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!
You may also like these posts on getting started with simple bins and getting organized!
Great ideas, we use most of those as well, we are also really fond of baking soda, vinegar, flour, food coloring, balloons, and glowsticks, also as part of something we always keep on hand, Love you blog!
Thanks for reading! My next post will actually be my top 10 fillers!We love baking soda, flour and vinegar too. We also probably use more food coloring than the average family lol!Did you see my color mixing and cotton balls post?
Great post! I’m going to share it with my special needs homeschooling group! 🙂 Sensory bins are always a great topic there. 😉
I am so happy to hear! Thanks! Yes, my little one has special needs and they do make a difference in our lives! I will be doing another with top 10 fillers!
Awesome Thank You!
This is the only time I’ve been to your website. Thnx for posting more information.
Love this list! It is great for giving me fresh ideas -thank you!
Fantastic post! Now can you do a post on where and how you store it all? Please!? 🙂
I’m having trouble finding tongs that are small enough for little hands and not too slippery. I also can’t find upper/lowercase letter tiles that aren’t too expensive. Where did you find yours?
I use a lot of tongs from the dollar store. Learning resources company makes some good stuff too. I bought the tiles off of amazon. Sometimes 2nd hand stores have wooden alphabet puzzles and you can use the pieces or even a 2nd hand scrabble game! Laminating letters from a computer printout will also make some durable letter tiles!
Question…in one of your photos above, I am interested in what kind of container that is with the Lego construction trucks, rocks, Legos and rocks, Lego men, etc. in it. It’s beige with small circular areas…you have placed rocks and Legos it there. Thanks
It’s actually just an outdoor water table from step 2 or little tikes. I bought it a big box store. Great for indoors and outdoors!
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