Halloween discovery tent

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With Halloween fast approaching and Little Moo showing great interest in the seasonal aisles of our local shops, I have started to think about making a Halloween themed area in our playroom.

Whilst this is underway, here’s a recap of the Halloween discovery tent I made for Moo last year…

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In our previous house we had the luxury of a fairly large playroom (previously known as, dining room), Moo permanently had a tent/gazebo up in one corner. It was usually used as a play house, but when Little Moo was becoming interested in all things Halloween, the dolls and kitchen were temporarily moved out to make way for Halloween discovery!

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The tent was initially made up of three main areas,

Pumpkin Patch,
A corner to investigate- Pumpkins, apples, halloween cobwebs, light-up skull, small toy spiders & mice, and the autumn leaves we had collected from the garden.

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Scooping & pouring,
Moo was interested in pouring, scooping and mixing, so I provided an area which included bowls full of dried lentils & peas, and halloween confetti. I also provided various sized scoops, spoons, bowls, and cups.

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Mark making,
I included a small area using a wooden chopping board, for mark making. Coloured pens, pencils, halloween note books & douh cutters. We later made black, orange, and green ‘spooky play douh’ together to add to this area.

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I also provided halloween dress up outfits & accessories, trick or treat bucket, battery operated hanging pumpkin lights, hanging ghosts, skeletons & bats.

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                        Tip!
I had originally used a plastic tarpaulin on the floor of the tent, but swiftly replaced this with a blanket when Moo started to play with the lentils and peas- the tarpaulin had them slip sliding away all over the place, which made them difficult to contain to the tent area, and made tidy up time a much bigger job than it had to be!

It didn’t take Little Moo long to get stuck in investigating all the spooky delights!

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She spent long periods of time making cakes with the lentils and peas, I added a ‘table’ to enhance this area of play, using an upturned toy bucket covered with green halloween material. This proved to be a great addition as Moo enjoyed using it as a place to put her cakes and drinks.

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Whilst pouring and scooping the contents of the large bowl, Moo began to find the little halloween confetti, and we had fun sorting them into different cups. Little Moo decided that she would find all the pumpkins and gave me the task of finding the spiders. This was a great way for Moo to practice her concentration and fine motor skills as the confetti was quite fiddly and hard to find amongst all the peas and lentils!

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Discovery of the pumpkin patch soon turned into ‘colouring’ of the pumpkin patch! Moo had great fun colouring on the pumpkins and discovered that the pen would easily rub off on to her fingers, which soon became an activity of its own!

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In the mark making and play douh area, Moo continued to colour herself more than the paper ;), enjoyed making play douh spiders, and discovered that dry autumn leaves were a great canvas for making dots and holes.

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Later, on discovery of the small toy spiders and mice, the pumpkin patch became home to ‘Spider and Mouse’. Moo said that Spider had a sore leg so he went to see Doctor Mouse. This was a good opportunity for me to facilitate counting practice as we counted Spider’s legs.

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The Halloween discovery tent provided Little Moo with weeks of creative and investigative play!
Some of the areas like the scooping and pouring, were kept on when the dolls and kitchen returned to the tent. We kept a box of lentils and peas for further cooking adventures! 
And after the pumpkins had been decorated, we opened them up to carve and used the ‘innards’ as a great sensory messy play activity!

Not sure how this year’s Halloween area is going to compare with last year’s! We don’t have enough room in our new house for an entire tent, but maybe a smaller den could be constructed….

Whatever we do come up with, I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

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Have a great spooky Halloween!

Posted by Cheryl

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