The formula for the perfect sensory bin. Everything you need to know about making these for kids, and exactly what sensory bin tools you should be using.
Sensory play is SO beneficial to kids, and one of the easiest ways to incorporate sensory play into your child’s learning is with sensory bins. We have kind of a formula to putting together sensory bins and using sensory bin tools in my house, and this process makes it really easy for me to put them together, and the kids just love to engage the materials, learning all the while! Shhh, don’t let them know that!
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The Sensory Bin Formula!
Follow this no-fail formula for putting together the perfect sensory bin every time!
Sensory Bin Tools to Start With
I have a collection of sensory bins and trays that I like to keep in a stack in my ‘office’ closet. Depending on the materials and where we will be playing, I’ll choose from a variety of bins. I like to keep clear storage containers with lids on hand so that I can put away the sensory bin when the kids start to get a bit out of hand with them materials, place the lid on, and then bring it out later. A clear storage bin never fails as a sensory bin container.
Once you’ve determined the container, add a sensory base to it! For us, this is typically colored rice, moon sand, water beads, or slime. But, finding edible materials such as colored pasta or pudding/yogurt are great (and messy!) alternatives for kids who still like to put everything in their mouths.
You’ve got a container and a base…you have a sensory bin! Now comes the fun part. Crafting a theme and practicing some fine motor skills! Add in some sensory bin tools such as tweezers or scoops to work on little hand muscles. Containers for scooping into to fill and dump are always fun for little ones. We love to use Safari LTD Toobs for themed animals or figurines which can easily turn your sensory base into something creative and magical.
Lastly, I like to add some scent to really round out the sensory experience. Adding kid-safe essential oils is a really simple way to do this. Lavender is a great addition to a calming sensory bin.
Check out some of our recommendations below for each category, and start building your sensory bin!
Sensory Bins, Trays, & Tables
Clearview Latch Storage ContainerSand ‘n Splash Activity TableInflatable Sensory TrayActivity Plastic Tray
Sensory Bin Fillers
Water Beads Rainbow MixWater Beads Sensory Bin Therapy KitsCoolSandColored RiceSensory Rice, 6 ColorsDIY Fluffy Slime Kit, Crystal Slime Making Kit
Sensory Bin Tools
Learning Resources Squeezy TweezersHandy Scoopers Tongs and Tweezers for Children – Fine Motor Tools, Occupational Therapy, Special Needs, Sensory Bin, Preschool ToolsPlastic Tongs/TweezersReusable Silicone Baking CupsStainless Steel FunnelsWood Scoops
Sensory Bin Animals and Figurines
Safari Ltd Wild TOOBSafari Ltd Insects TOOBSafari Ltd Ocean TOOBSafari Ltd On the Road TOOBSafari Ltd Wild Safari North American Wildlife TOOBSafari Ltd Pets TOOB
Add Essential Oils to Enhance Your Sensory Bin
Aromatherapy Essential Oils for Kids by AlternaKids
Enjoy making sensory bins for your kids! You will be so thrilled with what they are learning through play. Plus, these make for great boredom busters for when kids need something to do, as well as make for excellent calming tools when overstimulated or upset.
Check out this post for some of the really fun sensory bins we have made, for learning and fun!
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