History Sensory Bin

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

I find it easiest to create sensory bins that have some type of theme to them. If there is something that we are studying in homeschooling, a sensory bin along that theme can further reinforce what the kids are learning as well as providing an opportunity for sensory play.

Last week, the kids watched the classic musical “Annie Get Your Gun“. They adored it and are still singing “no, you can’t get a man with a gu-un”! Granola Girl was even singing it through the aisles in the grocery store the other day!

Since they were already so interested and asking lots of questions, I decided to expand their learning and teach them about the history of Annie Oakley, the woman the movie is based on and about that time in history. I happened to have a Wild West TOOB which had an Annie Oakley figurine in it (I hadn’t even noticed that when I bought it!) so I used that to create a sensory bin that would allow the kids to play and expand on the story they had watched in the movie.

History Sensory BinFor the base of the bin, I used dry white beans in one section, aquarium rocks that we had left over from a science experiment we had done the week before in another section and I finished it off with an area of moss. Then I added the Wild West TOOB figures and let the kids play.

I know that my sensory bin may not be completely historically accurate, but the point of it is to get the kids more interested in history and its characters by letting them explore. They loved that there was an Annie Oakley figure and had such fun reenacting scenes from the movie.

You can create a history sensory bin to go with any period in history (think Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt) or that is centred on a specific historical figure (think inventors, artists, politicians or heroes).

For hundreds of other sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins,you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins

Winter Wonderland Sensory Bin

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

For the start of our holiday season this year, I thought I would create a sensory bin with a winter wonderland theme. It’s a stark difference from our usual Christmas sensory bin with bright holiday colours, but the kids were delighted by it.

Winter Wonderland Sensory BinI used a large foil roasting pan as the bin because I thought the silver looked best with what I was planning. For the bin’s base, I used shredded snow. I bought a bag of it from the dollar store and when I examined it once I got home, what it looked like was shredded bubble wrap, so it would be easy enough to make your own.

I added silver candles, silver puffy snowflakes, large clear plastic snowflakes, silver beads, jingle bells, silver ribbon, small white pompoms, a clear plastic ornament with white and silver detailing, and a white poinsettia clip.

Playing with Winter Wonderland Sensory BinMy kids have been enjoying the bin.Dancing Queen gravitated towards exploring the sounds by listening to the jingle bells and the crinkle of the beads. Granola Girl was initially after a more tactile experience and found the texture of the clear snowflakes very appealing. She kept touching them to her face as well as running her fingers over the ridges.

The boys were most interested in the feel of the fake snow and they may have had a small “snowball” fight with the white pompoms! Such funny creatures boys are! They can even find a way to make a sensory bin an action packed adventure!

If you are looking for more sensory ideas or information, you may be interested in my book and by following my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins

Winter Sensory Tray

Gluten Free Candy Cane Playdough

Winter Sensory Bin

Frog Sensory Bin Take Two

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

Back when we first started using sensory bins, we made a frog sensory bin. It was well, ugly. It was one of my first efforts at dying pasta and thankfully, I have gotten better at certain aspects of making sensory bins since then!

I decided that it was time to try a frog themed sensory bin again and this time, I opted out of using orangey, red mini pasta shells and used a bright coloured base instead.

Frog Sensory BinThis actually was one of the bins that we put together at our sensory bin swap a few months ago. We had thrown most of the items into a resealable bag so all I had to do was dump it into a bin and it was ready for the kids to play with.

I added a few extra frogs but other than that, the bin was ready to go from the swap. The base for this bin was play puffs. They are a great multi-purpose item as they can be used for sensory play or for craft creation. Once they are wet, play puffs stick together to form whatever shape they can imagine.

Also in this bin, a kitchen sponge “lily pad”, plastic jump frogs, stretchy frogs, toy frogs, and a glossy paper die cut frog.

Frog Sensory Bin PlayMy plan for the kids to use the play puffs for a craft project after I retired this sensory bin didn’t pan out the way I’d planned it. As soon as the kids discovered the ability to stick the play puffs together, they added that as part of their sensory bin play. It made this a popular activity!

For hundreds of sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins, you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins

Calming Lavender Sensory Bin

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

I have been wanting to make a lavender sensory bin for the kids for awhile now. Dancing Queen struggles with anxiety and we do as much as we can to help her regulate her anxiety. She loves the lavender playdough I make. It really does seem to have a calming effect on her. I reasoned that since sensory bins already help my kids with their regulation, a lavender one may have even more of a calming effect which would be good for all of them but especially for Dancing Queen.

Calming Lavender Sensory BinFor this sensory bin, I used a large shallow tub so that I could put the bin on the deck. I used purple gems and added real lavender and purple water beads. I used a pitcher to add water and it took on a light purple colour because of the water beads.

Lavender Sensory BinThe smell of the lavender was really nice. Once the water was added, the scent was considerably stronger but not overpowering. The plastic gems made a good contrast for the texture of the water beads.

The kids enjoyed playing with this sensory bin outside. It held their attention for long periods of time this week. With the water, various textures and smell of the lavender, it really did seem to have a calming effect on them.

One of the nice things about being back into our regular homeschool routine is having a weekly sensory bin. It forces me to come up with new ideas and even though I keep thinking that I will run out of ideas after so many years of making sensory bins, I haven’t run out yet! The kids like experiencing the new bins and look forward to seeing what each week’s theme is going to be.

For hundreds of sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest. Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins,you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins