fall sensory bin idea: Pumpkin Moon Sand

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Celebrate fall by engaging the sense of smell with this fun cinnamon-scented Pumpkin Moon Sand recipe.

This post will give you the recipe and how I made a fall sensory bin using pumpkin moon sand. It is edible safe and great for toddlers 1-year-old up to preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Every year, I create a fall sensory event for my local community. It is the best way for me to share my creativity and for the kids to learn through play.

This year, at the fall event with a mix of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers so I needed and few stations that could appeal to all ages.

I had a water station with fall leaves and cups, a paint-with-apple station, and lastly, I had this fall-inspired Pumpkin Moon Sand station that would engage the messy aspect of sensory play and the sense of smell. Wow! it was a total winner! and now, I must share how I made it because it was so easy and so much fun!

Oh and by the way, if you love the smell of cinnamon then you are going to want to try our cinnamon-scented ornaments recipe for Christmas!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 7 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Cooking Oil (buy the cheapest… after all is for PLAY)
  • 1-2 cups Cinnamon Powder

Directions to make Pumpkin Moon Sand:

Measure 7 cups of all-purpose flour in a container.

BABY ALERT: Raw flour can contain bacteria so we need a step before starting the activity. If you are making this recipe for a baby or toddler still putting things in his/her mouth, cook the flour at 350 F for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria. Let the flour cool down and then continue with the recipe.

Mix the cinnamon powder into the flour. The more powder the stronger the smell and the more oil you will need.

Once the flour is mixed with the cinnamon. Add in the oil.

I added extra cinnamon to make it extra smelly – yummm

The flour should change its texture from a thin powder to thicker moldable sand. Like when you are at the beach and want to build a sand castle. Depending on the oil you use you might need to add a bit more than the recipe calls for. It’s ok! just look for that moldable texture.

The sand should be able to hold its shape like a snowball. Then it is ready to play!

You can save this recipe in a ziplock back to be used over and over again!

Set up and Clean up Tips for this Pumpkin moon sand sensory bin:

For our set up I used a round tray (sold by the dollar store to change car oils) and added a few acorn and pumpkin beads. I also collected a few Starbucks and McDonald’s cups to use with the sand. I don’t know but when I think about fall, I think about Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes and what goes with pumpkin during the fall. cinnamon… at least in my brain, it does.

Set up your station before playing using a mat under your sensory bin. This will make collecting the sand easier to put back into the bin during playtime at the same time as keeping the messy area contained (as much as possible).

Like beach sand… this can get everywhere so prepare the area!

Also, you don’t need to play with all 7 cups at a time… I mean you can do 2-3 cups but if know anything about me… well… I go big or go home…

So I hope you have as much fun as we did with this recipe, it smelled fantastic and it was an amazing activity to celebrate the beginning of fall.