We have been loving playing and creating sensory bins this Spring. Sensory bins are such an amazing way to get your little ones engaged in so many different kinds of play. They can lead to the discovery of new textures, independent play, and endless pretend play to expand your child’s imagination.
One of my favorite things to do is try to create a new sensory bin each week for my daughter to enjoy during those afternoon slumps. Here are a few of our recent sensory bins that we have been loving this Spring!
Frozen Shaving Cream Insect Sensory Bin
This shaving cream sensory bin is the perfect messy play to mix things up for your little bug lover! To make this insect sensory bin all I did was squirt some shaving cream into a bin, add a few drops of green food coloring, and added some of our bug figurines from Melissa and Doug that I have collected. I froze the bin for a few hours after mixing the shaving cream together before we played with it. This new sensory bin texture was super fun to play with. I encourage a lot of different sensory play for Little Miss Toddler because she’s always weary of them at first. I put this insect bin inside of a larger bin to contain the mess and added some fine motor tools with a bowl of water to extend the rescue play!
Frozen Duck Pond Rescue
I mean it when I say, FREEZE ALL THE THINGS! I love frozen toy rescues and this one is no different! Prep this one in no time and save it for an afternoon that you need to entertain and occupy your kids. Little Miss Toddler loves these little rubber ducks and now that we’re starting our May Learn and Play Toddler Activities we will be doing a lot of talking about pond life! So we started with a duck pond frozen rescue activity! Once we rescued all of the ducks from their icy pond, we counted them and played in the water bin that the ice left by putting them onto different “logs” aka the bowl! I served up this frozen duck pond to Little Miss with a bowl of warm water, a squeeze bottle, a bowl of salt, a play scoop, and tweezers to help with the extraction.
To set this sensory activity up there are a few things you need:
- A freezer safe container
- Small rubber ducks or other small toys
- A squeeze bottle, a spray bottle, or water bottle with a spout
- Food dye (a few green drops goes a long way)
I like to place the ducks inside the container with water and a few drops of green food coloring and put it into the freezer overnight. A little before you’re ready to play, run the frozen pond under some warm water to get it out of the container to loosen and transfer to a large shallow bin for the rescue mission. Take the little duck pond into the bath for an extra layer of tub fun!
Pond Life Sensory Bin
We are big fans of water beads over here so I loved putting this pond life sensory bin together for Little Miss Toddler! I used one of our May picture books for inspiration to create this sensory bin. To create this bin you need:
- Blue, white and green water beads
- White plastic flowers
- Rubber ducks
- Frog and Turtle bath toys
- A wood bowl turned over to make a large rock
We used two tablespoons of water beads and six cups of water and let the water beads sit in a large bowl for up to 4-6 hours. I added fine motor tools like spoons, shovels, handy scoopers, and extra bowls and let my daughter explore and have fun! This one led to some imaginary animal play and then Little Miss decided that her princesses needed to take a swim in the pond too. I said, why not?! I hope you enjoy this one for your pond life study with your toddlers!
Frozen Bug Rescue
I have mentioned this one before but it was worth mentioning again because it was so much fun! This frozen bug rescue uses the same bug figurines that we used for our frozen shaving cream sensory bin and we love using them over and over again! Little Miss Toddler loves these little bugs and they are perfect to freeze and rescue! Once we rescued all of the bugs from their icy block, we counted them, sorted them by color, and played in the water bin that this ice left. So many learning opportunities all in one is my favorite kind of activity! I served up this frozen block of buggy ice to Little Miss Toddler with a bowl of water, a squeeze bottle, a bowl of salt, a play shovel, and tweezers to help with the extraction.
To set this super easy sensory activity up, there are a few things you need:
- A freezer safe container
- Small bugs or other small toys
- A squeeze bottle, spray bottle, or water bottle with a spout
- Food dye
I like to place the bugs inside the container with water and a few drops of green food dye and put it into the freezer overnight. After her nap, I take the container out, run it under warm water for a few minutes to loosen and transfer to a large shallow bin for the rescue mission.
This is such a fun one!
Baking Cupcakes Sensory Play
A little truth time here, I am not a baker. So, instead of trying to bring Little Miss Toddler into the baking mess that I usually make in the kitchen, I decided to set up a little sensory baking invitation instead! This was such a fun and simple set up that you could absolutely recreate at home! I used a muffin tin and some plastic cups, filled them with shaving cream, and added some decorating accessories like water beads, sprinkles, and birthday candles. No water beads? No problem! Use shredded paper, gems, pony beads, mini erasers…the possibilities are endless!
Invitation to Plant Flowers
Trying to fill our days with colorful and hands-on activities. These water beads are a favorite around here and I soaked them overnight to get them a little bigger to fill our colorful pots with. A cheerful invitation to plant flowers was the perfect Spring activity for this afternoon. You could adapt this and have your little ones sort their water beads into the colored pots to match or just invite them to plant and play. If you’ve never used water beads before I highly recommend them, they’re so fun to play with! Save this one to try with your little ones when you need to add a little color to your day!
I hope you have found a few new sensory bin ideas to keep you and your kids busy and having fun together at home! These sensory bins are perfect for the afternoon where you need to change things up or add a new element of fun to your day!
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If you’re looking for more hands-on activities to do with your toddlers and preschoolers at home this Spring, check out our monthly hands-on activity printables and games in our Teachers Pay Teachers store here!