Fall is my favourite time of the year. Sooooo many wonderful sensory experiences! The smell of pumpkin pie cooking, the crisp tang when you bite into a fresh picked apple, the sound of leaves crunching under foot as you walk through the woods. It’s the perfect time of the year to introduce sensory play experiences! Sensory experiences for your child can include activities that explore sight, sound, taste, movement, hearing and touch. Sensory play can be done indoors and outdoors, in a bin, on the floor or a table top..it’s a very flexible play activity!
- Here are a few of my favourite fall sensory experiences that you can try with your child during this season of change!
- Cut open a pumpkin. Smell it, touch the slimy seeds and cold, stringy goop. Lots of different textures to talk about! Remember to roast the seeds with some salt and olive oil then enjoy their crunchiness!
- Fill some paper bags with fall items (leaves, acorns, an apple, pinecone etc). Have your child put their hand into the paper bag and without peeking, feel the object that is in the bag. Ask them – is the object smooth, round, dry? Sensory activities are a great way to introduce new vocabulary words too!
- Gather fall leaves into piles and let your child run and jump through them! This simple activity stimulates the vestibular system (the area of the inner ear that helps to maintain balance), proprioceptors (sensory receptors that are found mostly in muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner ear, that detects the motion or position of the body or a limb) and tactile input (relating to the sense of touch). Kids couldn’t love it more. It’s simple and if not in your back yard, drive to a local park!
- Work on fine motor skills and sight by exploring fall seeds using a magnifying glass and tweezers! Collect the seeds and place them on a tray. Your child can pick up larger seeds with their fingers, then use the tweezers for the smaller ones. Have them explore the seed up close with a magnifying glass to view the uniqueness of each seed.
Fall is a great time to explore the sense of taste! Crunch into sweet and tart apples, make some pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie, roast some nuts, sip warm apple cider with cinnamon…mmmmm!!!