Top Picks for Sensory Bin Goodies
Explore, Fill, Dump, Sort, Arrange, Discover, Create, Imagine, Play & Learn. The possibilities sensory bins offer is unlimited. Simple ingredients=learning through play. It’s easier than you think!
Sensory Bins are fun to make and fun to explore with children. I have been making them for a couple of years now. Check out here for more on how it all began! Bins can be very unique to your child’s learning style, preferences and abilities and can do a wonderful job introducing shapes, colors, letters, numbers and concepts. My son is 4 years old now and still enjoys a variety of textures, themes and activities that go with our sensory bins each week. In addition, to some sensory processing needs, he also has an Aspergers Syndrome diagnosis and ADHD. These bins have really helped to encourage his play skills while giving him the sensory input he needs to stay organized and focused (well maybe not totally focused)!
Our sensory bins are not expensive or elaborate and I bet you already have so many great things around the house. When I am out and about at thrift stores, dollar stores, or craft stores (with my coupons), I am always on the lookout for inexpensive and fun fillers and goodies. I would say my biggest splurge has been on the TOOBS brand packs of animals and themes. Using coupons from Michaels and AC Moore, I am continually picking up new ones. In addition to sensory bin use, these items are easily used for counting, storytelling, and so much more. They also match up with many theme weeks nicely and are good quality! However, some of my best finds are at dollar stores!
Weather bin inspired by Counting Coconuts
Here is my top list of items and variations of those items!
I didn’t pull out everything we have for our sensory bins. It has been sort of a collection process over the months, but what you will see here is an easy to find group of items that can be used from one sensory bin to the next. I try to find items that are multi-purpose and not to specific to one type of sensory bin! Here are some ideas for how to use those goodies too!
Sensory Bin Goodies!
Toobs and other miniatures (even lego, playmobil, or dollhouse pieces!)
construction vehicles (matchbox cars or whatever)
gems of all colors, pom poms, beads, shells, easter eggs, pipe cleaners, (depending on season and holiday!) Right now we have orange and red gems, acrylic pumpkins and apples and leaves as well.
letter tiles or puzzle pieces (add an alphabet printout for matching or words to practice spelling) Place a baking sheet next to the bin for magnets or even a scrabble tile holder!
aquarium net & magnifying glass for examining up close!
tongs, chopsticks, tweezers all varieties for different skills
scoops, ladles, spoons, and measuring cups
multi sized containers and bowls for sorting, dumping and filling
natural elements like stones, sticks, moss
paint palettes, divided serving trays, deviled egg trays, muffin tins and ice-cube trays for sorting, matching and patterning
Need some sensory bin filler ideas?
Here’s my post on our Top 10 Sensory Bin Fillers
So many of these finds came from the dollar store and our local second hand stores!