These Thanksgiving sensory bins aren’t just messy play!

They can be a fabulous tool for promoting growth in all areas of development, plus they don’t take much time or money to set up!

Learn how you can create Thanksgiving sensory experiences for your kiddos with only a minute or two of prep.

These sensory activities will keep them out of your hair while you make Thanksgiving dinner!

Click here if you’d like to learn how sensory bins really are worth the mess! Spoiler: they help your child’s development in 10 different ways!!

Jump ahead to one of these Thanksgiving Sensory Activities

Thanksgiving Pies Sensory Bin

Cranberries Sensory Play

Scarecrow Sensory Bin

Turkey Sensory Bin

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click on them, I may make a tiny commission, at no extra cost to you.

thanksgiving pies counting activity

Thanksgiving Pies Sensory Bin

For this Thanksgiving Pies sensory bin I first bought a few of those mini pies from the bakery (they are 50 cents each because they’re so tiny). My husband and teenager gladly made the sacrifice to eat the pies so that I could use the tiny pie pans for this bin. 😊

For the pumpkin pie filling, I cut out a circle of rusty orange felt. I just flipped one of the pie pans over to use as a pattern.

Next, I cut out a circle of tan felt in the same way, but added a few snips in the middle to make it look like pie crust for the apple pies.

Then I added tan pompoms for pie dough and red table scatter for the apples.

Finally, I printed out the Counting numbers page from the Scarecrow Sensory Bin Cards from the Free Resource Library. Kids can select a number, then add that many apples to their pie.

Extension Activity: Read I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson


Cranberries Sensory Play

cranberry thanksgiving sensory bin

My two youngest kiddos and I first looked at some cranberries floating in a bowl of water.

We talked about how some things sink and some things float.

We labeled the cranberries as fruit and they predicted that the cranberries would taste sweet.

One of them thought cranberries are white on the inside and one thought red. I encouraged them to bite a cranberry in half to see if their predictions were correct.

Next, we looked at the holes inside where the seeds were and talked about how tiny the seeds are.

Finally, I poured some water and cranberries into one section and just cranberries into another section.

I gave them a garlic press, a measuring spoon and pairs of tongs to let them explore and play on their own.

They played with these sensory bins for over an hour and only stopped to eat supper! 🙂

Here’s a snippet showing how they were working on their fine motor skills using the tongs and garlic press.

Extension idea: Read Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin and illustrated by Harry Devlin


Scarecrow Sensory Bin

Scarecrow sensory and counting activity

I started with a bag of popcorn (next to the microwave popcorn at the store). You could also use a bag of squirrel corn from the pet aisle.

Next, I added a few twigs for the scarecrows arms and googly eyes leftover from my Jeepers Creepers sensory bin. If you don’t have any googly eyes on hand, most dollar stores have them in their crafting section. Plus I threw in a handful of orange pompoms to be either his nose or for pumpkins, whichever your child wants them to be.

Then I raided my mom’s fabric stash for a few small squares of flannel to represent the scarecrow’s shirt. I cut some pieces of denim from an old ripped pair of jeans for his pants.

Scarecrow sensory and counting activity

Finally, I printed out these Scarecrow Sensory Bin Cards from the Free Resource Library. You can use them as props for play in the corn: there are crows, scarecrows, and corn stalks. Or you can cut out the smaller crows and the numbers to use as a counting activity.

Not a member of the Whole Child Homeschool Tribe yet? Sign up in the pink box above for immediate access to all the {FREE} printables in the Resource Library.

Extension Activity: Read Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant or The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown


Turkey Sensory Bin

turkey thanksgiving sensory bin

Start with some cracked corn from a local farm and home store as a base filler. The patio & garden section of a big box store (like Wal-Mart or Home Depot) often will have cracked corn for birds or squirrels.

Add in a few big tan pompoms for the turkey bodies. I bought a bag of multi-colored ones at a discount store and took out the tan ones and saved the rest for another project.

Next, toss in a bag of googly wiggle eyes (I got mine at the dollar store).

For feathers, I used small bits of tissue paper from my craft stash; you could also use craft feathers from the dollar or craft store.

Then, I cut orange craft foam into triangles for beaks. Ant I cut red craft foam into squiggles for wattles.

Next, I made turkey feet from brown pipe cleaners following Fun-A-Day‘s easy instructions.

Finally, I added a measuring spoon and snack cup for scooping and pouring.

Extension Activity: Read the book A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting


More Fall Sensory Activities

Be sure to check out these other fall sensory activities, especially the Fall Harvest Sensory Bin, that’s perfect for November harvest season.

Be sure to follow my Autumn & Fall Homeschooling board and Whole Child Homeschool on Pinterest for 1000s of Free Homeschooling Resources and Ideas!

And pin these to your favorite board so you can find them again!

Thanksgiving sensory activities
thanksgiving sensory bin
Thanksgiving sensory bins
turkey sensory bin
© 2019-2020 Whole Child Homeschool