With fall comes crisp air, beautiful leaves, and apple season — my favorite season of all. Celebrate this time of year with sensory exploration and creative play inspired by one of nature’s best fruits, the apple. Bring the smell, taste, texture, and feel of apples into your playtime with fun and engaging activities designed to stimulate the senses. From squishy apple-themed slime that’ll have your kids giggling to apple bird feeders that bring nature right into your backyard, these 40 apple sensory play ideas will encourage learning and discovery. Pick one of these activities to try for an afternoon of apple-themed sensory fun!
Apple Sensory Play Ideas
Fall is the perfect time to explore all things apple-related, from baking pies to creating sensory play experiences for kids. Apples provide a range of sensory experiences that stimulate children’s imaginations, senses, and creativity. With endless ways to play, explore, and learn, apple sensory play is a fun way to engage children in hands-on learning activities that are both educational and enjoyable.
Here, we will share some apple-themed sensory play ideas that are perfect for children of all ages.
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Benefits of Sensory Play
From boosting brain development to honing fine motor skills, sensory play is a fun way to enrich learning and growth. Here are just a handful of the benefits of sensory play:
- Promotes cognitive development as kids explore, experiment, and make observations.
- Enhances problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Boosts language development as kids describe colors, textures, shapes, and smells.
- Improves fine motor skills through activities like molding playdough or picking up objects using various tools.
- Engages all the senses.
- Strengthens hand-eye coordination.
Apple-Themed Sensory Activities for Kids
Explore textures and smells by making an apple bird feeder to attract some feathered friends to your backyard. Once you’ve filled the apple halves with a mixture of birdseed and gelatin and let them set, they’re ready for hanging in a tree.
Scented Apple Cider Slime, this two-toned slime is perfect for fall. The red and caramel-colored slimes can be swirled together for lots of stretchy, squishy fun.
These free apple play dough mats would be a perfect addition to any fall learning theme.
This homemade apple dough is perfect for molding, sculpting, and exploring. It’s also great for fine motor skills and tactile sensory play.
For an all-natural playdough free of dyes, try this apple cinnamon recipe. You probably have all the ingredients you need right in your kitchen — flour, salt, cream of tartar, cinnamon, apple pie spice, oil, and water.
A great science exploration and a lesson for kids. Dissect an apple and let them check out all of the parts. You can easily use the labels offered in the free download available here.
There’s nothing like a little squishy fun to get those hand muscles strengthening, So grab a few supplies and Make Apple Slime.
Cut apples in half to create the perfect apple stamping tool for the kids! Just dip each half in
paint, and stamp it onto your paper or canvas. We added chocolate chips to represent seeds, but
you could use chocolate sprinkles or sunflower seeds, too.
Apple Sensory Play Activities
Toddlers and preschoolers are always looking for new things to explore. What better way to
teach them about the world around them this fall than through their senses?
We’ve compiled 40 different apple sensory activities that your little ones are going to love.
Sensory activities help to develop the brain in a way that is different than just reading and
These activities can also increase focus, improve language development, and
enhance motor skills. It’s never too early to start getting kids started on these types of exercises!
These sensory activities have a fun apple theme, which is perfect for fall or back-to-school
season. Try them at home or in the classroom with your toddlers and preschoolers. From apple-
You’re sure to find something your kids will love: themed sensory bins, apple slime, apple playdough, and apple sensory bottles.
Fun Apple Sensory Bins
Apple Washing Station by Happy Toddler Playtime
This activity is easy to set up and teaches kids the importance of washing their produce while engaging the senses. Grab a plastic bin, fill it with water, toss in some apples, and get to work with the sponge. Of course, you can add other produce as well, such as mini pumpkins or squash, which have a thicker skin that can withstand lots of washing.
Rice Apple Sensory Bin by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Stimulate all the senses with this sensory bin filled with rice, green and red pom poms, and padded apples. Add tongs, bowls for sorting, and measuring cups for pouring, and you’ve set the kids up for hours of fun.
Apple Sensory Play
Apple Cinnamon and Oats Sensory Bin by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Cinnamon fans will love this one — the cinnamon sticks smell divine. Add oats, apples (real or fake), glass gems, and buckets or cups for transferring materials.
Alphabet and Apple Sensory Table by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Combine sensory play with learning the alphabet. Mini plastic apples and alphabet pebbles are added to dyed rice for an activity that combines sensory play with early literacy. If you don’t have alphabet pebbles, substitute alphabet magnets or foam letters instead.
Colored Rice Apple Sensory Bin from lifeovercs.com
This sensory bin is colorful and full of wonderful sights, sounds, and textures. It’s made with colored rice, black beans, buckwheat, bay leaves, pom-poms, and more.
Apple Sensory Play for Preschoolers and Toddlers
Fluffy Apple Slime by Steamsational
Instead of the usual slime, try making fluffy slime instead. It’s soft and puffy but still stretchy and squishy, just as you’d expect slime to be. Add red food coloring and apple essential oil to make it look and smell like juicy red apples.
Apple Tree Sensory Bag by Rainy Day Mum
Practice counting and work on fine motor skills with an apple-themed sensory bag. Use craft foam to make the apple trees that are then placed in the bag along with some water and red water beads to represent the apples. Kids can then use their fingers to push the “apples” onto the trees.
Apple Sensory Play for Kids
Apple Sensory Bottle by Kimspired DIY
Inexpensive apple erasers are added to a jar of corn syrup to make a mesmerizing apple sensory bottle. With just two materials, it comes together quickly and easily. However, you can jazz it up a little with some red glitter. Because corn syrup can be a little pricey nowadays, you may want to use clear hair gel in its place instead.
Bobbing for Apples by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Practice fine motor skills, counting, and sorting by bobbing for apples! Well, you don’t have to actually bob for the apples — kids can use tongs to lift them out of the water instead. It’s a fun way to work on hand dexterity and grip.
Sensory Play Ideas
Apple Playdough by Crayons and Cravings
Make a taste-safe apple playdough for fall. It is a playdough recipe that requires cooking, but it only takes 10 minutes and is taste-safe. With real cinnamon and nutmeg, it’ll smell like a warm apple pie. Use it to form playdough apples, adding twigs and leaves to make it look like the real thing.
Pretend Play Apple Picking by Lemon Lime Adventures
Make your own apple orchard using poster board, contact paper, and some sticky red cotton balls (or pom poms) to stick to the trees. Getting your toddler to move and stretch is great for those gross motor skills while picking the apples works the small muscles in the hands and wrists.
Apple and Water Sensory Table from fun-a-day.com
Write each child’s name on a laminated apple (or a toy apple) and let the kids “bob” for apples using various scoops, utensils, pails, etc. You’ll be surprised how much kids will enjoy playing in a simple bin of soapy water.
Apple Sensory Play for Toddlers
Mess-Free Apple Painting by Life Over C’s
Painting without the mess can still be a fun sensory experience. A plastic bag holds the paint, which is then covered with an apple outline. Kids then use their fingers to push the paint into the apple cutout until it’s full of color. You can even practice color mixing this way!
Chickpea Apple Sensory Bin by Fun-a-Day
Make scented and dried chickpeas to add to your sensory bins this fall. The chickpeas kind of have an apple shape and are a fun change of pace from the usual rice or oatmeal sensory bins. Kids will love the noise the dried chickpeas make when scooping and pouring them.
Applesauce Oobleck by Little Bins for Little Hands
It acts as a solid and a liquid and is normally made of cornstarch and water. In this case, however, you’ll make your Oobleck with applesauce and cornstarch instead. Add extra cinnamon to make it smell amazing. Use this squishy activity as an introduction to non-Newtonian fluids.
Writing Letters in Applesauce by Gift of Curiosity
Teach the alphabet and get messy at the same time. Writing letters in different materials (like sand, salt, or, in the case, applesauce) can be a wonderful, no-stress way for kids to practice the alphabet. And since it’s edible, you don’t have to worry about kids putting their fingers in the mouths.
Apple Sensory Play for Preschoolers
Edible Apple Sensory Bin by Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Add apple-flavored cereal to a bin along with some real or fake apples, and let the fun begin! Don’t forget some bowls, spoons, and measuring cups for pouring, stirring, and scooping.
Apple Color Sorting Sensory Bag by Happy Toddler Playtime
Set up a color sorting activity with an apple theme. Draw apples on a large Ziploc bag in various colors. Add beads in coordinating colors that kids can push around with their fingers to sort them into the correct apple.
Fine Motor Color Matching Apple Sensory Bin by The Resourceful Mama
Here’s another fun color sorting activity with an apple them. This time, kids can sort the red and green apples into the “trunk” of the corresponding tree using tongs, tweezers, or their fingers.
Fall Sensory Activities
Button Apple Tree Invitation to Play from fantasticfunandlearning.com
Felt, buttons, and cinnamon sticks come together to make lovely apple trees. The cinnamon sticks are the tree trunks, the green buttons are the leaves, and the red buttons are the apples. Kids can arrange them any way they’d like.
Apple Pie Playdough from lookwerelearning.com
Doesn’t this playdough apple pie look good enough to eat? The apple pie playdough is made in green, red, and brown colors—everything you’ll need to make pretend apple pies. Apple-flavored oil is added to the red, green apple oil to the green, and cinnamon oil to the brown. The smells of the playdough must be incredible as you knead, shape, and play with it.
Apple Pie Spice Playdough from midwestmodernmomma.com
Apple pie spice and vanilla extract give this soft playdough a lovely smell. We love the idea of using cinnamon sticks as apple stems, too.
Fall Sensory Play
These apple sensory activities are sure to delight your little ones this fall. From playdough. slime
and more, there’s something for every kid who loves exploring the world around them. Pin it
now so you can enjoy these activities with your kids all fall!