Fall Themed Sensory Table With Preschool Song Activities and Books
It’s officially Fall again! I’ve decorated my house and turned Maddie’s sensory table into a Fall themed table. I will start out with a confession. Each time I put together a theme or a sensory table for Maddie I need to remind myself that I am doing this for just one child. Her sensory tables are often filled with more materials than there really should be, but maybe because they’ve mostly been that way, she never seems overwhelmed.
Maddie is 19 months old now. I taught in the early childhood field for more than 40 years so I know that her language skills are advanced. I attribute that to the music and books that have been a part of her daily routine since she was born.
Fall Themed Sensory Table
Her favorite book right now is Boo! by Jonathan Litton and Fhiona Galloway. I used the characters in that book as inspiration for her sensory table. She also loves She also loves You’re My Little Pumpkin Pie illustrated by Natalie Marshall.
The bottom of the sensory table has artificial fall leaves, sticks, and pine cones. If you want to use pine cones in your table be sure to dry them out first to kill off anything that could be living inside of them. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and place your pine cones on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake the pine cones for about 30 minutes. Once the pine cones have opened up and the sap has had a chance to seep out and dry up, the pine cones are done.
Bats Maddie has 2 Folkmanis bat finger puppets. I use them with Miss Carole’s “Two Little Black Birds” from her Sticky Bubble Gum album, but I substitute the word ‘bats” for the words “black birds.” The bat book she enjoys right now is That’s Not My Bat by Fionna Watt.
Owls Maddie has a Folkmanis owl finger puppet, a Safari toys owl and a squeezable owl. Owl books that she enjoys include That’s Not My Owl by Fionna Watt, Where’s the Owl? by Nosy Crow, and Hoot! by Jonathan Litton and Fhiona Galloway.
Squirrels Maddie LOVES squirrels. She feeds squirrels, chipmunks, and blue jays peanuts each night with my adult son, Robbie. Her favorite squirrel song is “Grey Squirrel” by The Learning Station from their Autumn Songs album download. She has enjoyed The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri for a long time and also loves That’s Not My Squirrel by Fiona Watt. She has a Folkmanis squirrel finger puppet in her sensory table.
Pumpkins I used a mini photo album and some clip art from DJ Inkers to create a book with illustrations and the lyrics from Miss Carole’s “Pumpkin, Pumpkin” song. That song can be found on her Season Sings! album. I also play “Pumpkin Pumpkin Round and Fat” from Miss Carole’s Welcome album.
If you have one of Bear Paw Creek's Pumpkin Balloon Balls...that is a great song to use it with!
There are real pumpkins, a small wooden pumpkin, a small tin pumpkin bucket, and stuffed pumpkins in the sensory table. There are also some little stuffed ghosts. I bought some adorable garland and cut it up to get the stuffed ghosts and pumpkins.
Yesterday I placed some small pumpkins and a vegetable brush in a tub of soapy water. Maddie didn’t really scrub the pumpkins, but she had fun pouring “bubbles” on them and picking them up and dropping them back into the water.
I put 4 colors of washable Crayola paint in a silicone muffin pan and gave Maddie a foam brush. She had a total blast spreading paint all over the pumpkin. When she went home, I washed the pumpkin and now she’ll be able to paint it all over again.
I have a pumpkin ice cube tray from Dollar Tree. Maddie uses a plastic measuring spoon to put orange pompoms in each section of the ice cube tray. She also loves putting pompoms through the top of a clear water bottle.
Apples Apples are one of Maddie’s favorite snacks. I cut the apple up into small pieces and hand her a bowl of them which she quickly devours. This was the second year that she went apple picking. This year she was very excited and a little overwhelmed by all of the apples that were all around her. She said the words, “Apple, apple, apple.” over and over again. Check out Bear Paw Creek's Apple Balloon Ball for more fun!
Maddie has quite a collection of plastic and Styrofoam apples. She puts them in and out of a basket and pretends to eat them. We use them as props when we sing “The Apple Tree” from Miss Carole’s H.U.M. album. Maddie has a Folkmanis apple finger puppet. She belly laughs when I pop the worm out of that puppet.
She has an apple ice cube tray from Dollar Tree. She uses a plastic measuring spoon to put red, green, and yellow pompoms in the tray. If I give her a divided tray she is able to sort the pompoms by color, but she doesn’t know colors yet. She’s just able to distinguish that the pompoms don’t all look alike. Maddie loves pointing to and naming pictures in the book Pat the Bunny at the Apple Orchard by Golden books.
Scarecrows A scarecrow stands next to my fireplace. Maddie loves pointing out that he has a hat and shoes. She has a scarecrow hand puppet that makes her giggle when I move him around as I play “Scarecrow” from The Learning Station’s Autumn Songs album download. I often read her I’m a Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow illustrated by Annie Kubler.
Spiders Maddie tried to mimic our gestures as we sing her “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” She attempts to sing along with us and is able to fill in many missing words. Her favorite book version of that rhyme is The Itsy Bitsy Spider designed by Chris Stanley. She names all of the animals and makes their sounds when we read her The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. She has a Folkmanis spider finger puppet.
While we are playing together, I play my Autumn songs playlist. I took out my Bear Paw Creek egg shakers and wrist bells and put the red, orange, yellow and green ones (fall colors) in a basket. I added some of our Bear Paw Creek textured bean bags to the basket. I chose to add the red, orange, green and white ones. We grab a music and movement prop when a song inspires us to use them.