3 Late Fall Sensory Playdate Activities

As a mom of 2 children under the age of 5 (with another on the way!) I have found having a plan while hosting playdates to be a total lifesaver. Free play time is important- crucial even, but it is also nice to make the playdate a little special whenever you can.  Not only do the children (especially yours!) feel the love you put into it, as a parent you get to pat yourself on the back knowing that adding a little magical activity will actually become a memory for all involved. And who doesn’t want to feel good about their hosting skills?

Late fall means that we all get to enjoy a last burst of color and the enjoyment of being able to add some outdoor time to an afternoon playdate. If you are hosting a playdate here are 3 of  Whimsy Party’s favorite late fall playdate activities that are easy, fresh and interesting. All 3 of these ideas might even buy yourself 20 minutes of entertainment for the little ones! Which is amazing since 20 minutes is the new half hour.


Late Fall Spice Paint Art Project

Important First Step: Drop a tarp or a sheet that you use for art projects down on the floor or on the deck outside before you start breaking out the spice paint ingredients. This is a great project to have your little guests carry out all the steps with you. Allowing them to mix and drop the ingredients in is an amazing confidence booster. Children are always pleasantly surprised when they realize you trust them with the steps of cooking or baking.

Senses Used: Fine motor, smelling, math, independence, creativity


You will need:

  • Food Coloring
  • Brown Sugar
  • Corn Starch
  • All Purpose White Flour
  • Any kind of dish soap
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Ginger


How To


  1. Place one Tablespoon of each spice into a separate container (I usually set out 4 plastic containers and switch the finished product into smaller kid friendly paint containers after)
  2. Add a Tablespoon of Flour
  3. Add 4 Tablespoons of Water
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap
  6. Mix everything!
  7. Add desired color food coloring @15-20 drops, the more you add the more vibrant your colors will be. We usually use red for cinnamon, red and yellow for pumpkin, yellow for ginger and green, red and yellow to make brown for brown sugar spice.
  8. Mix with stainless steel fork-not plastic

Note: If you find you are getting different variations of consistencies (this will happen depending on your brand of ingredients) just play around with adding extra water, brown sugar and flour here and there

Now its time to use these amazing paints in a project!

Grab some watercolor paper and tape it to either a piece of cardboard or if the weather is agreeable, tape it up along an outdoor fence. You may want to transfer the paints into smaller containers to avoid spillage depending on the age of the children. If you have any glitter on hand and especially if you are outside, have the children add some glitter to their creation for some added magic.


Whimsical Button Tree Playdate Activity

Senses Used: Fine motor, patterning, math, attention, focus, imagination, sorting

You Will Need:


  • Brown Pipe Cleaners (although in a pinch we have used varying colors, some even glitter toned and the effect has been just as beautiful!)
  • Multiple colored and sizes of buttons-buttons with larger holes are best

*To keep things on a late fall theme, why not stick to browns, red and orange hues?


How To:

Create the little trees ahead of time: fold the pipe cleaners in half (make a V) and then twist the bottoms together to form a tree. If your children are 4+ they might love to create their own trees, I recommend pre making the trees for smaller hands (ages 2 or 3 as this can be a little tricky for little ones)

One of the things I love about this project is that for little ones who love fairies this is a wonderful creation to add to a fairy garden or a fairy castle.  These handmade trees do make for a very enchanted forest!


Late Fall Themed Whimsical Sensory Table

What better way to utilize a now empty outdoor water table? If you are like us, you might have 1 or 2 of these in the back yard now full of leaves and branches. Why not give it a quick rinse or wipe down and fill it up with some amazing late fall themed bits for a playdate?

Senses Used: Fine Motor, math, focus


You Will Need: (as much as you can get your hands on!)

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Dried Corn
  • Raw Cranberries
  • Pine Cones
  • Small Branches
  • Outdoor water table or oversized plastic tub


How To:

Fill up your outdoor water table with these items and add in some measuring cups, varying sized bowl and buckets, spoons-anything you have on hand that the children can use to sift, measure or pour. If you have any gourds or mini pumpkins left over from Halloween you may want to add these in as well. The pine cones and the branch gathering can be a fun kick off activity before you settle in to the actual sensory table experience. Children love to take ownership of a project and this is a nice way to lead into the activity.