Must-Have Sensory Bin Accessories

Must-Have Sensory Bin Accessories

“Mom, look! I covered all these rocks in mud!”

My five-year-old daughter stood in front of me, clutching her sand bucket filled to the top with heavy landscaping rocks, all wrapped (as promised) in a layer of mud. She beamed at me–her clothes, shoes, gloves, and skin all encrusted from head to toe.

“I love snow days!” she hollered as she ran back to her mud pit.

Kate has been my sensory-seeking, tactile-loving child since the day I handed her a metal bowl, some uncooked pinto beans, and a measuring cup. I have hundreds of photos of her hands in mud, playdough, and the myriad of sensory bins I have prepared for her over the years.

The snow day/mud pit example is just one of many–digging in wet sand at the beach, methodically removing each dried kernel of corn from a cob, saving a handful of acorns in a tiny glass jar–that make up a huge part of who my daughter is. Does it sound familiar to you? Read on!

"Must-Have" Sensory Bin Accessories

If you have young children, you may have seen their natural love for sensory play!

At your house, sensory play might look like:

  • getting messy with food
  • splashing water in the bathtub
  • digging in the dirt outside

In this sensory play series, we cover:

  1. the benefits of sensory play
  2. must-have sensory materials
  3. sensory bin storage

The good news for parents is this: sensory play doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive! In fact, you can set up a simple sensory experience in three easy steps.

  1. Get a large container, a small bin, a wading pool, or a water table. Decide if you want to play inside or outside. (If you’re inside, put down a large sheet first to make clean-up a breeze!)
  2. Choose a filler. We reuse our food materials for many years, but there are a lot of non-food options as well.
  3. Add some accessories and let your children get to work!

We have slowly added to our sensory bin materials over the years. Here are a few of our recommended items! (Just a reminder, we use affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

  • IKEA has many wonderful materials: colorful bowls, metal cookware and utensils
  • You can recycle many tools from your kitchen: empty jars, funnels, measuring cups, ice cube trays, creamers, muffin tins
  • Dollar stores often have small containers with screw-top and flip-top lids
  • You can add in tools and toys, like these:

Be sure to follow our Sensory Play board on Pinterest!

Do you have a child who likes to get messy? Bring the fun inside with a simple sensory bin!

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