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Kick off the summer with a tropical themed summer sensory bin! Flamingos are a fantastic theme for summer! Kids love sensory play. Whether you want to explore a popular theme or find a way to sneak in math or fine motor skills, create a simple summer sensory bin! With a few tips, tricks, and ideas, enjoy sensory play all year long! Grab a free printable bingo game and our how to make a sensory bin guide!

Flamingo Summer Sensory Bin

Summer Sensory Activities

Kids love exploring a newly made sensory bin theme with plenty of hands-on play and learning opportunities. Creating a summer sensory bin is a super fun theme for spring. We have so many fantastic summer activities to try!

Below you’ll find many resources to help you assemble fun summer activities. Your kids will have so much fun with the hands-on activities below.


Hands-On Sensory Play Suggestions

Add accessories and tools that encourage fine motor practice with the young age group for which a sensory bin is designed. This can be as simple as scooping the filler into a small container and then dumping it into another container. For a more complex activity, provide kitchen tongs to grab objects and transfer them to a container.

Try it: The variety of materials in this summer sensory bin is perfect for counting, sorting, and classifying!

Try it: Play our free Printable Alphabet Summer Bingo game too (see below)

Free How to Make a Sensory Bin Guide

It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4 to make a sensory bin! Get started today with this simple sensory bin guide.

Tropical Summer Sensory Bin Supplies

NOTE: This sensory bin uses moldable sand or moon sand. You can purchase this material but you can also make your own. We have moon sand, kinetic sand, and a cloud dough recipe you can try.

Optional Sensory Bin Fillers: You aren’t limited to the exact materials we have used for this sensory bin. Use the images below to guide the creation of a dinosaur sensory bin. Feel free to combine and explore materials that work for you in your setting.

Optional Sensory Bin Theme Items: Many items can be purchased through Amazon or at the local dollar store. Additionally, stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels Crafts, and party supply stores are great resources for sensory bins!

The following links show a few suggestions from Amazon but go ahead and see what you have on hand! I am an Amazon Affiliate and receive compensation for items ordered through these links.

SAFETY NOTE: We do NOT recommend using water beads due to extreme health risks. Please DO NOT use this as a sensory bin filler.


How to Set Up a Simple Summer Sensory Bin

This one is so colorful! It’s pretty much a 1-2-3 process for setting up a sensory bin. Remember, it will never look quite as pretty as the moment before your kids dig into it! Don’t make it too complicated.

STEP 1 FILLER: Add your sand to represent the beach and the gems to represent the ocean!


STEP 2 THEMED ITEMS: Place the other items on top, including flamingos, umbrellas, and trees!


STEP 3 BIG ITEMS: Add a scoop, kitchen tongs, and a container if desired.

ENJOY! All that’s left is to invite the kids to explore the contents of the garden sensory bin! 


TIP: Always add a few themed books to the side of the bin as a nice transition between activities. Go for a tropical theme! Learn about flamingos, have a fancy fruit juice drink, or try a new tropical fruit.

Free Alphabet Summer Bingo Game

More Fun Summer Activities to Try

We have classic summer fun all season long with simple science, art, and play for kids of all ages!

The Best Sensory Bin, Tub, or Sensory Table To Use

Please note I am sharing Amazon Affiliate links below. I may receive compensation through any purchases made.

Start with the right sensory bin or tub when creating a sensory bin for kids of all ages. With the right size bin, kids will be at ease playing with the contents, and the mess can be kept to a minimum.

Is a sensory table a good choice? A more expensive, heavy-duty sensory table, such as this one, allows one or more kids to stand and play comfortably. This was always my son’s favorite sensory bin, and it works just as well for home use as it does in the classroom. Roll it right outside!

If you need a sensory bin set on a table, make sure the sides are not too tall so kids do not feel like they are struggling to reach into it. Aim for a side height of around 3.25 inches. If you can place it on a child-size table, that makes it much better. Under the bed storage bins also work well for this. Grab a plastic kitchen sink dish pan from the dollar store if you need a quick, cheap alternative!

Unless you have space restrictions, try to pick a size that gives your kids room to play around without continually knocking the contents out of the bin. These more compact sensory bins with lids are a good alternative.

Sensory Bin Tips and Tricks

TIP: Due to various sensory needs, some kids may feel more comfortable standing to engage in the activity. Sitting on the floor or kneeling in front of a sensory bin may also be uncomfortable. My son’s sensory needs made standing the best choice for us.

TIP: When designing a themed sensory bin, consider how many items you put into the bin versus the size of the bin. Too many items may feel overwhelming. If your kid is playing happily with the sensory bin, resist the urge to add just one more thing!

TRICK: It’s important for the adult to model the appropriate use of sensory bins and to keep a close eye on young kids who may want to throw the filler and items. Keep a kid-size broom and dustpan handy to help them learn how to clean up spills.

Learn more about sensory bins here!

Homemade Sensory Play Recipes