Fall Sensory Table

Fall Sensory Table Ideas – set up an autumn tablescape for toddlers and preschoolers to explore the textures, colours and wonders of fall.

With October on the horizon, I’ll be sharing all the Fall activities we’ve been doing. To start, we combined mirror play with our Fall Sensory Table this week.  The hooligans have really enjoyed exploring the colours, and textures of various fall items on a reflective surface.

Fall Sensory Table for toddlers and preschoolers


What is a Sensory Table?

If you’re not familiar with benefits of sensory play, please read Teach Preschool’s “Every Day Sensory Play in Preschool“.

Wooden bowl filled with artificial sunflowers, pumpkins and apples on a mirrored fall sensory table


Adding a mirror for play:

Earlier in the Fall, I kept our table outside with the items displayed on a mirror.  Mirror play adds an interesting dimension to an activity like this.  See other ways we’ve used our mirror for play: sensory play on our mirror and painting clouds on a mirror .

toddler exploring Fall Sensory Table

Suggested Materials for a Fall Sensory Table:

All of these items were thrift-shop finds or found around my home and yard; a sensory activity doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

We’ve used:

  • leaf-shaped candles
  • artificial leaves and flowers
  • small gourds and decorative balls
  • Indian corn
  • large plastic gems
  • small plastic apples.

You could also add real leaves, seed pods, chestnuts, acorns, mini pumpkins and corn kernels.  Choose items with interesting colours, shapes, patterns and textures.

gourds, flowers and decorative balls and bowls on a Fall sensory table


Tools for exploring at a sensory table:

Offer a variety of tools to promote fine motor development, and containers for sorting and transferring your treasures into.

sorting fall items into bowls and a muffin tin at the Fall Sensory Table

We have wooden bowls, containers and trays, and of course, a muffin tin is always fun.

Indian corn on the Fall Sensory Table

Tongs, tweezers and scoops help to prepare a child for using pencils and scissors, and using them requires co-ordination and concentration.

Stacking items on a Fall Sensory Table

Now that the weather is cooler, I’ve moved our Fall Sensory Table items indoors on a table in my living room. Over the past several weeks the hooligans have spent hours at the table, chatting and playing and exploring the beauty of Fall.

toddlers and preschoolers around a Fall  Sensory Table

At the end of the day, I simply re-arrange and tidy it up a little and leave it set out as a Fall display in our home.

wooden bowls for sorting into on a fall sensory table

How are you exploring Autumn in your home?  Do you have a Fall Sensory Table?  I’d love to hear about it if you do!


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  1. Ula says

    Yes, I did it was my first sensory table and immediately a hit! :) I’ve created a “fall-forest-sensory table” with real leaves and lots of corn to dig, conkers etc. and some plastic wild animals that live in the forest for a “role-play”, it’s still fun even though it’s been “living” with us for a month already :)

  2. says

    What a beautiful and inviting sensory table!! The different colors and textures just beg to be played with. I love how at the end of the day you tidy it up to create a display in your home :-) Thank you for linking up and sharing this week on the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop!

  3. says

    I love this Jackie – I know that T would love to explore this and once we’ve been on a nature walk this week we will be setting it up based on your guidance.

    Thank you for linking up to Tuesday Tots and letting you know that I’m featuring this over on Rainy Day Mum this week.

    • happyhooligans says

      Aw thank you, Cerys! I hope your littles love it as much as we do here! Thanks so much for featuring us this week. x

  4. says

    Not only do we not have as many fall items readily available (no lovely fall leaves – Boo!) but I also have to keep our play allergy sensitive so I did use lots of artificial items but the children LOVE our special “treasures” and they look forward to visiting the sensory table each day.

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