Make an indoor cranberry sensory bin for some simple science and cranberry sensory play with kids! Perfect for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Sensory bins are excellent for language development, memory, fine motor skills and more! This cranberry and water sensory bin is simple to put together and easy for kids of all ages to play with.
It makes a great activity for one and two year olds, as babies and toddlers love to splash in the water. Toddlers can squish and scoop the cranberries, and older preschoolers can count as they play.
Cranberry Sensory Bin
Have you ever seen how cranberries grow and are harvested? This video is perfect for showing kids the process – they grow in a bog which is flooded with water right before the cranberries are harvested. The cranberries float to the top of the water to be collected.
We decided to make our own indoor cranberry sensory play bog to explore this process a bit more! This is such a great Fall sensory activity for babies.
What you need to make a cranberry sensory bin:
Related Resource: Printable Activity Cards for 1 Year Olds!
What to do to make the cranberry sensory bin:
Add your cranberries to a large plastic bin and have your kids pour water into the bin of cranberries. Ask your children what they think will happen to the cranberries, will they sink or float?
I found a few kitchen tools that I thought would work well with this bin. I tried to find utensils with holes in them so that the kids could skim the water, collecting the cranberries.
M’s favorite tool to use was the garlic press! He spent a LONG time just filling it up and smashing cranberries. He observed what the inside looked like, how the skin was different than the inside of the berry, and that the water turned red when the smashed berries were added to the bin.
The squeezing of the tool was a great fine motor workout for all of the muscles in his little hands. These little muscles are responsible for some important skills, such as handwriting!
The potato masher was another favorite tool for smashing up some cranberries.
Cranberry Sensory Bin for Babies and Toddlers
Even my littlest guy (6 months) couldn’t resist splashing around in the cranberry bog, his eyes were so wide, I could just see the wheels turning. Sensory play is SO important even for the littlest of babes!
This bin is great for little ones because the cranberries are edible, so if a child were to put one in his mouth and chew it, the cranberry wouldn’t harm them. However, they could pose a choking hazard for small babies.
Toddlers love to scoop and transfer items, and this is great heavy work for them. Set two smilers bins of water next to each other for them to practice scooping and transferring with the berries.
Cranberry Sensory Bin for Preschoolers
The bigger kids did take the opportunity to taste a raw cranberry, adding to their sensory experience! Additionally, preschoolers can practice counting with cranberries.
Set some smaller bowls or a muffin tin next to the cranberry sensory bin for them to count cranberries into.
They were fascinated with exploring the inside of the cranberry, how many seeds it contained, and the shape of the seed pod. I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know the inside of the cranberry was white! Did you know that?
After we were finished with our exploration, we washed and drained our collection of berries and baked a cranberry and apple pie 🙂 When we use food for sensory play, I try not to let it go to waste if possible.
More sensory play for kids: