With Gardening season fast approaching for us I thought a gardening themed sensory bin would be fun for the kids – and since we had a sudden bout of great weather, I turned it into a messy gardening sensory play! 


Originally this messy bin wasn’t a messy play idea but spring was just arriving when we did this – aka, there was finally sunshine and warmth outside! I couldn’t resist the temptation to take this activity outdoors which created the perfect opportunity to add the watering can of water into it. 

Our set up used a small bin of dirt (about one small bag from Dollarama) but if you don’t want to use dirt, check out the variations at the end of this article!

We love having our Ikea Flisat table for these activities. The various options of bin sizes and set up’s allows it to be super versatile for a wide variety of activities. For this set up I used two of the smallest bins and one regular/shallow bin. 

If you don’t have an Ikea Flisat table, you could use any sort of trays or plastic bins you want! This gardening messy play would be perfect for a mud kitchen as well. 

Needless to say, they had a great time. 

Since they’ve done gardening with me in the past they were already familiar with the process of adding dirt into the pot, planting the flower and then watering it.

The eldest took the planting process very seriously, while the twins were much more interested in turning the dirt bin into a mud party. 

Honestly, I really can’t blame them. 

Since we did this activity while it was still a bit chilly outside, the girls all wore their CeLaVi rain suits that were gifted to us from Modern Rascals!

They’re two piece rain suits to allow for versatility. The splash pants are bibbed pants, which means they come up the chest and have straps. The jackets come with removable hoods and adjustable wrists. The bibbed pants are perfect for messy play activities like this – I don’t have to worry about how dirty their clothes are getting, the pants stay up and there’s less skin to clean after too!

You can check out the CeLaVi rain suit h e r e!

Teaching opportunities: 

  • Specifics about flowers (parts of the flower, what kind of flowers they are…)
  • How to care for plants
  • Why flowers need sun, water and dirt to grow
  • Names of different gardening tools 

Possible variations: 

  • Skip the water for less mess
  • Vegetables instead of flowers
  • Add beans to represent seeds 
  • Use coffee beans, lentils, dry beans or rice instead of real dirt to play indoors




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