Easy Sensory Bin Ideas

Need some ideas for kids activities? Here’s five sensory bin ideas that are sure to be a hit!

Sensory bin play has been a life saver for me in a number of ways.

Having kids is a wonderful, beautiful thing – but it can also be one hell of an exhausting ride. Add in the pressures of social media and it can be hard to decide if we’re doing enough or the ‘right’ things for our kids! Are we playing enough? Are we giving them enough experiences? Most importantly: how the heck do I get anything done when I have young kids that need attention and activities? 

This is where sensory bin activities comes flying in like a superhero for me. Every single one, even the simplest of set ups, have been a hit in our house since our kids were young; they’re engaging, keep the kids happy and allow me to keep an eye on what they’re doing while I drink hot coffee, do some light cleaning or get some work done! (I’m typing this up today thanks to a fun indoor snow sensory bin…)

While sensory bins can be quite extravagant and expensive it’s not totally necessary. It’s quite easy to set up a fun activity for them with materials sitting in your house on a regular basis!

Here’s five simple sensory bin set ups you can do at home on a rainy/snowy day, when you need something to fill in an hour or you’re just at your whits end and need a damn break. 

But Ashleigh, how do you even set up a sensory bin you ask?

In our house we use two main vessels for sensory activities: our Ikea Flisat table as well as our Active World Tray from Scholar’s Choice. While both are two higher priced items, we’ve owned both for a few years now and they’ve held up perfectly, have been used a million times are are versatile with their play options. If you’re not up to spending that much, or just don’t have the space for them (I’ve been there!) you can really use any plastic bin or tray you’d like.

Next I choose a base material that works with the theme I’m going for (and also what I feel like cleaning up after) – think snow, sand, oobleck, cereal, slime… It can even be as simple at oats or flour! Keep your kiddos ages in mind for things like potential choking hazards and allergies when picking your base. Once I have a base, I add some utensils and/or toys that work with it and voila – a simple sensory bin set up! 

Alright, now that we’re all on the same page let’s get to those five sensory bin set up ideas.

1. Taste Safe Rainbow Sensory Bin

Materials used: 

See the full details here!

2. Oobleck Sensory Bin

Materials used: 

  • Cornstarch 
  • Water
  • Foam letters
  • Random bits and bobs 

see the full details here!

3. Construction Site Sensory Bin 

Materials used: 

4. Arctic Animals Sensory Bin 

Materials used: 

See all the details here!

5. Foam Sensory Bin 

Materials used: 

  • Ikea Flisat table
  • Ikea Trofast bins 
  • Learning Resources Fine Motor Tool Set
  • Some thrifted heart shaped lacing beads
  • Some thrifted kitchen utensils 
  • Thrifted faux flowers
  • Dish soap 
  • Water
  • Blender 

Read the details here!

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Looking for more kids activities? Check these out: 

Why We Love Our Ikea FLISAT Table!



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