As a kid, what was your favorite Fall activity… was it picking apples at a local orchard? Jumping in leaves? Or just enjoying the fresh crisp air? For me, it was all of the above and as a mom I want my kids to enjoy these activities as well. The best part, is these are all sensory activities.
I’ve always been a huge fan of getting out into nature and learning through play. Sensory play can be done through smell, touch, taste, hearing, seeing and muscular (this is a sense that is not taught). Both of my boys love sensory play through touch and muscle.
I want to share with you a few of my kids’ favorite sensory activities. All of these activities can be tweaked to accommodate your little one’s needs.
I love making sensory bins! The best part is making the bin. If your little ones are old enough, be sure to include him/ her during this process. Sensory bins can be themed, or not. I love that anything can be used for these. You can use rice, beans, Easter grass, kinetic sand or beach sand, candy-like nerds or sprinkles, or leaves (fake or real) are just a few ideas of bases. Let’s say you want a Fall themed bin, you can do leaves or neon-colored rice as a base. Add in spider rings, witch fingers, beads, and vampire’s teeth.
In Michigan, our Fall weather is very random but usually on the chillier side. Watching the leaves change colors is a gorgeous sight to see. This sensory activity involves touch, smell, and muscular senses. As a kid, my favorite activity was jumping I a large pile of leaves, but first I had to help create the pile. This was partly a chore, but it was one I didn’t mind doing. Some kids, like my youngest, is constantly on the move and jumping around. Running and jumping gives his muscular system the input he can’t get inside. The fresh air is a bonus as it usually helps him sleep at night.
What kid doesn’t love using their fingers or feet to get a little messy and crafty? Painting isn’t just messy, but it’s fun and calming to most kids. This is a great activity for any age! A great craft to do with little ones 3 years and younger involves a handprint, footprint or both. A great technique to apply the paint is with a paintbrush or sponge brush. I can’t imagine what it feels like having your foot painted. If you want more texture, try adding coffee grounds to the paint.
My youngest has SPD and Autism, he loves to finger paint! So, as a simple craft that can last forever or just about, I printed out some pumpkins for FREE to start. I had seen some cute crafts involving handprints and footprints on Pinterest, but my son had another idea. I loved that he was able to put his own twist on it.
We tried so hard to do this with my youngest, but he was not having it. Using the sponge paintbrush, paint a light to medium thick coat on his/her’s hand. If you’re not using a paintbrush dip your little one’s hand in the paint. Carefully spread open their hand and press his/her onto the paper of your choice. When you lift the little hand, you’ll have a masterpiece. Once dried you can add googly eyes and draw on a nose and smile, Or you can add a picture of your little pumpkin.
The possibilities for Fall themed crafts are endless! The best part is each craft can be reused for each season and holiday. I’d love to hear about your favorite sensory activities!
Stacey is a full time stay at home mom to two, owner and creator of No Way, Mom! Her oldest, J, is 5 and her youngest, O, is 4. Both of her boys have Autism. J also has a very rare auto-immune disease, Juvenile Polymyositis. O also has Pica and food allergies. She is the proud wife of an amazing, heartwarming professional nerd! During her ‘mom time’ she works on her website, makes weighted blankets, rice relief heat wraps, crochet and makes homemade sugar scrubs. She loves all DIY projects.