My kids have always loved sensory play – from play-doh to fidget spinners to Squishees to sensory bins. There’s just something about using their hands to feel and explore different textures and items that gives them satisfaction, and sensory bins are a great way to incorporate sensory play into your household.
Sensory bins aren’t a new concept, but they’ve definitely evolved to have a theme for every season, holiday or interest. We’ve made winter themed bins with pretend hot cocoa (using cereal as the “chocolate” and adding cups, marshmallows and scoopers) and a Car Washing bin with dirt, Hot Wheels, soapy water, and toothbrushes. The options are endless, and you can even purchase creative bins and kits on Etsy, but it’s actually pretty simple to create your own. There are a ton of adorable options for spring, Easter and gardening, but this one is my absolute favorite! Not only does it have options for pouring and pretend play, it has a great functional purpose and gives children a jumpstart as future gardeners.
Many thanks to Jessica Etcetera for this amazing bin idea!
How to create your own Spring Sensory Bin:
- Filler (dried beans, small rocks or gravel or chickpeas are all super fun options!)
- Small planters and/or pots
- Small watering can
- Faux flowers, plants or veggies to “plant”
- Play gardening tools (small shovel or hoe)
- Plastic bin or other container to hold everything
- Grab your plastic bin or a container to start
- Fill with small items (we usually use dried beans we pick up at the Dollar Tree, but any small filler works)
- Add your gardening supplies, faux plants and anything extra you’d like!
- Watch your kiddo pour, plant and explore (hopefully independently, and hopefully for a good chunk of time!)
If you’re looking for a way to keep your kiddo entertained for awhile, sensory bins are a great option. Warning! Bins can be a bit messy depending on the items you include, so be prepared for a bit of a clean up after playtime, or play ahead of time and lay down a blanket or tablecloth to catch the “crumbs”!