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12 autumn crafts and sensory play ideas for babies

Crafts and sensory play activities are a lovely way to engage your baby’s senses, promote their development and have some fun. Here are 11 autumn-themed craft and sensory play ideas for babies,(just don’t forget the baby wipes for easy clean ups!):

1. Sensory Leaf Bin:

  • Fill a shallow container with dried leaves, small pinecones, acorns, and other autumn treasures. Let your baby explore the textures and colors with their hands. Always supervise closely to ensure they don’t put small items in their mouth.

2. Handprint or Footprint Art:

  • Create keepsake art by dipping your baby’s hands or feet in baby-safe paint (non-toxic) and pressing them onto paper. Choose autumn colours like oranges, deep reds, yellow, brown and green. Add autumn-themed decorations like leaf stickers or drawings of pumpkins.

3. Nature Collage:

  • Collect leaves, twigs, and other natural materials during a nature walk. Younger babies will love staring at the trees and older babies and toddlers will enjoy helping you find your autumn treasure. Then when you get home help your child glue these items onto a piece of paper to create a beautiful collage.

4. Pumpkin Playdough:

  • Make homemade playdough (using a baby-safe recipe like this by the BBC Good Food) and add orange food coloring or pumpkin puree for an autumn touch. Let your baby squish, mold, and explore the playdough with their hands.

5. Sensory Bottles:

  • Create sensory bottles filled with autumn-themed items like small leaves, glitter, or small plastic animals. Seal the bottles tightly (you can glue or tape the top) and let your baby shake and observe the items inside.

6. Crinkly Leaf Sensory Bags:

  • Place colorful autumn leaves in a large, clear ziplock bag and seal it securely. Tape it to a window or the floor, allowing your baby to explore the crinkly texture and vibrant colors.

7. Pumpkin Goo Bags:

  • Fill a clear plastic bag with orange-colored hair gel and add small plastic pumpkins or fall-themed confetti. Seal the bag tightly and let your baby squish and move the gel around.

8. Scented Rice Bin:

  • Dye rice with autumn colors like orange, yellow, and brown by mixing it with food coloring. Add a drop of pumpkin spice or cinnamon extract to make it fragrant. Let your baby explore the sensory bin with their hands and small scoops.

9. Leaf Painting:

  • Dip autumn leaves into non-toxic, baby-safe paint and press them onto paper to create leaf prints. This can be a messy but fun activity for babies to experiment with color and texture.

10. Pumpkin Sensory Play:

  • Hollow out a small pumpkin and let your baby explore the inside. The gooey texture and seeds can be fascinating for them to touch and explore.

11. Sensory Scarves:

  • Tie different textured scarves or scraps of old material (e.g. silk, velvet, cotton) to a small hoop or ring and dangle it above your baby. This can help with their visual tracking skills and sensory exploration.

12. Read Outside:

  • Wrap up and head to the park with a blanket and baby’s favourite books.

These activities are not only fun but also provide valuable sensory experiences for your little one.

Remember to supervise your baby closely during these activities, especially if they involve small objects or materials that could be a choking hazard. Also, ensure that all materials and ingredients used are non- toxic and safe for your baby’s age and developmental stage.

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