Sensory bins are a great method to encourage sensory play, especially if you don't have a lot of time to set up an activity. It may take a little bit of time to prepare your bin, but once it's finished it's easily storable and reusable, meaning children can easily get hours of entertainment out of them!
What exactly is a sensory bin? Sensory bins are containers/boxes that are filled with various materials to create a sensory space that children can utilise for hours. Sensory bins offer a simple but effective way to engage in sensory play by helping children improve on focus and concentration skills, as well as fine motor skills, too. Sensory bins are especially helpful for children with sensory issues, as it provides a space for them to explore new textures in the comfort of their own home!
Before creating your sensory bin, you should make sure to ensure adult supervision is always present whilst children are using it. There are various small items that can be included into a sensory bin and could easily become a choking hazard. You should also ensure you check the shelf life of any perishable goods, such as rice, beans, cereal, pasta, etc. These are great items that can be used to introduce children to new textures, but they should not be left inside the sensory bins indefinitely.
So, how do we go about making a great sensory bin? Our first course of action should be finding a large enough box/container to fill with our materials. You want to ensure that there is plenty of space for children to move their hands around and play with the items inside the bin. Messes being made is practically inevitable, but a bigger bin should make this easier to avoid.
To make your sensory bin, you can really let your imagination run wild! Adding a large amount of one resource, such as rice or pasta can help to pad out the bin before adding other materials. The possibilities are endless and there's nothing wrong with making multiple sensory bins either. Maybe you want to divide them by colours, or perhaps you want to create a dry sensory bin and a water sensory bin, where you can add water beads, ice, shaving foam, bubbles, etc.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to sensory bins, which is the most exciting part! You can easily continue introducing children to new textures again and again, whilst also providing hours of entertainment! Make sure to give creating your own sensory bin a try if you're looking for a fun and sustainable way to engage in sensory play! Or, if you're looking for a wider range of sensory toys, make sure to check out our website for more ideas and toys!