DIY tutorial

DIY: Quick & Easy Sensory Bins


Originally published 1/25/2018

Today, I’ve got a tutorial for a quick & easy DIY for toddlers! My son is 21 months and loooooves getting his hands on any and everything. He loves exploring, digging, smooshing, and just overall checking out life through his sense of touch (also loves to sniff and eat everything). I made some homemade moon sand last week and he LOVED it, so I figured I’d make a couple more things at home that he could use to explore touch. These sensory bins are perfect for kids 18 months+. What’s even better: you probably have a lot of things that would be great for this activity in your home already. If not, all of the things I’ve used can be purchased at the dollar store. This project has two qualities I love in an activity: it’s cheap AND easy!

What you’ll need:

  • 3 bins with lids (for storage)
  • 1 bag of rice
  • 1 bag of dry beans
  • 1 bag of cotton balls
  • assorted small toys (dinos, cars, cats, dogs, etc.)
  • digging/cooking utensils

After gathering your materials, pour a bag of each dry ingredient into each bin. Place your assorted toys into the bins. I chose to have mine themed. The beans have reptiles in them. The cotton balls have cats and dogs. The rice has sea creatures.

The neat thing about these is that you can always change out the toys as your child grows or his/ or her likes/dislikes change. They can also be used for learning games. You could hide magnet or foam letters/numbers inside for kids who can identify them or are learning to. Maybe use crayons or other colored objects to sharpen color recognition skills. Try wooden block shapes, toy food, toy cars…the possibilities are endless! Get creative with yours and make them your own! Keep in mind the age appropriateness of certain materials for your kiddos. Consider items that would not be harmful in the event they are (inevitably) taste-tested & avoid those that present potential choking hazards.

Watch as your littles explore the textures, colors, and types of items you’ve hidden!

So what will you be doing with your sensory bins? What themes come to mind for your child(ren)? Other materials to use for burying? I’d love to hear from you! Use the hashtag #HeyShantelle on IG if you make bins using this tutorial.

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