We have loved using sensory bins and activities as a tool for our at home learning. If you haven’t jumped on the sensory bin bandwagon yet, then you are missing out!
Sensory bins or sensory activities are ones that engage your toddler’s senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and/or taste. They are extremely educational and fun too!
Blake was introduced to his sensory bins right after he turned 2 because I didn’t really know much a bout sensory bins or how to even create one. I was also concerned about him eating the materials in the bins.
I started teaching Blake basic colors, shapes, letter and numbers right before he turned 2. Raelynn is a little over 1 and has started joining in on our learning time and she is now playing with sensory bins that are age appropriate and safe
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We have tried various sensory bins and have loved the results and loads of fun they bring. This time we decided to try creating an edible sensory bin with everyday household items and it was so easy.
I wanted to create a sensory bin that I knew Raelynn could enjoy as well. It is a little hard for her to play with the Kinetic sand and water beads activity bins since she sometimes wants to eat the materials.
Oatmeal Edible Sensory Bin
I knew it needed to be a fun bin that was also safe if she ate a little of it. So, I raided the pantry and found some oatmeal that I use for baking purposes.
I got one of our bins, filled it with the dry oatmeal (You could do cooked if you wanted) and then placed toys into the bin. She LOVED playing with the sensory bin, as did Blake. It was so easy, cheap and best of all safe.
Raelynn did try to eat a little bit of the oatmeal but quickly realized it didn’t taste so great. I didn’t have to fret if she did eat a little because it was food safe for her.
Rice Sensory Bin
Much like the oatmeal sensory bin, the rice sensory bin is considered more food safe. If it is dry rice then it is probably better suited for older toddlers.
I cooked Raelynn some rice and then used food coloring to dye the rice in various colors. The cooked rices gives a stickier texture but it was completely safe if she decided to eat it.
I also took dry rice and put it in ziploc bags with some food coloring. Once it was mixed up I created rice sensory bin for Blake to play with. Since, Blake doesn’t really try to eat the bin materials this option was perfect for him.
Coloring the rice helped further our educational time by introducing and teaching colors.
Noodle Sensory Bin
Another fun bin idea we tried was using spaghettie noodles in our sensory bins. Although any type of noodle would work
Once again food coloring the noodles was a huge hit and we used it during our rainbow Bible lesson to further the learning concepts.
With the noodles I actually didn’t put them in a bin but instead placed them in the empty bathtub so the kids could just play and throw the noodles around.
They both loved it! The noodles didn’t stain the tub at all and were fairly easy to clean-up.
I simply cooked the noodles per cooking instructions and then separated into ziploc bags with various food coloring colors. Once the noodles were cooled we played with them and we actually stored them back in their bags in the fridge for extended play life.
Water Sensory Bin
I don’t know about your kids but mine love water! They loved playing in it in all forms. Once again this bin could easily be put in the bathtub for extra large fun.
What we did was mix water with some food coloring and then freeze it into ice trays. Then I placed dyed water into our bin and added the frozen ice cubes.
This is extra fun for teaching how 2 colors make different colors as you watch the ice melt and the water change colors. The kids loved this activity as well and it was the cheapest of them all!
Things to Put in Your Sensory Bins
Your imagination is the limit on what to put into the activity bin with the various edible sensory materials. We have added all sorts of fun things depending on what we are learning for the day. Most recently we have added shapes since we are practicing identifying those.
You could add farms animals, balls, toys of various sizes, dinosaurs, tractors, sea creatures…honestly the sky is the limit. Raelynn had fun playing with the bins and finding toys hidden in with the sensory materials.
I love sensory activities because it gives a tactile learning moment for your toddler. It allows them to explore and create with their little imaginations.
I love these edible sensory bins even more because babies and toddlers alike can play with them without fear of them eating the materials.
Have you tried sensory bins? What are your favorite sensory activities to try? Check out my Instagram page for more baby & toddler activities.