You know how your kids get more and more restless as the day progresses and can’t sit still or concentrate on their schoolwork?

It’s because their bodies need some sensory input!

Learn how you can give them the sensory input that their bodies need to focus on learning with these fall sensory activities.

The kids have played outside all summer and they’re tired of all the regular outdoor activities.

It’s getting too chilly for swimming and running through the sprinkler, but the afternoons still have enough warmth for messy or wet play outside.

Even if they can make a bit of a mess, sensory bins really can save your sanity at the end of a long day!!

Fall sensory activities provide the sensory input that your kids crave on days when they’ve concentrated on their school work and now need a brain break!

Click here to learn how sensory bins are worth the mess because they help your child’s development in 10 different ways!!

Jump ahead to one of these Fall and Autumn Sensory Activities:

S’Mores Sensory Bin

Pumpkin Spice Sensory Bin

Pumpkin Guts Sensory Play

Fall Harvest Sensory Bin

Natural Autumn Sensory Bin for Nature Study

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S’Mores Bonfire Sensory Bin

s'mores sensory bin preschool

For this S’mores Bonfire sensory bin I first sent the kids outside to look for a few skinny sticks to break into 3 to 4-inch pieces to use as a base filler.

For the fire, I cut out a piece of orange felt to look like flames. Use the S’Mores Bonfire Outline in the Free Resource Library as a pattern.

Next, I tossed in a small package of shiny gold pom poms for more flames.

Then, I dug out some felt graham crackers from the kids’ play kitchen toys. You can also just cut out a few squares of tan felt.

I cut out a few squares of brown craft foam and drew lines on them with a marker to look like chocolate bars.

Finally, I added the foam marshmallows which I found in the crafting section at Wal-Mart.


Pumpkin Spice Sensory Bin

sensory bin fall theme leaves tissue paper nuts gourds

Every time your kids play with this bin, it will make your house smell like fall!

Start by cutting up a few sheets of yellow and orange tissue paper into strips, about 1 by 2 inches for the base of this fall sensory bin.

Add in some real leaves or fabric or felt leaves from the dollar store.

Next, toss in a few acorns and gourds. It you don’t have access to oak tress and acorns, you can find fake ones at dollar stores.

This is a great bin to add some scent with essential oils. You can use either cinnamon essential oil or my son’s favorite, sunshine spice oil blend.

To make it smell like pumpkin spice add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon from your spice cabinet into the bin and stir. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, just use equal amounts of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

You can also put a couple of drops of vanilla or cinnamon extract (from the spice aisle of the grocery store) onto the leaves and tissue paper.


Pumpkin Guts Sensory Play

Fall Pumpkin Gut Sensory Play

Exploring pumpkin guts is as easy as cutting open a pumpkin and letting your little ones see inside. It’s safe for them to use all of their senses, but don’t be surprised if they think it’s cold or slimy. LOL

pumpkin guts for fall sensory play
Baby boy explored pumpkin guts by tasting them and didn’t care for the texture! LOL

Fall Harvest Sensory Bin

I bought a boot tray like this one to use as a container for this fall harvest sensory bin. I knew my little ones would want to have a lot of space to drive the tractors around and this shallow but large tray is perfect! A pet bowl mat or extra large baking tray would work equally well.

Next, I found some deer feed at the local farm and home store to use as the main filler. I choose it because it contains what most American farmers grow: corn, soybeans, sunflowers, and milo (aka millet or grain sorghum).

If you can’t find anything similar in your area, look for whole or cracked corn or sunflowers meant for wildlife (think birds and squirrels). You can usually find that at most discount stores like Wal-Mart or even at grocery stores.

FYI, the deer feed was $15 for 25 pounds and whole corn was $7 for 40 pounds. You don’t need the whole 25 or 40 pound bags, so if you have a friend or two to split it with, even better!

We plan on putting the leftover out for the local wildlife this winter when there’s snow on the ground. (Hey, sounds like a good nature study topic: what do animals eat in the winter.)

Finally, add in some play tractors or farm toys. Or even a couple mini hay bales or straw.


Traditional Fall Sensory Play

fall sensory leaf pile

Let your kids rake the leaves in your yard. (See what I did there? I put your kids to work and made them think they were playing! HA!)

Jump and play in the leaf pile! This is the most fun when the air is crisp and you can follow up your work and play with some apple cider!


Natural Autumn Sensory Bin for Nature Study

This nature study sensory bin is full of items straight from nature.

We started with a base of tiny twigs and added in a few different leaves.

We gathered a fox tail, a piece of bark near a rotting tree with some fungi, and a few flowers. With the exception of the flowers, everything that we gathered had already fallen to the ground.

Next, we tossed in a few acorns (from two different types of oak trees) and a walnut that we’d gathered from beneath our walnut and oak trees. If you don’t have any nuts bearing types of trees, ask your neighbors or look at local parks. You’ll often find oak or hickory nut trees in parks.

You could also add in a few pine cones and a few interesting looking rocks.


More Fall Sensory Activities

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fall autumn sensory bin
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