Try these 10 amazing fall sensory bins with many taste safe ideas that are perfect for babies & toddlers too!
Updated August 2023
It’s hard to believe, but fall is here! That means cooler nights, beautiful trees and lots of pumpkin muffins in my future. And don’t forget hot cider, pumpkin picking and decorating. There’s so much I love about fall, but today I wanted to share 10 fall sensory play activities that your kids are sure to love.
Many of these activities I set up at my kids’ art classes last fall. I like to have a sensory bin component to our classes that the kids can migrate to once they’ve wrapped up the art activity.
Most of these sensory play ideas are also taste safe making them a great fit babies and toddlers too.
You might be wondering, “Why set up sensory play opportunities for my kids?”. Here’s why sensory play is important for kids and worth encouraging.
So, let’s get started!
Fall Sensory Bins for Kids
Cloud dough is super simple to make.
For this Halloween version combine 8 parts flour to 1 part cooking oil. Then mix in cocoa powder to color it and make chocolate cloud dough. Finally, add in gourds, silicone cupcake liners, scoopers and candy corn (if you have baby/toddler you might choose to omit the candy).
2. Pumpkin Pie Oobleck
This stuff is so fun to touch and is a very satisfying material for young kids to explore.
It’s not drippy like regular oobleck which you may be familiar with. Mix 1 cup pumpkin puree with 1.5 cups cornstarch. Tweak to your liking depending how firm or squishy you’d like it. Add in plastic animals (or other seasonal toys) to make footprints!
3. Water Play with an Autumnal Spin
The setup for this sensory option is super quick, so it is especially great when you need time to make dinner or even just a few quiet minutes.
For this I used a big plastic bin and filled it a few inches with water. Then I added pumpkins, oranges and some strainers and cups/bowls.
(Inspiration thanks to fantastischer_raum for this super simple, yet beautiful autumn sensory play idea.)
In case you haven’t heard, aquafaba is AMAZING! It is a delightfully fluffy and taste safe making it perfect for even the littlest ones to play with. I like to make different versions for the holidays and seasons!
Add fun embellishments for pretend bakery fun for older kids or hide some bigger plastic animals in the foam for babies to discover.
5. Foamy Water Play with Pumpkins
Get out the hand mixer, a big bowl and some tear-free bubble bath. Add water and bubble bath in a 2-1 ratio and begin to whip.
I was astounded by how quickly the foam got out of control! We had a whole Strega Nona pasta pot situation on our hands. Consider yourself warned!
6. Apples & Oats Sensory Play Bin
This bin reminds me of cozy fall days and warm mulled cider. Pour some oats, throw in some apples, add a few cinnamon sticks (and star anise if you have it)… and ta-dah! Or add pumpkins and guords as an alternative.
7. Autumn Playdough
For the fall scent and color I used a mixture of liquid watercolors and spices for the browns (coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg). And did you know, pinecones make beautiful rose prints in playdough?
8. Orange Oobleck & Bumpy Gourds
Here’s how to make oobleck, which is wonderfully drippy, yet firm. If you haven’t made this yet, you must try it! Add food coloring or liquid watercolors to color.
It’s a great sensory activity for babies to explore, especially with the addition of some bumpy gourds. I mean, look at that face!
9. Floating Leaf Water Play
This one is so simple that I almost didn’t mention it. Go on a nature walk and collect some beautiful leaves. Fill a baking sheet with enough water to allow the leaves to float.
That’s it! Babies will happily splish splash to their hearts content. The cutest!
10. Scrubbing Pumpkins & Gourds
This is a fun one for the pre-k crowd and older––kids really get into this activity! Gotta have a clean gourd, right?!
More Fall Arts & Crafts for Kids
- 30 Creative Fall Activities for Kids
- 15 Fall Children’s Books for Your Family
- 7 Halloween Sensory Bin Ideas for Kids
- 5 Pumpkin Painting Ideas for Kids
- 7 Slightly Spooky Halloween Children’s Books
- 31 Days of Halloween Activities for Kids
Want even more Fall fun?
Check out our Autumn Creativity Pack!
This 34-page printable eBook is full of Autumn-themed art activities, drawing prompts, creative play ideas, and more!
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