Well… it’s officially summer. There are 100 degree days in the forecast, the mosquitoes are thriving, the kids are no longer in school and you are probably trying to figure out what to do with your crazy children. If you have young kids (around 2-7 years old), I highly recommend giving sensory bins a try! They are a great way for children to enjoy some screen-free playtime, to work on fine motor skills, and they’re an awesome way to encourage imaginative play. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite sensory bin ideas with you!
I’ve been doing sensory bins with my kids for a couple of years, and they love them! Plus, once you have all the initial tools, bins and “fillers”, you can do all kinds of fun variations with them. But before you really get started, it’s important to lay down some ground rules with your kiddos. This way they can have fun without absolutely destroying your house (take it from my experience – it’s not enjoyable for anyone).
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Check out some of my favorite sensory bin tools and items! You can also go to places like Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, the Dollar Store and Walmart for things to use in the bins (especially cooking tools and seasonal items).
Now for the fun part… Sensory bin ideas for summer! Some of these we’ve already done and some we plan on doing. I’ll be updating this list as the summer goes on with more ideas and pictures :) Comment below if you have a fun sensory bin, and I’ll give it a try!
This is a twofer – you can make the playdough with your child, and then they get to play with it in the bin! Here’s my favorite playdough recipe (you can omit the sprinkles so it’s less “holiday”) and you can use some of my favorite playdough tools, like a knife, rolling pin, scraper, rotary cutter, etc.
This is a fun way to bring the beach to your home! Pull out some sand tools, some Kinetic Sand (the name brand stuff is the best) and let them have fun. They can try making a sand castle, go digging for hidden treasures, or grab some small trucks and they can drive around in the sand.
This is my son’s favorite sensory bin – he loves making necklaces and stringing together different patterns with the beads and buttons. You can make it fun by finding cute seasonal beads, too! If they’re too young to string together a necklace, get some cups and work with them to sort by color/shape/size.
*These are a huge choking hazard! Keep out of reach of young children and babies*
I discovered these just a couple of weeks ago, and wow – they are so fun! They are a silicone sphere that has a magnetic closure. Prepare for endless fun as the kids play with these! Get a deep tub, fill it with water, reusable water balloons, sea animals and cups and let their imagination take over. A colander is lots of fun too!
My daughter loves it when the pompoms come out! She has so much fun filling cups and bowls with pompoms. These are really fun to play with using these tools, and you can work on fine motor skills with tweezers and scoops!
What kid doesn’t love bubbles? These big bubble wands are so fun for kids to play with! You can fill your sensory bin with bubble solution, and let them play with the wands. Then, spray them off with the hose when you’re done for some extra summer fun!
Are you like me and have tons of Easter eggs left over from the spring? If so, they are so fun to use with rainbow rice. The kids can fill the eggs with rice and use them as shakers, and they have a blast scooping, dumping and filling cups and bowls.
And there you have it! I’ll be adding to the list as we try more things in the coming months, and I hope you share some ideas with me as well. I can’t wait to see all the fun your kiddos have with their sensory bins this summer!
I also created some activity cards for you to use for some of these bins! Snag your copy by clicking on the image below and downloading.