The Best Sensory Bin ideas for kids

sensory bin ideas
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The Best Sensory Bin ideas for kids

A sensory bin is something that’s popping up over the whole social media from time to time and sometimes they can be overwhelming with so many options. I have jotted down a few ideas where you can set up a simple sensory bin from your pantry.

What’s a sensory bin?

A sensory bin is a bin or a container filled with any filler to stimulate a child’s play. The filler can be any textured thing from sand to water to kitchen ingredients. Have a wider container filled with fillers to let your child explore and stimulate their senses.

Why should we have a sensory bin?

Sensory fillers stimulate a child’s five senses, when your kid is overwhelmed or bored or throwing tantrums, take a container and put in any fillers, add some toys, and present it to them. This helps them to calm down, use their imagination, and enhances the kid’s curiosity. The more the kid is exposed to a sensory texture, the less they will be picky eaters.

What can a kid learn from a sensory bin?

The five senses: Imagine a bin full of dry pasta. The kid sees the dry pasta. Touches it, hears the rattles of pasta, if dyed, smells the pasta and if its cooked pasta tastes them. That’s the versatility of this play.

Practical skills: No sensory bin is complete without construction toys and pouring scooping toys. When a child engages in this play, unknowingly, they learn basic life skills.

Language Development: Imagine you set up a farm sensory bin and leave it as an invitation to play. A kid observes them and later has a conversation about it. They talk and get immersed in the play.

What to fill in the sensory bin?

Let us divide this into three parts

  • Fillers
  • Toys
  • Learning essentials


What can be filled in a sensory bin?

  • Rice dyed or plain
  • Pasta dyed/plain
  • Rajma
  • Lentils
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Peanuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Split peas
  • Green gram
  • Beans
  • Leaves
  • Sand
  • Seashells
  • Cornhusk
  • Shredded paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Peanut shell
  • Pompom
  • Water beads
  • Edible sand (click here to view the recipe)
  • Cloud dough
  • Moon sand
  • Kinetic sand
  • Homemade snow


Once we set up a bin with fillers we need something to play with and also to make their playtime fun. We can add any toys like,

  • Animal figurines (when setting up a unit study)
  • Alphabet puzzle pieces
  • Number puzzle pieces
  • Shapes puzzle pieces
  • Coloured wooden blocks
  • Wooden coins
  • Pebbles
  • Small cars
  • Construction toys
  • Popsicles


To enhance a child’s fine motor skills, add some tools to the sensory bin. Anything from our kitchen pantry will help. A few tools to use are,

  • Measuring cups
  • Tongs
  • Tweezers
  • Plastic cup
  • Bowl
  • Scoopers
  • Droppers
  • Shovel
  • Masher
  • Funnel

What activities can we set up using a sensory bin?

  • Letter identification
  • shape identification
  • Theme study
  • Animal play
  • Construction play
  • Texture play

Important disclaimer/guidelines for sensory bin play

  • Adult supervision is required for kid’s babies and for kids who are still mouthing objects. If your kids are still mouthing, you can add edible fillers into the bin.
  • Restock items periodically according to their shelf life.
  • The sensory bin contributes to a mess, so be prepared for that and make sure you ask your kids to help.
  • Store the fillers and the bins in a safe place to reuse them periodically.

Hope these pointers will help set up your sensory bin. If you set up your sensory bin tag me on Instagram. Would love to see your creations. My Instagram handle is nathan_reading_journey

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Hi, I am Karen- Mom to a 6-year-old and a passionate book reviewer. A book lover myself, I strongly believe in reading to kids on a daily basis, to help them turn into mini bookworms. I find delight in my every growing bookshelf. Join us on our reading journey and don't forget to share your bookish love with us too.

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