Dig into fun fall-themed sensory fun with a great DIY pumpkin scented rice sensory bin for older toddlers and preschoolers.
What’s more “fall” than pumpkins!?! I loved the idea of mixing one of my favorite fall things with an easy sensory activity.
Make a DIY Pumpkin Scented Rice Bin for Simple Fall Play
A pumpkin scented rice sensory bin is so much fun! Dig into all things fall like pinecones, nuts, and whole spices.
To make your own pumpkin scented sensory rice bin, you’ll need:
- white rice
- liquid food coloring: orange, red, yellow, brown (think: fall colors)
- hand sanitizer
- a plastic container (think: Tupperware) at least 1 liter big
- pumpkin spice: ginger, cloves, star anise, nutmeg (and cinnamon if you’d like)
Make Pumpkin Scented Colored Rice
First, color your rice. You’ll need to do this in a few batches to make the different colors of rice.
Add a good dollop of one food color to your container. Mix in 2-3 pumps of hand sanitizer into the food color.
The hand sanitizer will thin out the liquid food coloring. Plus, it will make it easier to coat the rice evenly.
Next, add in the dry rice. Fill your container about 2/3 full.
Add in 1 tbs. of pumpkin spice flavorings. You can use the pre-mixed blend or make your own using our spice suggestions.
Now, cover your container and shake away! Invite your child to shake the rice with you.
Sing a little song while you shake!
Once the rice is evenly coated, spread it out on a baking sheet to dry. Wash out the container thoroughly, then repeat these steps with another color.
Build Your DIY Pumpkin Scented Sensory Rice Bin
Once your rice is nice and dry, dump it all into a big bin.
Add fall things like pine cones, cinnamon sticks, whole star anise, acorns, and whole nuts still in their shells to your bin of rice.
Mix everything together and store it in a covered bin, like a Tupperware container.
Playing with Your Sensory Pumpkin Rice
This is such a fun sensory bin for fall! Not only does it smell amazing, but your autumn items are also really unique and unusual.
For extra fun, give them some bowls, cups, ladles, or spoons. You might also consider adding in thick yarn or pipe cleaners for stringing.
The sky is the limit when it comes to adding tools and toys to your sensory bin!
Build autumn cupcakes in plastic cups, then top with pinecones and cinnamon sticks. Make a fall necklace by stringing cinnamon sticks and star anise into a pretty pattern.
Invite your child to sort the fall items by type, color, or scent. Or go on a treasure hunt for certain items.
You and your children will have lots of fun smelling, exploring, and creating with this tried and true sensory activity.