I have a fun and cheap sensory activity perfect for the crisp and colorful autumn days. If there’s one thing I love, it’s finding creative and budget-friendly ways to keep kids engaged and learning.

Today, we’re diving into the world of sensory play with a Dollar Tree-inspired fall-themed sensory bin craft. We just got a new Dollar Tree, and I was excited to find all this cool stuff there.

A bowl filled with corn, sunflowers, and pumpkins.

Yes, you heard me right—this project won’t break the bank and is all about affordable, hands-on fun.

You know what’s weird? When we moved here more than 25 years ago, we had a Dollar Store. Dollar Tree wasn’t very popular at the time, but Dollar Stores were.

We had one, and it was a true dollar store–everything was a dollar. Then, it closed, and Dollar General moved in. Good store, I like them. But not everything is a dollar.

I guess we’ve gone full circle because Dollar Tree is back in that same shopping center. I have always loved Dollar Tree for sensory activities, so I’m excited to have one so close to home. So many cool sensory bin ideas are easy to put together, but the costs can add up.

Anyway, let’s enjoy the fall season while crafting an amazing sensory experience for your kids using items you can find at your local Dollar Tree store. Maybe yours is next to a Starbucks, so you can even enjoy that PSL while getting your sensory bin items.

Get your crafting supplies ready, and let’s create some fall-inspired memories!

A bowl filled with corn, pumpkins, and other fall decorations.

Fall Sensory Bin Supplies

Here are just some of the cheap things you can add to your fall-themed sensory bin.

  • One bag of popcorn kernels
  • One package of plastic or fabric fall-colored leaves
  • 5-7 small pinecones (I got them from my backyard, but I would expect to see them at Dollar Tree soon for Christmas)
  • One package of orange and white checkered pumpkins (aren’t they cute??)
  • One package of faux leather pumpkins
  • One package of small sunflowers
  • One package of burgundy berries
  • One package of gold ton sequins
A bowl filled with corn, sunflowers, and pumpkins.

How to Make a Dollar Tree Fall Sensory Bin

Don’t forget to use a lot of language while putting together the sensory bin or using it later. Sensory bins are not just for sensory stuff–you can do STEM lessons, language development, and much more.

Add as much of the popcorn kernel bag as you would like. I used about ¾ of the bag.

I used popcorn because I found it at Dollar Tree and liked the color with this fall theme.

But you could also use rice or dried black beans. If you’re feeling even more adventurous and have access, you might want to gather up some acorns outside.

I know where the acorns are in my neighborhood because my dogs always try to pick them up. But I’m not sure my neighbors would appreciate me scouring their yard.

Corn on the cob with sunflowers in a bowl.

Next, add 2 or 3 of the sequin packets. I added gold, lighter gold, and orange because they are autumn colors.

A variety of fall decorations are shown on a white surface.

Next, mix in your desired sensory object. I used popcorn, but I would love to have a bowl of acorns. Maybe for next autumn.

A bowl filled with corn, pumpkins, and sunflower seeds.

My Dollar Tree did not have them, but I would have grabbed a Halloween Candy bowl or plastic pumpkin if they did.

I used a glass bowl just for the pictures. My kid and I are super clumsy, so it’s not a good idea for us to use a glass bowl for this activity.

You can shop at Dollar Tree online, but you have to order more than one for most items. You usually have to order a case or a box, which may be 8 to 10 packages of the desired item.

Make sure you check out all the sensory ideas we have on the site. Listen, I am not crafty at all. So if I can do this stuff–you can too!