I love looking back at this sensory bin – it was the one we did the very first day daycare opened! I was so scared something would go wrong, or that I’d be finding beans around the room for weeks afterwards. But nothing went wrong, the kids loved it and it requested multiple times afterwards.

Here’s our butterfly habitat sensory bin!


I went a little bit all out with this one – but it’s still on the simpler side for prep.

Base materials: 

  • White beans
  • Lentils
  • Fake grass (mine are the square ones Dollarama releases with their summer line)
  • Fake flowers pulled off their stems (I thrifted mine for super cheap) 


I first put down the lentils and beans. I would only do one or the other if you don’t enjoy sorting beans out of lentils for an hour afterwards. Then I shook the fake grass into the beans/lentils, added the flowers and lastly the butterflies. 

We did this during monarch butterfly season,

so they were already seeing so many butterflies coming and going outside. But could never see them up-close. This was a fun way to address butterflies, talk about them and have a zero percent chance of a baby squishing one. 

Next year the goal is to actually raise a butterfly through it’s phases. But for now, this bin will do!

(UPDATE: We did end up raising butterflies – you can read about it here..)

If you aren’t a butterfly person (or simply don’t have butterfly figures!) you could turn this into a bug hunt of any kind. Use the little spiders if it’s close to Halloween, or ladybugs in the fall when they’re all sneaking inside. 

Happy bug catching!



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