My guilty pleasure is scrolling through my phone to find new, fun activities to try out with my kids. I homeschool both my kids, so I try to keep our day-to-day activities fun and exciting. What caught my eye while scrolling were these sensory bins I keep seeing online . . .
These bins were decked out with pasta, rice, dry beans, fun little toys, and cups. The sensory bins I saw were crafted into fun themes. Growing up we had no “sensory bins,” so this was something that I wanted to try out with my kids.
What Are Sensory Bins?
While researching sensory bins, I quickly realized that they are so much more than what meets the eye. There are so many benefits to having your child play with them.
Sensory bins help children promote their imagination. Along with that, it encourages using their fine motor skills. This is done, for example, by putting in small things such as pom poms and allowing them to spoon the pom poms into a tiny cup. I also love that these can even promote educational learning activities by adding sight words, numbers, or STEM activities.
However, one of the main reasons why I love a sensory bin is that it promotes relaxation. I can truthfully tell you that, as a mom who can be stressed out at times, my guilty pleasure is playing with the sensory bins along with my children. Hands down, it’s a very calming activity.
If you are like me and want to dive into creating these bins, look no further! Sensory bins are so easy to make.
Creating a Sensory Bin
First, you can decide whether you want to have a theme for the sensory bins. The themes can be endless: dinosaurs, coffee stations, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, flower gardens, and the list can go on.
Second, decide the type of bin you would like them to be in. I usually purchase plastic shoe box bins from Walmart, Target, or Hobby Lobby stores. These bins are perfect because they have a lid to it, and you can stack them.
Next, choose the base for these sensory bins. The base can range from dried pasta, rice, or dried beans. You can take it an extra step and dye your base with food coloring. Personally, I have not attempted to do that. But if you want to go the extra mile, do it! If not, that’s okay too, you can add color with the items added into the bins.
Now it’s time to add the pizzazz!
Generally, after I have found the theme, my go-to items for sensory bins are playdough, pop poms, fuzzy craft pipe cleaners, and mini cups.
The last sensory bin I made was for Valentine’s Day. At my local craft store, I found a mini rolling pin great for playdough. I added red, white, and pink pipe cleaners and pom poms. Then I found a mini cup to have them scoop the items that I put in.
But if a Valentine’s Day bin is not for you, there are endless possibilities! If your child is interested in dinosaurs, you could simply add little dinosaurs and green filler items (playdough, pom poms, pipe cleaners, etc) to go with the theme. For a shark theme, you can add items that are grey and blue. Have fun with this part!
Our next couple of sensory bins that we will be making will go along with our themed subjects for homeschool — such as human anatomy and space!
For your pizzazz items, I recommend looking at your local craft store, party store, or even Amazon for fun items to add to your bins. Or perhaps you love the idea of a sensory bin but want to purchase one that is already premade. There are so many websites that offer sensory bins that are premade.
I hope this inspires you to research sensory bins for your children! My children, who are in elementary school, absolutely love playing with them!