Sensory bins for kids we love!
You’ve probably heard that sensory bins for kids are an excellent way for young children to learn and explore. But what exactly is a sensory bin, and why is sensory play important?
More importantly, how will sensory play benefit both my child and myself? As a parent being pulled in many directions, it is a top priority to find an activity that holds educational value and longevity.
Well, this is it! Sensory bins are for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids!
What changes over the years is what we put inside the sensory play to match the child’s stage of learning and development.
Here you will learn about the benefits of sensory play and how to simplify bringing them into your home. Less mess, more play!
What is a sensory bin?
A sensory bin is a container filled with materials that allow young child to explore their senses. – and that’s not all!
Sensory bins also help young children work through emotions, frustrations, and thoughts that they may not vocalize.
Early learners learn through experiences.
Toddlers and preschoolers need to touch and move objects around to make higher-level connections and move beyond worksheets.
Sensory bins allow children to learn through investigation, discovery and problem-solving regarding safety and interest levels.
Here are items that can go into sensory bins!
Sensory play explores what items look like, how they feel if they make sounds, and perhaps even how they smell and taste.
Here are popular sensory bin fillers:
- cloud dough
- colored pasta
- ice cubes
- kinetic sand – beach sand
- oats oobleck
- pom poms
- pudding rice
- shaving cream
- shredded paper
- water and dishsoap for bubbles
Add any of these items to an under-the-bed storage bin or sensory table along with some common kitchen tools to get started!
Why are sensory bins beneficial to children?
Sensory bins offer many hands-on ways for children to learn.
Sensory bins allow toddlers and preschoolers to touch, look, hear, grasp, stack, fill, dump, connect, twist, balance, transport, construct, inspire and stimulate the imagination.
Phew! Those are more benefits that we would have thought about.
When children learn to interact with sensory bins, they begin to have opportunities that offer higher-level thinking. Children will make predictions and test limits that lead to discovery.
Now that we have a better understanding what a senosry bin is and why it is important, let’s dive into some play ideas!
Clean and Simple Sensory play
Let’s start with keeping things simple. These sensory bins typically stay within the play space and are quick to clean up.
- 20 Activities for Kintetic Sand – Days with Grey
- Bear Soup – Days with Grey
- Button Water Sensory Play – Days with Grey
- Cranberry Scoop – Days with Grey
- Fall Bean Mix Up – Days with Grey
- Farm Sensory Play – Teaching Two and Three Year Olds
- Letter Bin Sensory Hunt – Here Wee Learn
- Sensory Sorting – Busy Toddler
- Sound Tubes – No Time for Flashcards
- Sticky Pumpkin – Days with Grey
- Trucks and Oats – Toddler Approved
Water and Ice Sensory Play
Water and ice – you are my favorite. These are my everyday, go-to sensory play activities because they are SUPER SIMPLE to set up. Even cleanup is a breeze by wiping it down with a towel when finished.
- 35 Water Games for Kids – Days with Grey
- Alphabet Sensory Bag – The Best Ideas for Kids
- Apple Scoop and Sort – Days with Grey
- Frozen Water Ice Pods – Days with Grey
- Halloween Water Play – Days with Grey
- Ice Skating Bears – Days with Grey
- Magnetic Sensory Bottles – The Best Ideas for Kids
- Outdoor Tracks Water Play – Days with Grey
- Pool Noodle Water Wall – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Pour to the Lines – Days with Grey
- Ribbon Sensory Play – My Bored Toddler
- Scoop the Limes – Days with Grey
- Water and Paint Sensory Play – Days with Grey
Messy Sensory Play
Now let’s have some fun! These ideas may be messy, but the memories last a lifetime. Remember that time when…
- Bugs in Muck – No Time for Flashcards
- Decorate the Box Cake – Days with Grey
- Halloween Messy Sensory Play – Days with Grey
- Rainbow Oobleck – Toddler Approved
- Scissor Skills Spaghetti Sensory Play – Days with Grey
- Shapes and Shaving Cream – Days with Grey
- Shaving Cream and LEGOS – Days with Grey
- Shaving Cream Car Tracks – Days with Grey
- Shredded Paper Pool – Busy Toddler
- Taste Safe Strawberry Bin – Days with Grey
Sensory bins do what they sound like they do. They engage touch, smell, sight, and sometimes sound and taste. Touching new textures create different paths in the brain to enhance learning. Sensory bins are an easy way to reach more learning potential!
The main thing I consider with sensory bins is texture. I use it as an opportunity to introduce new objects that taste safe and are not a choking hazard depending on my child’s age and stage. Our favorite sensory fillers are beans, water, rocks and kinetic sand (not taste safe).
We love using under the bed storage bin and an indoor cycling mat to sit on as my children play. Read how to introduce sensory play here.