I put together a simple autumn treasure basket for my son (age 11 months) from some things I had laying around the house. The basket, wooden spoon, and wicker bowl were pieces from his first heuristic basket. The faux leaves and gourds were purchased from the Dollar Tree and originally used as tablescape for my sister's wedding shower.
I tossed this basket together one Sunday evening while we were trying to get dinner on the table, and the kids were getting antsy. I was surprised what a hit it was with both the baby and my 3 year old. James was very serious in his exploration. First picking up each gourd and leaf and testing it in his mouth, then exploring it visually and with his fingers.
My daughter couldn't resist the fun. She filled the wicker bowl up with leaves and threw them into the air repeatedly while we sang "Leaves Are Falling."*
I've left the basket on our entry credenza, next to our nature display and basket of autumn books, and the kids have played with it multiple times each day since.
*Leaves Are Falling
Leaves are falling all around
On the housetops, on the ground
Leaves are falling on my nose
On my head and hands and toes