Friday, January 18, 2013

Sensory Bins

Simple Water Sensory Bin

Creating sensory bins are so easy, inexpensive, and fun! Sensory bins are made by filling a bin with items (such as dry pasta or buttons) for a child to scoop, pour, mix, touch, observe, smell, hear etc. Small world experiences can be set up as well as a sensory bin, such as a farm or underwater theme, for an exciting sensory learning experience.

The sensory bins I have created for my son consist of plastic tupperware bins and mostly materials I found at a dollar store, Michaels craft store, or items collected outside in our backyard. For an exciting sensory experience, simply add cups, spoons, buckets, sifters, sand rakes etc. Sensory bin play helps strengthen fine motor skills as children play, learn, and get messy.

I began setting up sensory bins in our backyard last summer when my son was a year old. I made these bins for outside play:
Water Bin & Sand Bin

Bubble Water Bin

Sand Bin With Name Dig Activity

Sand Bin With Rock Collecting & Counting Activity

Water Bin With Upcycled Milk Container Used As Water Toy

Cloud Dough Bin - 6 Cups Flour + 1 Cup Baby Oil

I wanted to create sensory bins for indoor play as well. I shopped at my local Dollar Tree store and made these bins:

Dry Pasta Bin

Farm Bin Using Dry Bean Mix

Rice Bin

Colorful Cooked Pasta Bin

I created other sensory bins with materials I purchased at Michaels craft store.

Sand, Sequins, and Pom Poms - Rainbow  Bin

Water Bead Ocean Themed Bin

Colorful Sand & Sequins Bin

Play-doh Bin

For younger children who still put everything in their mouth, food sensory bins are a great option.

Cheerios Bin

Sensory bins can also be used as an introduction to writing letters, numbers, and shapes. Children can use their fingers or a paintbrush to practice.

Salt Bin With Construction Paper At Base

Another great activity is to put sensory bins side by side for children to compare, contrast, and explore.

My Son Using Cups To Compare & Contrast a Sand Bin, Rice Bin, and Cloud Dough Bin

Sensory bins are great to keep in the house as a great go-to activity. I currently have four bins with lids stored in my playroom for my son to play with whenever he desires. These indoor bins tend to get messy so I always have a lightweight vacuum handy. I hope I have inspired you to gather some inexpensive materials and let your kids get messy with sensory bins all for the love of learning!



  1. That is an incredible selection of sensory bins! Thanks for linking to the Outdoor Play Party!

  2. Thank you Jen for visiting and for your kind words on my blog. Please spread the news of my new site and like my new Facebook page for updates. :)

  3. Lovely post, and great ideas. Found you via Empty your Archive

  4. Lovely post, great ideas. Found you via Empty your Archive

  5. I love the sand and sequins bin!