Welcome to Sensory Play Tuesday!

We’ve partnered with the preschool experts at St. James Academy’s Young Foxhounds Program to bring you fun (and easy!) ways to engage your littles in sensory play every month. Since November is a month of gratitude, we’re embracing the season of fall in a sensory box!

What is a Thankful for Fall sensory box? A container full of harvest-themed delights that provides an opportunity for your child to learn through hands-on tactile play. You can find most of the items around your house, outside in your yard, the Dollar Store, or Target.

Sure, you could hand your child a box and let them go to town; but you can also pair play with stories and mix in a few “coached” activities to help extend independent learning. To help you get started, we’ve included a few ideas below!

Fall Sensory Bin


What You’ll Need:

  • Tupperware Container/Plastic Box/Large Tray (Make sure it’s something that has pretty steep sides, or you’ll be cleaning up crinkly paper everywhere!)
  • Dried Beans
  • Mini or Plastic Pumpkins
  • Foam Acorns, Squirrels, and Leaves (Draw dots on some of them to match the numbers your using on wood slices; instructions below)
  • 3 Wood Slices. Write one number on each, using numbers 1-3 (or numbers your child is working)
  • Gourds
  • Fall items you find around your yard
  • Scoops/Small Basket

Fall Sensory Bin


Thankful by Eileen Spinelli

Celebrate everyday blessings, practice thankfulness, and observe the wonderful acts of service that keep us going each and every day. Eileen Spinelli, bestselling and award-winning children’s author, charms with rhymes and whimsy in Thankful, perfect for any young reader and their family. BUY NOW

Squirrel’s Busy Day by Lucy Barnard

Squirrel is busy collecting acorns and doesn’t have time to play with his friends. But when things go wrong, Squirrel needs some help. Will his friends come to the rescue? BUY NOW

In The Middle Of Fall by Kevin Henke, Illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Watch the world transform when fall comes! In the middle of fall, it takes only one gust of wind to turn the whole world yellow and red and orange. Caldecott Medalist and New York Times-bestselling author Kevin Henkes’s memorable text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the fall season. Laura Dronzek’s expressive paintings illuminate pumpkins, apples, falling leaves, busy squirrels, and the transformation from colorful autumn to frosty winter. BUY NOW

Fall Sensory Bin


Make the Bin Together: Gather materials while exploring on a nature hike in your yard, community, or local park. Ask your child: what can YOU find to put in the sensory bin?

Squirrel Sort: Have your child collect all the acorns using a spoon/ladle/scoop to place in your “wagon” (or container) just like the Squirrel does. After gathering all of the acorns, sort them into piles ranging small, medium, and large.

Number Sense: Ask your child to find the foam acorns and leaves that have dots on them. Have them count the dots and match them to the wood disk with the correct number.


Discover the Young Foxhounds experience at St. James Academy! The program is the school’s new early childhood program for children ages 2 and 3 — encouraging the littlest learners to develop socialization skills, confidence, and curiosity. LEARN MORE