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10 Fall Sensory Bins for Kids

by Rachel Withers
September 25, 2023
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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.

fall sensory play pinterest
Photo by Rachel Withers

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

Halloween cloud dough for kids
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. Halloween Cloud Dough

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).

Pumpkin oobleck and mini animals for fun fall sensory play activities for toddlers.
Photo by Rachel Withers

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!

Pumpkin and citrus water play – fall sensory play activities for kids.
Photo by Rachel Withers

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.

We do this one every year and it evolves as my kids’ get older.

(Inspiration thanks to fantastischer_raum for this super simple, yet beautiful autumn sensory play idea.)

Halloween aquafaba with candy corn and sprinkles.
Photo by Rachel Withers

4. Halloween Aquafaba

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.

Find out how to whip up chickpea juice into the best sensory play foam for kids.

Two children playing with pumpkin and foamy soap – fun fall sensory play for babies.
Photo by Rachel Withers
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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!

Oats & apples for fall sensory play ideas for kids.
Photo by Rachel Withers

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.

Inspiration thanks to @makersri who also wrote an amazing post for The Artful Parent about the importance of sensory play for kids.

Child patting autumn playdough with playdough tools on table
Photo by Rachel Withers

7. Autumn Playdough

I mixed up some no cook playdough (if you’ve never made your own, watch how to make homemade playdough over on Youtube!

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?

We also love to use Autumn-colored and -scented playdough to make turkeys!

8. Orange Oobleck & Bumpy Gourds

Orange oobleck and guords- fall sensory play ideas for kids.
Photo by Rachel Withers

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!

Three kids playing with floating leaves in water and pumpkin in foamy soap – fall sensory play ideas for kids.
Photo by Rachel Withers

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!

fall sensory bins for kids-washing guords
Photo by Rachel Withers

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?!

fall sensory bins_fall soup
Photo by Rachel Withers

More Fall Arts & Crafts 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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