SLPs working with preschool through 2nd grade can use sensory bins with their students. I have noticed that even some older students really love using sensory bins. There are some students on my caseload that struggle with sustaining attention during therapy. Some have sensory needs and by using sensory bins with them, I have found an increased engagement with the speech or language activity. For some of my groups, I use sensory bins in a very structured way and with other groups, I try to use them with play based therapy.
Today, I wanted to share fall sensory bin ideas to help you with planning lessons for your preschool and kindergarten aged students. There are amazon affiliate links included in this post for your convenience.
Filler Material For Fall Sensory Bins
You can use anything for your sensory bin filler. Some fun festive fillers are fake leaves (I got mine from the Dollar Store), brown beans for dirt or popcorn kernels (I got some at Trader Joe’s). On pinterest, I have seen pumpkin scented moon sand as a filler too. I have also found fake hay from the dollar store. What Fall/Autumn sensory bin fillers have you used? Share in the comments because I would love to add those to my list of resources.
Using Fall Themed Vocabulary With Your Sensory Bins
One way to work on building vocabulary is working on understanding and expressing the noun’s attribute features. You can play a Can You Find It? Fall sensory bin activity.
You hide Fall/Autumn vocabulary cards in the sensory bin. Then, using a mini rake, student have to find an item. They can work on making more complex mean length of utterance, or describe the noun they found by attributes. You can make it a receptive category task by saying “Find something that you wear.” After they find the “scarf”, then you can have them name other clothes that you can wear. If you want to make this sensory bin for your therapy, you can access it in my Fall/Autumn Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides.
Fall Sensory Bin Ideas In Action
For this Fall sensory bin, you can use beans or popcorn kernels as the base filler. Then, you can find some fake Fall leaves (I got mine at the Dollar Tree) and a mini rake. I found a mini fairy rake on amazon that worked perfectly. Place articulation, vocabulary, action cards, emotion cards, etc. in the leaves. You can hide them in the leaf pile. Then, students have to rake up their sounds or the cards inside the bin. As they find a card, they have to say their sound 10 times, create a grammatically correct sentence or answer a wh-question about the card. In this Fall sensory bin, I used articulation cards from my Fall sensory bin companion.
Use with a CORE board and have students request “more”, “I want rake”, “hide”, “I found it”, “look”, “all done”, “my turn”, and “This is fun!”
Teach basic concepts “under”, by allowing the students to hide cards, mini erasers or trinkets in the leaves. Your main verb targets for the session can be “hide” and “find”. How would you use this Fall sensory bin? Share your Fall sensory bin ideas in the comments!
Use Fall themed verb action pictures in a sensory bin. Add mini pumpkins or any other type of Fall items that would add to the bin. Then, have students find “verb action” pictures, create a story with the people and vocabulary, answer “who” and “what” questions or create more complex sentences with the pictures such as “The blonder haired girl is picking up the large orange pumpkin.” These printables are in my Fall sensory bin companion.
5 Little Pumpkins Sensory Bin Idea
I don’t think Fall can go without talking about pumpkins. I saw this cute 5 Little Pumpkins Sensory Bin idea on parenting chaos’ blog and had to make one. When I was at the Dollar Tree, I saw some orange mini cup lights. You can also get orange mini cups on amazon (affiliate link) if you don’t have a Dollar Tree. Instead of using them as lights, I used them for my pumpkins.
You just need seven thick popsicle sticks, green or brown pipe cleaners, permanent marker and small orange cups. The cup lights already had little holes in them, so I pulled out the lights and replaced them with twisty pipe cleaners for the stem. My daughter drew pumpkin faces and I stuck it all in my kinetic sand box (amazon affiliate). I got the purple box from Lakeshore.
We are going to work on the concepts on/off, the verb “sit”, “fall” and the vocabulary of pumpkins, fence. We might even make up a story about what the pumpkins are doing. How would you use this sensory bin?
Need More Fall Sensory Bin Ideas?
If you need more ideas or ways to use sensory bins in action, then watch the Facebook Live video I did last year. Check out your Dollar Tree for fake mini pumpkins, hay and other Fall themed objects. You can follow my Sensory Bin Pinterest Board for more inspiration and ideas to use in your therapy room.
Share Your Sensory Bin Idea
If you have made a sensory bin for your therapy room, I want to see it! I stay inspired when I see ideas from other SLPs and teachers. Feel free to tag me on instagram @thedabblingspeechie and use #slpsensorybin in your post. You can always email me pics at email@example.com
If you follow that hashtag on instagram you will be able to see ideas from other SLPs. Therapy always seems less overwhelming when I have access to more ideas for how I can plan and implement therapy. Let’s share and help each other be the rock star SLPs that we are striving to be!