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It's Gourd-geous! A Fall Centerpiece Made for Sensory Play

fall centerpiece Fall is a fabulous time to learn about color, shape, and texture: Think beautiful red maple leaves, bumpy orange gourds, and smooth brown chestnuts. Bring the beauty of fall to your home, and encourage your child to explore these concepts, by creating a coffee-table centerpiece filled with autumnal objects he’s free to touch—and touch and touch. There’s no wrong way to do it and there’s no need to keep little hands off your autumn decorations. The bowl’s contents can change from day to day: Invite him to rearrange before the guests arrive! 

What You Will Need:

  • A small basket (wicker is nice) or child-friendly bowl.
  • A variety of small natural objects like colorful leaves, pinecones, dried corn, gourds, mini-pumpkins, chestnuts, etc. 
Take a walk around your neighborhood to collect some or all of the objects for your project. Use the time to be together in the season: watch leaves flutter down from the trees, point out squirrels collecting nuts, or count any pumpkins left on porches.


  1. Spread out all your natural objects on a table so that your child can see them.
  2. Invite your child to load up the basket or bowl with any or all of the fall goodies. He’s welcome to take his time and handle each object before he adds it. Chat with him about what the objects look or feel like, how they look or feel different from each other, where they came from, etc. 
  3. Display the finished centerpiece on a low table so that your child can return to explore the textures and colors whenever he feels like it.
making fall centerpiece
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