How to make a Spooky Spaghetti & Pumpkin Pie messy play tray

Are you ready for some Halloween messy play? This fang-tastically fun filled activity is perfect for babies and toddlers. Halloween is another special time of year that offers us a chance to celebrate. Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to miss out! Introduce the idea of Halloween to your little one in fun and family friendly activities like this one. My Spooky Spaghetti & Pumpkin Pie messy play tray! Keep reading for all the details.

Halloween is a tradition which actually originated in the church. The festival of ‘All Hallows Eve’ was for prayer and preparing for ‘All Hallows Day’ when the church celebrated saints. It’s thought to have been planned at this time of year, to encompass the pagan rituals already happening for Samhain. This is quite a lot for young children to understand so it’s important to start with the basic concepts – like exploring scary things in a safe and fun way!

Why is it important to celebrate Halloween with babies and toddlers?

Halloween is a great way to introduce the idea of ghosts, ghouls, monsters, witches and other scary things in a friendly way which doesn’t intimidate your child. You can explore emotions and use fun games like peek-a-boo to encourage responsive, turn taking interactions. These are fantastic social skills for your child to learn and it will also give them a strong foundation for understanding Halloween as they get older.

What if I don’t celebrate Halloween?

Some people choose not to celebrate Halloween for religious or other personal reasons. That’s absolutely fine and you will find that these activities include recipes for play materials that can be enjoyed as a celebration of Autumn instead. So it’s still worth reading the full blog post.

 Spooky Spaghetti & Pumpkin Pies

Messy play is a great way to celebrate Halloween with babies and toddlers.   This gruesome messy play tray is perfect for little hands to explore a variety of textures. If you are a fan of the blog, then you already know how much I LOVE messy play! And this Spooky Spaghetti & Pumpkin Pie activity is packed with colours, textures, smells, sights and sounds that are guaranteed to stimulate all of your child’s senses.

How to make the Spooky Spaghetti & Pumpkin Pie messy play

So let’s get started! I have separated the messy play tray into two recipes. The first recipe is for the Spooky Spaghetti, and the second is for the Pumpkin Pie Sensory Tray. The second recipe is more of a serving suggestion for the ingredients I used. Don’t worry about following it to the letter. Just have fun and put your own spooky twist on things!

Spooky Spaghetti Recipe

To make the spooky spaghetti you will need some basic equipment:


  • Saucepan
  • Colander
  • Fork


  • 1/2 packet of spaghetti
  • Water
  • 1 tube of Purple Dr Oetker Gel Food Colouring


  1. Place your spaghetti in a pan and cover with water. Cook to packet instructions then drain in the colander
  2. Transfer your spaghetti back to the pan and add a generous dollop of food colouring. Stir through the spaghetti and add more colouring until it is slightly darker than you want your finished product to be.
  3. Rinse the coloured spaghetti under cold water to get rid of the excess and ‘set’ the colour.
  4. For super slimy spaghetti, play straight away. For drier, tacky spaghetti, refrigerate in a ziplock food bag over night.

Pumpkin Pie Sensory Tray

For my Pumpkin Pie Sensory Tray you will need some kind of baby-safe container. I used a plastic snack plate with several small compartments. These are easy to find in bargain shops down the party aisle. You will also need a baking tray or loaf tin. I popped everything on top of a tuff tray, but if you don’t have one you could use a splash mat, large towel or keep it contained on hard flooring that’s easier to clean.


  • 1 can of Buddy’s Pumpkin Puree
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla Sugar
  • Chocolate Sprinkles


  1. Scoop the pumpkin puree out of the can and into a safe container that is easy for your baby or toddler to access. Dispose of the can safely and out of reach of your child.
  2. Fill a baking tin with the remaining ingredients. Serve the ingredients alongside one another but in distinct lines. This will allow your child to explore cause and effect and experiment with different mixtures.

Serve with Spooky Style

Our Tuff Tray was also served up with some utensils, bowls, silicone cupcake cases and Halloween decorations. Make sure you include something to transfer with like a spoon or a ladle. Another bowl or cupcake case for your child to transfer into is also a good idea. Cupcake cases, baking tray or cake tins are a great option because it helps your child familiarise themselves with these common kitchen items. You can introduce new vocabulary and support your child’s ability to recognise, label and utilise tools.

Are you ready to get messy?

This is messy play so remember to put boundaries in place to keep the mess at a level you are comfortable with. It’s always a good idea to keep a towel and a change of clothes nearby when engaging in messy play. Remind your child that the materials are only for playing and not to put them in their mouth. Everything here is taste-safe but it isn’t edible. Messy play is a great way to teach your child about boundaries so don’t shy away from setting these limits and repeating them as needed throughout the play session.

Top tips for a quick clean up

Once your child is clean and dry, pop them out of the way with a toy, book or screen to keep them occupied for 10 minutes. Scoop as much of the mess into a bin bag as you can. These ingredients can actually go in your compost bin! Hooray! Once the worst is removed and all your utensils are in the sink, give your tuff tray a clean with anti-bacterial wipes or spray. And voila! You are ready to play another day.

What other Halloween activities do you have planned?

So that’s it, my Spooky Spaghetti & Pumpkin Pie messy play tray! It’s a fang-tastic Halloween activity for babies and toddlers. What other activities have you got planned? If you need more spooky play inspiration, grab my FREE Halloween Activity Bundle now! Remember to tag me in your posts @craftytoddlercompany and email me your questions and feedback to because I would love to hear from you!

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