(borrowed from www.loveplaylearn.com)
Sensory bins are a great way for children to learn using all 5 senses at once. Child development theorist Jean Piaget described the way children learn by calling them “little scientists“. Through sensory play and sensory bins, children are using the scientific method and are also building pre-math skills, fine motor skills, language skills, imaginative play, and much much more. Not only that but sensory bins are so visually appealing and fun!
Check out these 200 sensory bin ideas!
To create a sensory bin you must first have a container to put you sensory materials in. I use one similar to this clear plastic container, that is a 6 pack and you only need one. You can also do a mini sensory bin.
Next, you must decide on the theme of your bin and gather your supplies You don’t have to have a theme but making themed sensory bins can be a lot of fun. I love doing them for holidays.
Most sensory bins have a base which is usually made with rice or another sensory material. Next you add other items including scooping materials such as spoons, measuring cups, etc for scooping and pouring.
What do I put in a sensory bin?
Here are a list of some possible bases:
Here are a list of some manipulative items:
For more great sensory bin ideas The Imagination Tree has wonderful sensory bins. Play Create Explore has a huge collection of beautiful and fun sensory bin ideas.
Sensory Bin Tips
1.Be mindful of choking hazards.
Sensory bins are supposed to be a closely supervised activity. Only put in what you are comfortable with your child handling. When I had a toddler I stick with things that are edible and that won’t be hazardous if ingested.
2. Take sensory bins outside or use a “mess mat” when indoors to contain the mess.
I use a plastic shower curtain liner for the dollar store as my “mess mat” that I put under the sensory bin.
Don’t worry, you can’t go wrong with a sensory bin. You can be as elaborate or as simple as you want to get and it will still be very beneficial for your child.
4. Get in on the fun
Help your child get even more out of sensory bins by playing with them! Some sensory bins I enjoy playing with just as much as my child. They can be very relaxing to run your hands through! You can help them expand their knowledge while exploring. Talk with them and introduce new vocabulary words.
5.Store the materials in a large ziplock bag until you want to get it out to play again.
Most of the materials can be stored for many months and used whenever you want.