With Fall in the air, I wanted to set up some new sensory experiences for Onetime, my 3 year old son. He really enjoys playdough and so I came up with a few different ideas for some Fall Playdough activities that use all 5 senses!
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Fall SENSE #1: SIGHT
This is the easiest of the fall playdough ideas to set up. Whip up a double batch of my favourite playdough recipe (print off your copy from our Printables page). Then split the dough into 3 or 4 portions and colour them red, orange, yellow and brown.
If you want, you can always just do red and yellow and show your kiddo how to make orange by combining the two! The streaky effect of the leaves in the photo are from combining the two. I use the Wilton Icing Color Gels because they create really vibrant playdough colours.
Then pick up a few fall themed cookie cutters at the local Bulk Barn or baking supply store or try these leaf ones from Amazon.
We managed to find a maple leaf, a spade (which I bent a bit to look more like a leaf) and an apple cutter. Let your child explore!
You probably already have these spices in your cupboard – so why not add them to some playdough for an olfactory sensory experience!
We used cinnamon in some red playdough, pumpkin pie spice in some orange playdough (of course!) and ground nutmeg in the yellow playdough. I debated using Imitation Maple Extract in the yellow playdough. That would have been nice too.
All you do is make up the playdough, colour it, and then knead in approximately one tablespoon of spice. If you want it to smell even stronger, just add more. Even better – let your child measure out the spices and help add them!
Fall SENSES #3,4 and 5: TOUCH, TASTE, and SOUND
Okay – I might be pushing it a bit with the sound, but stick with me and you’ll see why I listed it! Have you made textured playdough before? All you do is make your dough, and then find some fun things to stick inside it. For some reason, kids love to play with this kind of dough – probably just because it feels so different from the regular stuff.
And now you might be asking – Who are the Three Sisters? The 3 sisters refer to Corn, Beans, and Squash. They are 3 of the crops that natives in North America grew and harvested in the fall.
They were unique in that they could be grown together in the same field at the same time and they actually helped each other grow! Cool huh? Also – when eaten in the diet along with meats, they were highly nutritional.
To make your 3 Sisters Harvest Playdoughs, divide a double batch of my playdough recipe into thirds, and colour each third a different harvest colour. Now add corn kernels into one third, beans into another (we used black turtle beans), and pumpkin seeds into another (pumpkins are a type of squash!).
Trust me – your child will love the texture of these unique playdoughs – and they are fun to look at too!
Are We Eating Playdough?
Here is where the TASTE comes into play. After playing with the textured playdoughs, pop some popcorn, or cook up some beans, or have some pumpkin seeds for a snack! You could even make the traditional succotash meal that natives enjoyed, incorporating all 3 of the “sisters.”
To finish up with the SOUND sense, read your child this native legend about the Three Sisters so they understand why you chose to put those 3 things into the playdough! Try to figure out who each sister represents in the story – a little harvest mystery!
That’s it for our fall playdough ideas!