Hedgehog Hibernation Exploration Basket

Create an exploration basket with natural treasures to find out about Autumn, hibernation and hedgehogs!

hedgehog hibernation sensory play autumn basket
 It’s the perfect time of year for going on nature walks and foraging for fallen treasures to take home and explore! The girls found some spiky, round seed balls from a large Plane tree the other day and brought them home to add to our nature collection. As the days passed they started to soften and dry out a little, and began to perfectly resemble tiny hedgehogs! 

Photo Credit: www.realgardeners.co.uk
Hedgehogs are  common in the UK and often wander into gardens looking for food. We looked at some pictures and books to find out more about their habitat and behaviour and used it as a chance to introduce and explain about animal hibernation. 
Using the Plane tree seed balls as the bodies, the girls glued some googly eyes and pom pom noses to create a little hedgehog family! We took all of the leaves that they’ve collected and created a little hibernation nest in a basket, then added the seed hedgehogs to their new home to explore and hide in. Pop added her cuddly hedgehog to watch over them and they began some wonderful imaginary play and storytelling with their new Autumn sensory basket!

Learning Links:
Science/ Knowledge & Understanding: understanding hibernation, habitats, nesting, animal behaviours, how hedgehogs look and feel, Autumn
Creativity: making models and representations using combined media, using one object to represent another in play, imaginative play
Literacy: introducing new vocabulary, storytelling through play
Sensory: exploring multi-tactile objects from nature using all the senses

Cakie: 4.1
Pop: 2.6
Bean: 7 mos

See also: Conker Spiderwebs
See also: 40 Fabulous Autumn Activities for Kids

Have you been exploring nature this Autumn? Please share!


  1. says

    I love this! Must do something similar with my two. At the moment we have a pile of felt leaves dumped over the little wooden hedgehog on our nature table!

  2. says

    This is brilliant – we’re having trouble understanding hibernation (all the frogs have gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so we’ve made hedgehogs and will be creating a home for them over the winter I love the basket idea

  3. says

    that is so cute, I have always wondered what to do with those funny balls you get on plane trees – we have loads near us and I collect them every year and they sit unloved. Now I have a plan!