Looking for new hands-on centers and sensory play for fall?

I've been looking for more ways to incorporate sensory play…in an appropriate way…into our standards-based first grade curriculum. This is very important, because if I don't offer the opportunity…my students may take it in a possibly less appropriate way šŸ™‚

Update – It's been a blast!

Fall Sensory Bins – STEP ONE 🍁

To meet students' interests and needs, I've been busy aligning books, poetry, and themes. Then toss in phonemic awareness, phonics, and sight words. Don't forget shared reading, readers theater, and writing prompts!

Fall Sensory Bins – STEP TWO 🍂

Next, I looked at which literacy tasks could be added to the sensory bin while encouraging independence. I fully admit I went a little overboard at Michaels (thank you teacher discount!) and Pinterest (SO many awesome ideas!).

The result is an entire set of sensory bins based on favorite read alouds – one new story per week (that's 36 books!):

Every sensory bin is intended to be a hands-on center for an entire week. Although there are math task cards included, we use them mostly during our literacy content blocks.

Here's the sensory bin routine that works well for our first grade reading groups:

Autumn Read Aloud Books

Our all-time favorite read aloud for fall is There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucinda Colandro. It's first-grade friendly with rhyming words, predictable text, and plenty of humor. It's definitely a student-friendly choice for a fall-themed sensory bin!

Here are some other picture books we enjoy throughout autumn:

  • Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
  • Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber
  • Leaf Man by Lois Elhert
  • We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

There are so many wonderful fall resources out there! It's no surprise… think of all the opportunities for sensory exploration that the fall season provides us – sounds (crunchy leaves), smells (cinnamon spice), and colors (red, orange, gold, brown!).

Are you ready to try sensory bins in your classroom this fall? 🍂🍁

Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

Iā€™m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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