Do sensory bins sound like something your little would like? Do they also sound like a lot of work? The truth is, once you get a few basics, sensory bins are the easiest fun you can create for your kids. Here are some basic things to grab next time you are at the store to make sensory bins a breeze.
- The Bin. There are lots of fancy sensory bins out there that cost more than $100. That is crazy to me. Next time you are at the store, just grab a Sterlite container. Better yet, you may have one in storage that you aren’t even using. This particular item is way cheaper to purchase in person versus online. Said Sterlite container will work just as well as the fancy high ticket ones. I mean its a bin for goodness sakes.
- Fillers. All you really need is just one or two fillers to get started. We have three that we rotate. Our fillers of choice are rice, beans, and water beads. For my rice and beans, I bought the biggest bags of rice and beans I could find in the grocery aisle. Despite being such big bags they were still far cheaper than any toy I could have bought that day. We store our rice and beans in 2-gallon zip lock bags and they will last us for years if we want them to. You could also grab cornmeal or flour to use as a filler. For our first ever sensory bin, I crushed Chex cereal when my oldest was about a year old to use as filler. I wanted something that would be edible if need be because he was still at the age where things went in the month. I ordered our water beads on Amazon. You can order the same ones here (ad). They also last forever. (Please note that water beads are a choking hazard and should only be used with older children while under adult supervision). Another fun filler from Amazon is kinetic sand. We have some of this and we love the way it feels, but we don’t have enough to fill our sensory bins with it yet. You can get kinetic sand here. In the summertime, water also makes for great sensory play! The options are endless, but you really just need one to get started.
- Themed Toys. You honestly can make a sensory bin with any type of themed toys you already have. Our first bin was with my son’s diggers and trucks. You can also use any animals, dinosaurs, anything really. If you are wanting to get an assortment, I recommend this (ad) set. It comes with tubes of farm animals, sea animals, dinosaurs, bugs, and safari animals. Each tube comes out to only about $3, and the quality is pleasing based on the price. My son loves the bug tube especially! We also love to buy holiday-themed items at the dollar store. I recently bought some large jingle bells for our Christmas sensory bin that I am so excited about.
- The Tools. Your kitchen is the best place to get tools. I often grab a pair of cooking tongs, measuring cups, and plastic bowls to accompany our sensory bins. Beyond what we can find in the kitchen, our favorite tools to use are these (ad) sensory tools. We use the tongs and tweezers all the time. I highly recommend them! I also picked up some basic scoops like these (ad) to use. The key with tools is to pick a few and keep it simple. Less is more. Too many tools can be overwhelming.
Sensory bins have quickly become a favorite in our house. Give it a try, I am sure your kiddos will love them too.
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