So this past Saturday morning I wanted to entertain my toddler and keep her a bit occupied while my husband and I cleaned up the enormous mess of a house. I decided to put together what I consider the easiest sensory bin of all time. I used only items I had around the house so it was “free”.
Easy Sensory Bin Materials
- Dishpan – I bought this at the dollar store for….a dollar
- Half a bag of corn – Found in the back of my pantry
- Box of orzo – I never use orzo when cooking so I didn’t mind sacrificing it.
- Empty water bottle – I cut it in half and made sure that it didn’t have any jagged edges.
- One pom pom – We have a slew of them lying around so I just picked one up and threw it in.
- Sand shovel – Last year’s sand toys have become every day toys so I put the shovel sand sifter in the mix.
- Wooden spoon – My daughter’s favorite utensil.
- Toy kitchen pot – The perfect size for the bin.
It took about 4 minutes to put together and now my toddler is OBSESSED with it. I must say she is making a bit of a mess so you can see from the pictures we played on the tile floor for easy clean up. While this may seem a like a VERY rudimentary sensory bin, we were able to set her up with a few games that she could expand on.
Quick Sensory Bin Activities
- Started by just having her place her hands in it to feel the texture and letting the corn slip through her fingers.
- Hide the pom pom in the bin and have her find it.
- Have her try to find the pom pom through sense of touch while we covered her eyes
- Use the water bottle as a funnel and make a pile in one corner of the bin
- Stir everything with a wooden spoon
I have a tendency to hate it when my kid makes a mess. And the thing about sensory play is that it is MESSY and you have to let go a little and just allow them to make a mess. So while I did lay out the rule that she couldn’t take the corn and pasta out of the bin, if it flew out I didn’t make a huge deal about it. We’ll just clean up at the end.
I suggest starting with just the bin and slowly introducing each “tool” throughout play. I found my 2 year old getting a bit bored with one item but as soon as I introduced another tool she was re-engaged. It then allows her to explore how to use the new tool alone and in conjunction with the other tools.
At the end of playing I just poured the contents of the bin into some big plastic bags to save for another play session. And that was it. She spend a solid hour exploring every aspect of the bin.
What type of easy bins do you create on the fly?
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