)
  • Plastic cauldrons
  • Wooden spoons and forks
  • Assorted Halloween items (plastic bones, eyeballs, insects, etc.)
  • A large tray base

Simply prepare the Gelli Baff according to the instructions, then scatter the Halloween items throughout the mixture. Children can use the wooden utensils and cauldrons to scoop and discover the hidden items, making for an engaging and spooky sensory play activity.

Instagram image credit: @preschool_teacher_ireland

10. Magical Potions

Most children love a potions making tuff tray, and we adore this Halloween themed setup! Most of the items featured involve water and food coloring. Label each of the items for added gruesome, messy play!

Everything used in the picture below:

  • Dragon blood – water and red food coloring
  • Pickled snakes- jelly snake sweets in water
  • Rat droppings – choc chips
  • Mermaid tears – water with shells at the bottom
  • Melted frogs – water, green food coloring and googly eyes
  • Unicorn pee – water and glitter
  • Poisonous slime – water and green food coloring
  • Dried spiders – plastic spiders
  • Vampire fangs – plastic vampire teeth
  • Witches fingernails
Instagram image credit: @the_rural_headteacher

11. Ghoul Counting

This Halloween tuff tray activity is a fantastic way to combine sensory play with math practice. Kids can lift the ghost cups to reveal numbers written underneath, then use the markers to add the numbers together, enhancing their math skills in a fun and engaging way.

What you will need:

  • Plastic cups with ghost faces drawn on them
  • Orbeez or water beads as the sensory base
  • Numbers written underneath the cups
  • Markers for writing and solving math problems


  1. Scatter the Orbeez or water beads across the tray.
  2. Place the plastic cups upside down on the tray, with numbers hidden underneath.
  3. Kids can lift the cups, find the numbers, and use the markers to add the numbers together.
  4. Encourage them to explore and solve different math problems using the ghost cups and the numbers they find.
Instagram image credit: @mrs_m_style

12. Pumpkin Pie

This “Pumpkin Pie” Halloween tuff tray is a creative sensory activity that combines elements of nature with spooky Halloween fun. Kids can explore various textures and objects while engaging in imaginative play.

What you will need:

  • Faux spider web
  • Plastic eyeballs
  • Mini cauldrons
  • Pinecones, wood slices, and assorted autumn leaves
  • Pumpkin-themed decorations (like small pumpkins and pumpkin ornaments)
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Small jar with sensory beads or small objects
  • Wooden cutting board and wooden spoon
Instagram image credit: @wy_and_i

13. All Aboard The Halloween Train Track

This “All Aboard Halloween Train Track” tuff tray is a festive and engaging sensory play activity that combines the fun of trains with Halloween elements. Children can navigate the train around the track, exploring various spooky items along the way.

What you will need:

  • Wooden train track set
  • Toy trains
  • Mini pumpkins
  • Faux spider web and plastic spiders
  • Plastic eyeballs
  • Black cauldrons
  • Measuring cups and small containers
  • Halloween-themed goggles
  • Sensory base (rice or oatmeal)
Instagram image credit: @tuff_tray_inspiration_eyfs

14. Witchy Hair Salon

Welcome to the Witch’s Salon! This Halloween-themed tuff tray activity is perfect for practicing fine motor skills by cutting dyed spaghetti hair. Children can have fun giving the witch a new hairstyle, enhancing their scissor skills in a creative and engaging way.

What you will need:

  • Dyed cooked spaghetti (green) for the witch’s hair
  • Witch’s hat
  • Plastic scissors
  • Whiteboard marker pens


  1. Prepare the cooked spaghetti and dye it green to resemble the witch’s hair.
  2. Draw a large witch’s face on the tray base, leaving space for the hair around the edges.
  3. Place the witch’s hat on the top of the face.
  4. Arrange the dyed spaghetti around the witch’s head as her hair.
  5. Scatter the plastic scissors around the tray.
  6. Encourage children to use the scissors to cut the spaghetti hair, giving the witch a new hairstyle.

This activity not only promotes fine motor skills and scissor practice but also allows for imaginative play and creativity.

Instagram image credit: @preschool_teacher_ireland

15. Spider Pouch Top Patterns

This “Spider Pouch Top Patterns” tuff tray activity is a fun and educational way for children to practice pattern recognition and fine motor skills using colorful pouch tops. They can create patterns on the spider’s legs, making it an engaging and festive Halloween activity.

What you will need:

  • Various colored pouch tops
  • A tray with a spider design drawn on it (including legs for placing patterns)


  1. Draw a large spider with multiple legs on the tray using a whiteboard marker or chalk.
  2. Scatter the colorful pouch tops at the bottom of the tray.
  3. Encourage children to pick pouch tops and create patterns on the spider’s legs, either following a specific sequence or creating their own.
  4. This activity helps children develop their pattern recognition skills, fine motor skills, and creativity.

Children can have fun arranging the pouch tops while learning about colors and patterns in a playful and interactive manner.

Happy Halloween!

Instagram image credit: @little.learning.adventures
Photo of author
Bjarni Baby

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