Fall Sensory Bin and Learning Activities

It’s time for fall at Discover & Explore. Today we invite you to link up any posts related to fall and the sights, sounds, and scents of the season. Play recipes, learning activities, crafts, outdoor adventures, book lists, and more are all welcome.

We’re bringing back our fall sensory bin this week, and we’ll be using it for some learning activities in the coming weeks.

Fall Sensory Bin & Activities

These are photos of last year’s bin after we assembled it. I’m looking forward to seeing how the kids explore and interact with these same materials now that they are all a year older.

Fall Sensory Bin


The bin is full of items that remind us of the colors, scents and symbols of  fall. Some of the items include:

  • Fake fall leaves from the Dollar Tree
  • Strands of raffia from the Dollar Tree (You could also use bits of hay.)
  • Small pine cones
  • Apple-shaped sponges (The small apples from our Apple Sensory Bin would also be a great substitution.)
  • Measuring cups
  • Acorns
  • Brown pom poms
  • Mini pumpkins
  • Small plastic containers with scented cotton balls (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, cloves, nutmeg)

Baby Sensory Play

Ways We Will Extend the Use of Our Sensory Bin

Exploring: This first week we introduce a new seasonal sensory bin the kids spend a lot of time freely exploring the contents of the bin.  I simply leave the bin out for the kids to explore on their own. This self-directed learning and sensory exploration is the primary focus of sensory bins.  The kids will feel the different textures, smell the scents, and observe the objects. During this time I will also watch to see what they are naturally doing with the objects so I can decide which activities we might do next.

After a week I will start using some of the options below to extending the use of the sensory bin and incorporate some of our specific learning skills. These are more adult-directed than free exploration, but they will allow us to focus on the kids’ specific goals.

Language Development:

  • Name objects in the bin for toddlers and ask them to locate the objects.  As they are able, ask toddlers to pick up an object and name it.
  • Name the colors of objects in the bin.
  • Play “I Spy” with preschoolers by describing an object using its physical description (color, shape, size, texture).
  • Smell the scented items. Talk about what those scents remind you of.
  • Make up a story using some of the items in the sensory bin.Pine Cones


  • Choose a kind of object. Find all of those items in the sensory bin. Count how many in all.
  • Choose two different kinds of objects. Find all of those items in the sensory bin. Count how many of each. Then compare the two numbers (more, less, the same).
  • Roll a number cube (with either dots, numbers, or number words). Find that many objects.
  • Roll a number cube. Decide what number is one more than the number rolled. Then find that many objects.
  • Roll a number cube. Decide what number is one less than the number rolled. Then find that many objects.

Sorting: Sort objects from the bin by:

  • Color
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Texture


  • Select some of the objects and make a pattern.
  • If your child is just beginning patterning, make a pattern for the child. Then ask him or her to copy it or extend the pattern.

Now it’s your turn. We’d love for you to share how you

Discover & Explore: Fall

Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

  • Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic — kids activities, book activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, free printables–anything that might be helpful to those wanting to put together activities based on this week’s theme
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
  • Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!

The linky will remain open for one week. On Fridays all co-hosts will feature activities in a separate post and share featured posts on the Discover and Explore Pinterest Board.

Discover & Explore Weekly Themed Linky

Don’t forget to visit the other co-hosts to see what they are sharing for this week’s theme.

KC Edventures  **  Buggy and Buddy **  Teach Preschool **  Twodaloo

Upcoming Discover and Explore Themes

  • September 18–Five Senses
  • September 25–Pumpkins
  • October 2–Community Helpers
  • October 9–Halloween
More Information About Sensory Bins
If you are looking for more information about getting started with sensory bins, you might enjoy Sensory Bins: The What, The How, & The Why. The book includes idea lists, storage and money saving tips, information on using sensory bins with Sensory Processing Disorder, and helpful recipes. It’s especially helpful if you are just getting started with sensory bins and want to know where to begin!
Sensory Bins
This post has been shared at some of these fantastic link parties.


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  1. so cute! feel free to post to the Fall Crafts Blog Hop today!

  2. I love how you’ve included such beautiful fall colors, as well as how engaging the different shapes and items are! Thanks for hosting D & E, and thanks for linking up to Share It Saturday. I’m featuring you this week. 🙂

  3. just want to know if you have a monthly newsletter and how i can sign up

    • Sadly, I don’t have one yet. It’s definitely something I hope to put together in the future, but I’m not quite there yet. For now if you’d like, you can get post updates via email by signing up at this link http://goo.gl/EdTsQL (or via the sidebar). You can also follow along via Bloglovin if you use it. Thanks so much for your interest. Maybe I’ll get working in that newsletter sooner than I planned. 🙂

  4. I love this sensory bin! It’s filled with color, texture, smell…can’t wait to make one of our own. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Love this! So colorful and full of texture. And what wonderful extension activities!

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