Creating Your Own Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are a fantastic tool for children to explore and develop their senses. Sensory play engages children in a fun and interactive way, allowing them to learn and explore at their own pace. Sensory bins can be purchased from toy stores, but creating your own and using your own tools can be a fun and affordable way to provide your child with hours of sensory play. Here are some tips on how to create your own sensory bins.

Choose a Container
The first step is to choose a container for your sensory bin. The container should be large enough to hold the sensory materials but not so big that it takes up too much space. Popular container options include plastic bins with lids, baking trays, and shallow cardboard boxes. Remember to consider the weight and sturdiness of the container as well, especially if you plan on using heavier materials.

Select Sensory Materials
Once you have your container, the next step is to choose sensory materials to fill it with. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Rice, beans, or lentils: These materials are great for scooping and pouring and can provide a calming effect.
  • Sand or kinetic sand: Sand provides a great sensory experience for children and can be molded and shaped.
  • Water beads or gel beads: These beads are fun to touch and come in a variety of colors.
  • Shaving cream or whipped cream: These materials can be used for sensory exploration and are also great for drawing in.
  • Pom-poms, feathers, or other soft materials: These materials provide a different texture and can be sorted and manipulated.
  • Add Tools and Toys
To make the sensory experience more interactive, add tools and toys to the sensory bin. Here are some ideas:
  • Scoops and spoons: These can be used for scooping and pouring.
  • Magnifying glasses: These can be used to examine the sensory materials up close.
  • Small cars or animals: These can be used for imaginative play.
  • Wooden/plastic letters or numbers: These can be used for learning and practicing letter and number recognition.
Consider Themes
To make the sensory experience more engaging, consider creating a themed sensory bin. Some ideas include a beach-themed bin with sand and shells, a winter-themed bin with fake snow and winter animals, or a space-themed bin with black beans and glow-in-the-dark stars.

Supervise Play
Remember to supervise play when your child is using the sensory bin, especially if they are young. Ensure that the materials are safe and non-toxic and that your child does not put any of the materials in their mouth.

Creating your own sensory bins is a fun and creative way to provide your child with an engaging sensory experience. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can create a variety of sensory bins that your child will love.

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