Today I decided to head in a new direction with our sensory play. I am slowly observing that my son likes play activities to have a purpose or a sense of direction.  And he LOVES books! He always wants to be read to as well. So I decided it was time to combine a book with a fun sensory bin! To welcome Fall,  I chose a favorite book called Earl The Squirrel by Don Freeman.

Earl The Squirrel Sensory PlayEarl Squirrel Fall Sensory Bin Play Book & Bin Series


All of sudden the idea hit me when I randomly thought of this book, Earl The Squirrel. Maybe it was a recent walk in the forest! I was excited to have all of the items on hand including this nifty bin I found on clearance at the craft store (wishing I had gotten a few more now).

ALSO CHECK OUT: Best Books For Beginning Readers

Besides books, Liam also really enjoys finger puppets (well any soft animals really), but we have lots of these that we add to activities often. I had just purchased the leaves at the dollar store. What a find, 50 to a bag! Love it!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: All About Sensory Bins

I had recently picked up acorns on a walk in the forest yesterday and we always have nuts. I cut a red scarf from felt and grabbed a pair of tongs and a small basket!

books and bins earl single


Here’s a first look at his invitation to play when he got home from school. Looks excited, doesn’t he? First things first, we read the book snuggled together on the couch.

ALSO CHECK OUT:  Preschool Pumpkin Books & Activities

books and bins earl squirrel quad 1


Then he knew just what to do, find the nuts. Yipee he used the tongs. We counted and sorted.

books and bins earl squirrel trio tongs

We filled the basket with leaves and dumped it over the squirrel!

books and bins earl leaf play trio


There was some wonderful free play happening and little stories about looking for food. He used language from the book and retold the story in his own way! He even wanted me to read the story again so our new Earl the Squirrel could listen!

ALSO CHECK OUT:  Fall Sensory Bottles For Exploring Nature

books and bins series earl trio free play


The fun didn’t stop. He wanted the nut cracker like the character in the book gave to Earl, so this lead to a whole new activity of cracking the nuts and looking at the different insides. Lucky for us, daddy came home from work just in time to get in on the fun and help us!

books and bins quad nut cracking

We looked at the acorn and the walnut and he ate a few walnuts but made sure he did not eat any acorns!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 10 Fall Sensory Bins


The fun continued and we got out the paints and painted with the nuts and nut shells. We chose fall friendly colors and rolled the shells around, painted them with brushes and crumbled leaves around them. He declared them little houses!

books and bins earl nut painting play

This turned into a wonderful afternoon activity. There will definitely be more book & bins to come!


 Click on the photo below or on the link for more fun fall sensory activities for kids.

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges.

Amazon Affiliate: I am an amazon associate. I receive a small compensation for any products purchased through this site. There is no obligation to purchase products to view these activities.


  1. What a beautiful documentation of your child’s exploration and learning. I often find that even when I do not create sensory book bins for my children, they create their own version of them with favorite books.

  2. Book themed sensory learning is a great idea. Not only can it be associated with the story, but also with the objects for some great hands-on learning. Thank you for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop 🙂

Comments are closed.