Autumn Inspired Sensory Experiences

The sights, smells and colours of Autumn can inspire a variety of sensory experiences for young children. Here are a selection of our favourites…


Apple Bobbing

A simple outdoor water play activity is to provide a tub of water, a handful of small apples and some tongs and scoops. The little ones love to splash around as they practice fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills by plucking the apples in and out of the water.

Scented Playdough

Spice up your play dough with Autumnal scents such as cinnamon, paprika and cocoa. Provide some herbs from the garden and scissors for children to cut and mix them through the dough. Pinecones and other natural items can be fun to roll and poke into the dough.

Wood Shavings and Mini Creatures

A bag of wood shavings from a local woodworking studio makes for a beautiful variation to your sensory bin. Especially is the wood is scented, such as Huon Pine or Sassafras. Mix in some brightly coloured Autumn leaves and you have the perfect understorey habitat for these mini pinecone creatures to hide in.

Little Logs

Cut and sanded little logs are a great alternative to traditional building blocks. They can be stacked and arranged with just that extra level of challenge. We used some laminated Autumn leaves and mini native animals to add to the creative and sensory experience.

Autumn Leaf Nest

Collect a pile a dry Autumn leaves, or better still head to your nearest deciduous forest, and enjoy raking, burrowing, throwing and rolling around in leaves! You could make a leaf nest to hide in or rake a leaf maze to follow. Be sure to finish up with a leaf fight. This is nature play at its finest, and most simplistic.