A chia seed sensory bin is a fantastic avenue for discovery for teachers and caregivers seeking to enrich kids’ learning experiences through sensory exploration. Beyond their culinary use, chia seeds offer a versatile medium for sensory bins. Let’s explore how to use chia seeds for sensory play for an unique tactile sensory experience!


Chia seed sensory play provides a sensory-rich environment that stimulates kid’s tactile, visual, and proprioceptive senses. The unique texture of the chia seed mixture offers a novel sensory experience that encourages exploration and discovery.

Engaging with chia seeds encourages the development of fine motor skills as children manipulate the seeds with their fingers and hands. Scooping, pouring, and transferring chia seeds promote hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

TIP: Learn all about sensory bins and various fillers (non-food, too)!

How To Make A Chia Seed Sensory Bin

Materials Needed:

  • 1/4 cup of Chia seeds
  • A container or sensory bin
  • 2 cups of water
  • Optional: food coloring, scoops, spoons, containers for pouring


STEP 1: Place the chia seeds in a container or sensory bin.

STEP 2: Add water to cover the seeds. Warm water speeds up the process, but cold water also works.


STEP 3: Optional: Mix in a few drops of food coloring

STEP 4: Let the seeds soak for several hours or overnight (best). They will absorb water and develop a gel-like consistency, part of the sensory experience.

TIP: Make several batches in various colors for your kids to mix together!


Tips For Sensory Play With Chia Seeds

Once the chia seeds have fully expanded and developed a gel-like texture, it’s time to play! Encourage kids to explore the sensory bin with their hands. They can feel the unique texture of the chia seeds and observe how they move and squish between their fingers.

TIP: You can also add small toys or objects to hide within the chia seed mixture for children to discover.


Kids can also use scoops, spoons, or containers to scoop, pour, and transfer the chia seeds, promoting fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

TIP: Put down a plastic shower curtain or tablecloth for easy cleanup!


At its core, sensory play is about engaging the senses to facilitate learning and discovery. Chia seeds sensory play offers children a multi-dimensional experience that stimulates their senses.

As kids run their fingers through the gel-like mixture of chia seeds and water, they are met with a tactile sensation. The seeds provide a cool, slippery texture!

TIP: Experiment with different quantities of chia seeds and water to explore various textures. Make a chia seed swamp!


Easy Chia Seed Cleanup

After playtime, properly dispose of the chia seed mixture in the trash or compost bin so that it does not clog your sink drains! Then you can rinse and wash your bins and spoons as usual. While this is a messy play activity, I would not recommend disposing of it in your yard as it may not be healthy for the wildlife to eat. If it gets on clothes, wipe the chia seeds off with a damp cloth.

Are Chia Seeds Taste-Safe For Sensory Play?

Chia seeds themselves are generally considered safe for consumption and are non-toxic. In fact, they are often used as a nutritious food ingredient.

However, when used for sensory play, it’s essential to consider any additional materials that may have been mixed with the chia seeds, such as food coloring or other additives.

Additionally, they are high in fiber and may cause stomach upset if a large quantity is ingested. We do NOT recommend encouraging any kids to eat sensory play materials.

Potential Choking Hazard: While chia seeds are small, they do have the potential to be a choking hazard, especially for younger kids. Make sure to use age-appropriate materials and supervise play to minimize this risk.

Make Slime With Chia Seeds

Thicker than chia seeds with water, our chia seed slime has one added ingredient that makes for a moldable taste safe edible slime. Pick it up and play with it! It really is an unique and fun texture!

Check out the recipe: Chia Seed Slime


Printable Preschool Bundle

Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle!

What’s Included:

There are 12+ preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series! Science, STEM, Math, Seasons, and more.

Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost and book suggestions add to the learning time.