When I think of the fall season, the 5 senses come to mind right away! Just stop for a moment reading this, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about all the feelings and words that come to mind when October rolls around. Fall is full of the 5 senses, so today we have a fun printable, somewhat crafty fall five senses activity you can use with the kiddos right up to Thanksgiving.
What are the 5 Senses?
If you are going to explore fall and 5 senses, you need to know what they are first! The 5 senses include touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell. These concepts are super easy to explore with junior scientists because we use our 5 senses every day in many ways.
The senses are how we explore and learn about the world around us. Textures and colors ignite our senses of touch and sight. New foods and tasty goodies explore our sense of taste, even if they aren’t so tasty. Smells like peppermint or cinnamon bring back memories or make us feel more in tune with the season or holiday.
The wind rustling the leaves, the waves breaking on the shore, our footsteps walking along a wooded path, or the call of a bird overhead all are fantastic opportunities for listening to our senses!
Tips for Exploring the 5 Senses with Kids
Exploring the five senses in the fall with young kids can be both a playful and educational experience. Here are some creative and engaging activities to help you make the most of this season:
Sight: Fall Color Walk
Take a leisurely stroll through a park or nature trail to admire the vibrant fall foliage. Encourage kids to spot different colors, shapes, and sizes of leaves. Bring along a simple color chart or a camera to document their discoveries. Try one of our scavenger hunts.
Touch: Texture Hunt
Collect various fall objects like leaves, pinecones, acorns, and bark. Set up a touch-and-feel station where kids can explore the different textures. Encourage them to describe how each object feels – rough, smooth, bumpy, etc.
Taste: Apple Tasting Adventure
Visit an orchard for apple picking or the produce aisle in the grocery store. Choose a variety of apple colors and shapes. Back home, have a tasting session with different apple varieties. Discuss the taste, texture, and sweetness levels of each type. You could also make simple apple snacks or a DIY applesauce.
Smell: Scented Spice Playdough
Create scented playdough using fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Let kids knead and play with the dough, stimulating their sense of smell. Add spices to our no-cook playdough recipe! Or make a batch of cinnamon slime or pumpkin cloud dough!
Hearing: Leaf Pile Jumping
Rake up a pile of fallen leaves and let kids jump into them. The rustling sound of the leaves and the soft landing will engage their sense of hearing.
Integrated Activities: Pumpkin Investigation
Get a small pumpkin and involve kids in a mini science investigation project. Have them use their senses to observe and describe the pumpkin’s appearance, touch the texture of its skin, and listen to the sound when tapped. Cut open the pumpkin and repeat the investigation with the insides! Roast pumpkin seeds or make a pumpkin treat to engage the sense of taste!
Artistic Expression: Nature Collages
Collect various natural items from the fall environment – leaves, twigs, feathers, and more. Provide a large sheet of paper and some glue, and let kids create their own sensory-rich nature collages. Try our Nature Weaving Project, Nature Brushes, or Nature Mandalas.
Storytelling: Sensory Storytime
Choose a fall-themed storybook that engages all the senses. As you read, encourage kids to imagine how the story’s environment would look, feel, smell, sound, and taste. Try this one: Playing Through the Seasons: Crunchy Leaves, Cozy Sweaters by Essie Bell.
Cooking and Baking: Fall Flavors
Involve kids in simple cooking or baking activities using fall ingredients like pumpkin, apples, and cinnamon. The process of measuring, mixing, and tasting will stimulate multiple senses. Bake bread in a bag!
Science Experiment: Leaf Chromatography
Collect different types of leaves and explore their colors using a chromatography experiment. This hands-on activity lets kids observe the pigments in leaves and see the colors separate.
How To Explore The 5 Senses this Fall
Here’s a simple list of ways to explore the best of the fall season and the five senses with kids of all ages.
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt and think about how many things you can point out that fit each of the 5 senses! Acorns falling, leaves crunching, rough pinecones, fiery red leaves, and the smell of earth! Call out the senses as you walk along.
- Apples, apples, apples… Let’s not eat any of the things we see in nature, but why not pack freshly picked, crunchy, juicy apples? Have you explored apples with the 5 senses yet? Have you visited an apple orchard yet? There’s so much to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell! How about trying fizzy apple STEAM afterward?
- Clean out a pumpkin! This is a classic activity you probably just do anyway because it’s a fall tradition! You can set up a pumpkin investigation tray, make a pumpkin sensory squish bag, or make slime right inside the pumpkin using all the guts. A great conversation surrounding this simple activity is to incorporate the 5 senses. Maybe a pumpkin treat can be added!
- For sensory learning, you can easily make scented sensory play such as our apple playdough, applesauce oobleck, pumpkin playdough, cinnamon slime, or pumpkin cloud dough. We also have many options for edible play recipes.
- Plan a STEMS-giving for Thanksgiving with the 5 senses and science! Make butter, paint with corn, explore a sensory bin, and more. How about whipping up a spice paint?
- Plan ahead to the Christmas holiday, you won’t want to miss our Santa’s 5 Senses Lab for kid-friendly ideas.
Take a look at our sensory science list to read more about combining science and sensory play as well engaging the 5 senses.
Free Printable Fall 5 Senses Activity
This simple activity can be shared with a variety of age groups with more or less assistance. Kids can add their own ways to explore the fall season through the senses and get creative with artistic touches!
More 5 Senses Activities for Kids
Check out our complete list of 5 Senses activities or choose from one below…
- Preschool 5 Senses Sensory Station
- 5 Senses Coloring Pages
- Guess The Object 5 Senses Game
- Pop Rocks and the 5 Senses
- Candy Tasting 5 Senses Activity
- Peeps 5 Senses for Easter
- Apples and the 5 Senses
Fun Fall Activities for Kids
There are many fun fall sensory, science, STEM, and art activities to try! Make sure to look through these fall activity resources for more great ideas to add to your lesson plans this season.
- Fall Science for Kids
- Fall STEM Projects
- Fall Art Activities
- Fall Slime Recipes
- Fall Sensory Play Ideas
- Anatomy of Fall Coloring Pages
Printable 5 Senses Project Pack
Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle.
There are 12 fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series!
Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost, and book suggestions add to the learning time.