Fall Sensory Bin Ideas for Kindergarten

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el education kindergarten sensory bin

Sensory bins are an excellent way to offer your little learners a chance to develop literacy skills through hands-on tactile play. There are hundreds of ways to create a sensory bin for your classroom or at home, but since fall is right around the corner, here is a special recipe for fun and educational fall sensory bins!

Supplies and Storage

A Bin or Sensory table

The first thing that you are going to need for your fall sensory bin is the actual bin! You could use just about anything, but I recommend using a bin that includes a lid. This allows a way to store easily and effectively. It’s really up to you on the size. If you want something bigger to allow multiple learners to play together, consider getting an under the bed storage tote. If you want something more personalized, try out a 6 qt storage box. 

I was fortunate to have a sensory table in my classroom, but ours at home recently bit the dust. Since then, I’ve been using plastic storage trays with lids I already had on hand, and I honestly like that set up better. Sure, a sensory table is super cute but I like the ease in which I can keep the filler stored in the bin and just grab the bin I need when I need it, instead of spending time transferring the filler in and out like you would a table set up.

Tools

The next items you will want to add to your fall sensory bin are cups, spoons, tweezers and scoops. Scooping and transferring is another great way for students to continue to perfect their fine motor skills. This can also be relatively inexpensive if you don’t have access to a sensory kit that has tools already. I like to buy cheap kitchen utensils from the Dollar Tree for ours or even repurpose items we already have!

Storage

This is the part where things get hairy sometimes. When you’re done with a theme, what do you do with the filler? If it’s in good condition and something that stores well, I fill a large plastic baggie with the filler from the bin and label it to save for the next time I need it. At home, I have plastic sensory bin trays like I mentioned earlier so the filler stays in the tray and I just pop the lid off. I keep all themed materials in the bin too so it’s always ready to go!

Fall Sensory Bin Filler Ideas

Every sensory bin needs filler! Filler is used to do just that – fill up the bin!

Shelled Corn

You can buy shelled corn at your local farm store and fill the bin about a third of the way up. This will allow you to bury fun things to find, but also decreases the risk of a big mess to clean up after. This type of corn is not intended for humans, so make sure that no one decides to use their sense of taste with this specific bin!

Cob Corn

Cob corn is used to feed wild animals such as rabbits, squirrels and deers. Again, don’t want to use your sense of taste with this particular corn either. Since the corn is still on the cob, students can practice their fine motor skills by plucking it off. Once they have plucked all their corn, it can be repurposed as additional filler!

UnPopped Popcorn

These would be a great way to replicate the corn filler ideas above without having to worry about students eating them.

Oats

These are easy to find, very cost effective, and you don’t have to worry about little fingers sticking them in their mouths!

Pom Poms

Looking for quick and easy clean up? Buy pom poms in fall colors and mix together for your sensory bin filler. Bonus–you won’t hear constant rattling you would from harder filler materials! 

Dyed Rice or pasta

I’m going to be honest here, this one is a bit out of my wheelhouse and I usually purchase my rice or pasta already dyed if I want to use it. That said, it’s pretty easy and cheap to dye –you just need a plastic baggie, food coloring of choice, and a cup of vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Just make sure you set aside time for it to dry properly. Fair warning–I have yet to master how to dye rice/pasta without it transferring the dye to little hands and my sensory cards even when it’s dry, so if you’re going to try this route definitely do your research! 

Play Doh

Use with extreme caution! I’m only half kidding, but I would only use this with a small group of kiddos that I trusted AND only if I was ok with the colors getting mixed. Even then, still be prepared for a mess just in case. A ready made option perfect for at home use is the Young, Wild, and Friedman play doh sensory kit. These always have great themes and come with their own case. (This is not sponsored, but we own tons of these–they are so engaging and my boys love them!)

The sky is the limit

One of my favorite things about sensory bins is selecting the filler. If none of the above options work for you, or you want to change things up, I love to go to the Dollar Tree or Target Dollar Spot when their seasonal items are out. There are tons of themed trinkets, party and craft supplies like fabric leaves, shredded/crinkle paper, and even dried beans that would make for great sensory bin fillers. 

Skill Building with Fall Sensory Bins

So now that your bin is full, what do you do? Time to add an activity!

My October sensory bin pack is available now and is EL aligned and is perfect for a fall sensory bin. It can also be adapted to other curriculums or used as a standalone activity. 

el education kindergarten sensory bin

Combine EL Education and sensory play in your classroom this October! This sensory bin resource offers 13 differentiated activities (over 80 pages!) to keep your students engaged all month long.

You will receive:

  • sorting activities for letters Vv, Ss, Gg, Ii, Dd, Ff, Ll
  • A-Z upper and lowercase practice
  • A-Z letter name and sound practice
  • high frequency word practice from Cycles 1-11
  • response pages for all activities
  • storage labels for your materials

Let us know how much fun your little learners have with their fall themed sensory bin by commenting below!

  • el education kindergarten sensory bin
  • el education kindergarten sensory bin
  • el education kindergarten sensory bin
  • el education kindergarten sensory bin
  • el education kindergarten sensory bin
  • el education kindergarten sensory bin

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