Fall Sensory Bin

With the arrival of (slightly) cooler fall weather, I wanted the tots to have an opportunity to explore some autumn items.  R and H are 20 months old and still fond of putting things in their mouths, so I chose (relatively) taste-safe items that were large enough for them to explore freely.  


I used a large plastic tub with a lid from Target and added the following items for our sensory experience:

  • Hay (from a bale I got at JoAnn)
  • Small white and orange pumpkins (Trader Joe’s)
  • Small gourds (Trader Joe’s)
  • Indian corn (Sprouts; also saw at Super Walmart)
  • Cinnamon sticks (had in the pantry; also saw at Hobby Lobby and Walmart)
  • Pinecones (Hobby Lobby)


Tots had recently been introduced to pumpkins and were eager to dive into the sensory bin.


They smelled, tasted, and felt most of the items.

Then they discovered the hay and pumpkins lost their appeal.  The tots LOVED the hay.  They especially enjoyed putting hay on their heads and dropping/throwing hay out of the bin.

Since we were outside and I try to allow messy play when possible–and because they were just so adorably delighted– I didn’t stop them from exploring the hay however they wanted.  I drew the line at throwing pumpkins, though!


After a while, it was time to clean up the sensory bin and go inside for baths and dinner.  Even though this was a moderately messy sensory bin, it didn’t take too long to gather up the sensory items and sweep up most of the hay.  Since I was concerned about the hay getting wet and possibly molding, I didn’t put the swept hay back into our sensory bin.  Instead, I scooped it into one of our outdoor buckets to play with another day!

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