Our Favorite Sensory Bin Goodies!
The possibilities are limitless and the fun is endless!
Explore, Fill, Dump, Sort, Arrange, Discover, Create, Imagine, Play & Learn.
Simple ingredients equals 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 and language skills while giving him the sensory input he needs to stay engaged and focused!
Read All About Sensory Bins: 5 Things You Need To Know!
Sensory bins are awesome for learning and play and can be easy to make!
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, fine motor skills, and so much more. Last year I shared some favorite goodies (here) and I thought it was time to update it!
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!
Containers, Scoops and Funnels
Our favorites come from the recycling bin or are saved from the trash can! Powdered drink mix containers have scoops of all sizes and funnels are great for filling containers! Also many fun kitchen drawer utensils are great for sensory bin play! Check the dollar store for great finds. We have collected many different kinds over the years. Check our first favorite goodies post for those!
Sponges & Fun Water Play Items
Great for water play, transferring water, scrubbing and more!
Tongs & Tweezers
I have a fun variety of small to large tongs and tweezers depending on the activity!
Small Pieces, Loose Parts, Miniatures, Letters & Numbers
Legos, unifix cubes, links, Playmobil, counters (vehicle, bears, etc)
Glass gems, shells, pompoms, beads, rocks, buttons and other natural items
We have dinosaurs, butterflies, frogs, farm animals, safari animals, airplanes, boats and more to add to our different sensory bins and to use for all our early learning activities!
TOOBS are a favorite and make great additions to themed sensory bins!
Letter tiles (even scrabble tiles!), alphabet puzzle pieces, number and letter magnets make great additions for early learning and search and find activities! Fun and easy way to practice pre-reading skills! Build words, practice letter sounds or simple identification!
Extras: Just For Fun & Exploring!
A magnifying glass is fun to place beside a sensory bin.
An aquarium net is great for water play or pretend ocean play.
Fun ice cube trays are great for filling & sorting.
This is a little bit tricky to show unless I do a whole post for just seasonal items! I keep each season stored in its own gallon storage bag. All seasons go into a covered tote. Unless I need something specific for a letter or part of a theme, I save the specific holiday items for the time. This makes it new and interesting! I have a bag for Fall, Halloween, Christmas & Winter, Valentines Day, St Patricks Day, and Easter & Spring. In each bag you will find acrylic shapes for the season like apples and hearts, coins and shamrocks, spiders and jack o lantern buttons, leaves and felt pumpkins, all different kids of hearts, plastic eggs and other Easter goodies, and bells, bows, snowflakes and decorations for Christmas! I will have to share another post on this! Most of it comes from the dollar store and craft stores. I try to not spend more than $8 a holiday and think carefully about how I can re-purpose the items!
Now that you know what to add to a sensory bin to make it loads of fun…
do you need some sensory bin filler ideas?
Here’s my post on our Top 10 Sensory Bin Fillers
Please join our sensory journey with us!
or SUBSCRIBE to us by email on our side bar