Fall Sensory Bin – Busy Toddler

Three kid hands reach in a sensory bin made from popcorn kernels and fake fall decorations.


Welcome to Autumn and this gorgeous fall sensory bin. With just a few easy to find supplies, this beautiful kids activity is actually really easy to put together. Fall is the perfect season to stay inside with a sensory bin, and this one is the best yet.

Three kid hands reach in a sensory bin made from popcorn kernels and fake fall decorations.

What is a fall sensory bin?

Theming a sensory bin for the season is kind of my favorite ever.

I’ve done a Christmas bin. I have a great Easter bin. I love a Halloween bin. The lack of fall sensory bin on my website has not gone without notice.

Cue Rafiki: it is time.

It’s especially time since I found all these supplies at Target so when I stress this was an easy sensory bin to set up, I’m not kidding.

RELATED: Looking for fall activities for kids? I have a great, new list of fall ideas.

A child's hand is in a popcorn kernel sensory bin with other fall decorations. They are wiping corn kernels from their palm.


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  • Fall decoration packs from Target – all the fall gear in this bin were found in Bullseye’s Playground. If you don’t have access to a Target, this is a similar set on Amazon.
  • Popcorn kernels – I got two 3lb bags
  • 28 qt storage bin – my ride or die sensory bin
  • Measuring cups – I have a pack just for sensory bins
  • Plastic jars – these come in a 12 pack and I love them for kids activities

The hero of this bin is the popcorn kernels. This was our first popcorn sensory bin and we rank it a 10/10.

However: Remember that these are not safe for kids who may put them in noses. Know your child and their abilities, and always use great supervision and decision making.

Three kid hands reach in a sensory bin made from popcorn kernels and fake fall decorations.

How to create a fall sensory bin

I walked into Target, wandered that wonderful little section filled with $1, $3, and $5 trinkets and spotted two bags of fall decor: pumpkins, leaves, spikey balls, and pine cones.


I knew instantly those two inexpensive bags would be the stars in my fall sensory bin and I was right. They are absolute perfection.

To create the bin was as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Pour popcorn kernels into storage container.
  2. Dump in recently purchased fall decor.
  3. Add in two jars and 4 scoops.

I said this was an easy sensory bin and I meant it. I know it’s pretty. I’m obsessed with these photos too, but though it may look like a true Pinterest moments: it all came together in just a few seconds.

RELATED: Wondering how to do a sensory bin with your child and have the sensory bin stay somewhat tidy? Read this post.

A child pours a jar of popcorn kernels back into a fall sensory bin.

Use the fall sensory bin for multi-age play

I will always champion sensory bins for being the great equalizer of play.

It doesn’t matter the age gap or developmental abilities of kids in sensory play: everyone can play together and share the same space around a sensory bin.

And how cool is that?

For this fall sensory bin, my 6 year old and his favorite 2 year old neighbor sat together to play.

These are two kids with a 4 year age gap and big personalities: they had the loveliest time together.

Why? Because sensory bins are a level playing field. It’s why I always grab for a sensory bin every time I have a multi-age group of kids.

RELATED: Why is sensory play so important? I’d love to tell you. Read this article for more information.

A child pushes their hands through a popcorn kernel sensory bin filling their palms with popcorn. Fall decorations fill the bin.

Save this bin for next year

After fall ends and it’s time to put the Autumn decorations away, remember to save this bin for next year.

You do not need to throw any of it out.

Store the popcorn kernels in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. They’ll keep for many fall sensory bins in your future.

Keep the decor too – you’ll make this bin every fall now. Just pack it up with all the other fall decorations.

A child places a fake pumpkin onto a jar filled with popcorn kernels. Fake fall decoration surround the jar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age is best for this a popcorn kernel bin?

This sensory bin does have small items: popcorn kernels can easily go up noses. Make sure your child is ready for that before trying this material. If they aren’t ready, switch to dry oatmeal instead. It’ll still be a wonderful fall bin.

Are sensory bins always messy?

Sensory play might get messy. Part of letting kids explore a space is accepting they may explore it with all their self. What we can control is our preparation for this mess. Before starting a sensory activity, make sure you’ve set yourself up for success: have a towel by the child, be near a water source, form a plan for how to get the child (and the materials) clean at the end. Sensory play messes are nearly unavoidable, but it doesn’t have disaster. Read this post on keeping bins tidy for more information.

When can kids start any sensory bin?

Sensory play can begin at birth – a bath is a sensory experience! For other activities, consider what is safest for your child and what they can safely interact with. Always start with taste safe materials (like rice) that are not choking hazards.

Susie Allison, M. Ed

Owner, Creator

Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.


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