We love sensory bins! They are so engaging for children and such a fun way to explore and learn about our environment. For one of our fall-themed activities, we created a fall sensory bin. It will be used for open exploration and then we will use it for more guided activities.
Sensory bins are a wonderful tool for kids – they are fun, they foster learning, and they help meet developmental needs. We always enjoy experimenting with sensory activities and this is our new Fall Sensory Bin that has already provided hours of fun!
Fall Sensory Bin a Fall Activity for Preschoolers
How to Make a Sensory Bin
A sensory bin starts with a base. Materials such as rice, sand, lentils, oats, dry pasta, and corn kernels are wonderful to explore. The rice in this bin has been used for sensory play many times. I just bag it up and store it in between uses. This post explains how to make the rainbow rice for various sensory bins.
The items in this fall sensory bin were picked up at the Dollar Tree. That’s the beauty of making a sensory bin; you can find inexpensive items and then re-use the treasures over and over again, each time using a different combination of materials so you’ll never have the same bin twice.
Materials for a Fall Sensory Bin
Think outside the box when looking for items to put in your Fall Sensory Bin. Pinecones, acorns, walnuts, sunflowers, seed pods, artificial pumpkins, artificial flowers, silk leaves, plastic gemstones or glass beads in autumn colors.
Tools for a Sensory Bin
The best tools for a sensory bin are utensils you have around your house! Ice cream scoops, bowls, jars, and muffin tins are perfect for pouring and sorting and organizing. Ice cube trays work too. Tongs and clothespins are always fun and they’re great for fine motor development so the kiddos can practice grasping objects.
Benefits of Sensory Bins
Sensory bins provide opportunities for fun, hands-on learning for your child with endless possibilities of materials to use only limited by your imagination. Children can learn many different skills playing in sensory bins, such as motor skills, math and science, literacy, and social skills.
- Motor skills
- Grasping, pouring, pinching and using tools like tongs and scoops are working on fine motor skills.
- Math and science
- Counting, measuring, mixing, pouring, dumping, stacking and comparing are all foundations for learning about math and science.
- Tracing letters, making letters or numbers, telling stories as they are working, and learning new vocabulary words all support developing literacy skills.
- Social skills
- Sharing, cooperation and working with others all support building social skills.
Extension Ideas for the Fall Sensory Bin
A sensory bin can be for open-ended play or more structured play depending on your objectives. I always support the idea that kids need a chance to play and explore on their own! The kids will feel the different textures, smell the scents, and touch the objects. But, if you want to extend the enjoyment of the sensory bin, consider having a learning focus.
- Add letters and numbers using cards, foam letters, or even wooden ones from a puzzle.
- Learn new vocabulary related to the theme. With this fall sensory bin, we talked about the season Fall. Then, I used it as a vocabulary building exercise and introduced my son to the words autumn, acorn and pinecone!
- Introduce the fall sensory bin with a kid’s video about fall. We used this Autumn Leaves are Falling Down song and my son loved it.
- Extend the learning by reading fall-themed books.
OTHER FALL ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM LOVE PEACE BEAUTY
If this isn’t quite what you’re looking for here are other fall activities for preschoolers or kindergarteners you might like…