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Sensory bins invoke a lot of questions like where do you find the containers, what items do you use for bases, and what do you actually put in a sensory bin. Today I’m going to share with you 5+ sensory bin container ideas and the benefits of each one.
First what exactly is a sensory bin? In a nutshell, a sensory bin is a safe way for children to explore objects with their hands. Sensory bins allow for tactile and visual exploration in a contained area. Sensory bins can also include the other sense by being edible (gustatory), having a scent (olfactory), or making noise (auditory).
5+ Sensory Bin Container Ideas
- Plastic bin with lid – With two kids I found that a 15 quart plastic bin with a lid was the perfect size for most of our sensory activities. A plastic shoe box would be good for one kid while an underbed storage bin would be great for 3 or more kids. The 15 qt bin is big enough to hold a variety of items and bases without getting too heavy so it is portable. The lid allows for easy storage and allowing the sensory bin to be used again.
- Plastic kiddie pool – A plastic kiddie pool is great for water or ice sensory bins. The plastic pool gives the kids plenty of room to explore and get wet! Since kiddie pools are usually emptied daily they are fairly portable. Consequently, the sensory bin does not store well and has to be taken down and set up each day.
- Water table – A water table is another fun way to explore water or ice sensory bins. Water tables usually contain different levels so the kids can see and explore gravity too. They are very easy to move around since they have to be emptied every day. Again, the downside to a water table is that the sensory bin does not store well and requires set up and tear down each day.
- Plastic bottle – Reusing a plastic bottle is a fun way to create individual sensory bins. They are also easy to store and can be used over and over again. Plastic bottle sensory bins are very portable (great for the car) and do not create messes since the lids are glued and/or taped closed.
- Sandbox – A sandbox is really just a big sensory bin. Sandboxes are big enough to hold a variety of big items like shovels, buckets, and dump trucks. However, they are not portable since once you fill it with sand you can not easily move it around. But if you use the ones that have lids then they can be used over and over again.
- Plastic baby wipe container – Reusing a plastic baby wipe container is a great way to create a travel-size sensory bin. A baby wipe container is easy to store and can be used over and over again. This would be a great sensory bin container for visiting family, friends, or going on vacation.
- Ziploc bag – A Ziploc bag makes a good sensory bin for toddlers, just didn’t use the slider kind. It allows them to play with something squishy but not edible and doesn’t create a mess. Ziploc bags make great sensory bins for the car.
- Bathtub – A bathtub is a great substitution for a kiddie pool or water table. It allows the kids to play in it like a pool or outside it like a water table. A bathtub is a fun way to contain water or ice sensory bins especially when it’s raining or too hot outside.
Be sure to stop by my Homeschool Sensory Exploration page where I link all of our sensory bins. And if you are looking for more homeschool activities, make sure you check out my Homeschool page which contains links to our book lists, crafts, and math & science.
Have a great day!
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Looking for more fun sensory bins? Check out my Homeschool: Sensory Exploration board on Pinterest!