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50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are great for little ones, but figuring out what to fill them with isn’t always easy. Keep reading to get 50+ sensory bin ideas.

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

What Are Sensory Bins?

Sensory bins are shallow bins that are filled with different items. One time it could be dry oats; another time it could be shredded paper.

There are toys, measuring cups, tweezers, and other odds and ends that are added to allow preschoolers to explore the items, and medium, and to have fun.

Why You Should Use Sensory Bins with Preschoolers

Many different senses are engaged when preschoolers use sensory bins.

They feel the new textures, smell it (especially if it is something like shaving cream), and see how the sensory bin fillers move and interact with the odds and ends that are in the bin.

Preschoolers are able to learn how things move and can use their imagination while playing in a sensory bin.

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They also get exposed to new things that they may not have been able to experience before.

Seeing how paper shreds move when poured is different than how rice, dry beans, or whipped cream move when poured.

Sensory bins can provide a calming environment for some kids. They focus on the sensory bin, which in turn helps them to regulate their emotions.

Children’s language development can be promoted with sensory bin play.

New ways of describing things can be introduced to help preschoolers verbalize what they are feeling.

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

Things to Think About With Sensory Bins

Knowing your little ones that are using the sensory bin is important.

Some preschoolers stick things in their mouths (and ears and nose), while others don’t.

If you have a kid that puts things in his mouth, choose items for the sensory bin that won’t be harmful to them.

Water beads used to be a big thing people would put in sensory bins. There have since been many children that have had life-threatening emergencies from water beads.

They are tiny and expand in water.

You can imagine this is an issue when one bead gets into a moist environment (like a throat or nose) and then it expands, cutting off oxygen flow.

For this reason, you won’t find water beads on this list of sensory bin fillers!

Things to Put in Sensory Bins

1. Shredded Paper

2. Dry Rice

3. Pom Poms

4. Dry oatmeal

5. Water (add food coloring for more fun)

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

6. Shaving cream

7. Ice

8. Dry beans

9. Cooked spaghetti

10. Sand

11. Salt

12. Flour

13. Jell-O

14. Pumpkin guts (perfect for Halloween!)

15. Pudding

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

16. Dry corn

17. Straw

18. Cotton batting

19. Cut up straws

20. Small rocks

21. Coffee Beans (or dry grounds)

22. Baby Powder

23. Kinetic Sand

24. Cereal (dry)

25. Blitzed graham crackers (or cereal) — Put items in a food proccessor

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

26. Wooden Loose Parts

27. Sea shells

28. Corn meal

29. Craft Feathers

30. Dry Pasta

31. Fake flowers and petals

32. Soapy water

33. Cotton balls

34. Confetti

35. Mud

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

36. Dirt

37. Sticks

38. Buttons

39. Packing peanuts

40. Grass

41. Lentils

42. Pine cones

43. Oobleck (cornstarch and water)

44. Plastic eggs

45. Baking soda (and vinegar)

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

46. Plastic bottle caps

47. Puzzle pieces (great way to use up puzzles with missing pieces)

48. Pool Noodles (cut up into thin rings)

49. Tissue paper (can be cut into squares to fill the bin)

50. Crinkle Paper

51. Leaves

52. Chia seed slime

53. ABC pasta

54. Fake Snow

55. Dry chickpeas

50+ Things to Put in Sensory Bins

Sensory Bin Fillers

With all these choices for sensory bin fillers, you can choose a different sensory bin for each week and have ideas for over a year!

Grab some toys, letters, blocks, or animals, and your sensory bins will be ready in a jiffy.

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