It’s officially the fall season, so it’s time to break out your pumpkin-sensory bins! One of the best ways to plan for your play-based speech therapy sessions is by making sensory bins that you can adapt and use to cover many goals. You can follow your student’s lead using these bins, and it won’t be stressful because you can download my FREE pumpkin-themed speech therapy cheat sheet for your bins (scroll down for the pink button.) Hopefully, these sensory bin ideas will help you plan for your pumpkin speech therapy activities unit. 


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Pumpkin Sensory Bin Fillers for Your Container

Use these pumpkin-themed sensory bin ideas to cover your play-based speech therapy sessions.

Any fall-themed sensory bin fillers will work, but anything that represents hay, grass, or dirt will work great if you want to make a pumpkin patch. Here are some suggestions:


Pro tip: Use the fillers for your fall sensory bins too!

Pumpkin Speech Therapy Materials for Your Sensory Bins

To find some pumpkin speech therapy materials for your bins, be on the lookout for items during the fall season. My favorite spots to find pumpkin-themed items are Dollar Tree, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon.

When you are considering what to buy, look through your pumpkin books to help come up with a list of materials you want to add. For a pumpkin patch sensory bin, you would want to find these items:

For a five-little pumpkin sensory bin, some materials that would work well would be the following:


Learn how to make pumpkin speech therapy sensory bins for your play-based learning and mixed groups!
Get speech therapy pumpkin activities for your Prek-5th grade caseload.

In the Themed Therapy SLP membership, we provide pumpkin-themed verb and vocabulary flashcards that you can print, cut out, and throw in your sensory bin with paper clips on the flashcards. Use your magnetic wand to have kids select cards. 

Pumpkin Pie Sensory Bin

Use these pumpkin sensory bin ideas to cover your play-based speech therapy sessions.

If you read a pumpkin-themed book that incorporates baking a pumpkin pie, like Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman or The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis, making a pumpkin pie sensory bin would be a perfect extension activity. To make this bin, you can add the following: 


Another alternative is to make a pumpkin muffin sensory bin from TurnerTots.

Using Your Bin in Play-Based Speech Therapy Sessions

Now that you have your bin made, it’s time to use it in therapy! Here are some ways that you can use these sensory bins in your play-based speech therapy sessions:


  • Focus on retelling the story using the sensory bin materials.
  • Name the pumpkins different silly names, but ensure they are loaded with your student’s speech sound. Each time they pick a pumpkin, they must practice its name.
  • Work on syntax, MLU, and morphemes by having the pumpkins do verb actions, or use your Little People to do actions while at the pumpkin patch, such as lift, pick, carry, pull, bend, pay, drive, carve, walk, etc. ‘
  • Target spatial and basic concepts. Try to work on the concepts in pairs, such as in and out, on and off, many and few, fast and slow, or big and small (add different-sized pumpkins to do that.) You can use printables from my fall sensory bin companion with different-sized pumpkins.
  • Ask and answer wh-questions such as “Where are we going?” “How many pumpkins do you have?” “What size is your pumpkin?”
  • AAC CORE words for I, find, look, yes, no, big, little, more, go, come, like, don’t like
Pumpkin speech therapy activities to help you plan for your preschool and early elementary caseload.
Use this free pumpkin sensory bin lesson plan for your play-based speech therapy sessions.

If you want a cheat sheet to help you navigate using your pumpkin sensory bin in the moment with your mixed groups or play-based speech therapy sessions, grab this free pumpkin cheat sheet!

Tips for Using the 5 Little Pumpkins Sensory Bin

Have a fun jack-o-lantern sensory bin to pair with the song 5 Little Pumpkins

In preschool, singing the 5 Little Pumpkins song is a great way to build vocabulary and attention span, teach gestures, practice emotions, and increase participation. You can pair your 5 Little Pumpkins sensory bin with books and songs such as this one for emotions or by The Kiboomers


Here are some speech and language goals to target with this bin:

  • Have the pumpkins exhibit different emotions and students can practice using those facial expressions or tone of voice to show that emotion with phrases such as “Oh no!” or “I’m ______.”
  • Give different amounts of pumpkins to students in the group or with figurines and ask who has more, less, or the same.
  • Target verbs such as roll, fly, run, pick, carve, sit
  • Teach basic concepts such as night/morning, big/little, happy/sad, dark/light
  • Using mini orange solo cups, you can put mini trinkets underneath the pumpkins and have students see what is under them.
  • When you roll each pumpkin away, pick a place where they will go and then have students work on answering “where” questions. 

If you need visuals to pair with your 5 Little Pumpkin sensory bin, we have some in the open-ended activities for the pumpkin theme in the membership

More Fall-Themed Sensory Bins for Speech Therapy

When you finish your pumpkin unit, doing an apple sensory bin or falling leaves sensory bin is perfect for the fall season. If you make a sensory bin, make sure to tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie 

Plan an engaging speech therapy pumpkin activity with a sensory bin!