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  • jillybeansnyc

Sensory Bin Basics

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

If you know me, you know my love of sensory play runs deep. Sensory bins are easy to throw together, and are always a hit for a large range of ages. But more than just fun, sensory play is crucial for brain development, aids in developing fine and gross motor skills, fosters language development, and helps develop creativity and imagination!

So you’re ready to start integrating more sensory play at home, but don’t know where to start? I’ll go more in-depth about my favorite sensory bin bases in future posts. Typically, they’re taste-safe and made from supplies you likely have at home already. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite tools and supplies for sensory exploration:

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I received a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no extra cost to you).

1. Favorite Bin for Individual Sensory Play

These Sterilite bins are the perfect size for individual sensory play at home. I love that they have latches, to keep contents safely inside when storing!

2. Favorite Sensory Bin for Larger Group

Bins, like this under the bed storage one, are a great size for group sensory play and the edges are low enough for little hands to easily each in!

3. More Traditional Sensory Tubs and Tables

Tubs and sensory tables like this one are also great options if you have the space for them!

4. Measuring Cups and Nesting Cups

Great for scooping and pouring.

5. Acrylic Scoops

These give me such nostalgia for childhood and trips to Sweet Factory in the mall. They’re also perfect tools for scooping and pouring during sensory play!

6. Handy Scoopers

These are fantastic for fine motor skill honing. I recently shared another Learning Resources set I love for sensory play at the beach or in the water. Search my Summer PLAYlist for those!

7. Gator Grabbers

Another excellent tool for honing fine motor skills from Learning Resources. These are particular good for younger toddlers.

8. Funnel Set

9. Staple Items to Use/Hide/Play With In The Bins

Depending on what age your child is, and what type of sensory exploration you're doing (I often like to vary the items in my bins by theme or season), you may or may not want to layer in some additional materials besides tools and a sensory base. For example, when I work with toddlers and preschoolers, I love hiding items in sensory bins and playdough. It's really great fine motor exercise for little fingers and hands. I often do this with button or plastic jewels, like the ones linked below.

10. My Favorite Already-Made Sensory Base

As I mentioned above, sensory bases will get entire posts of their own in the future, as there are so many I love to make and prepare using taste-safe ingredients. However, if you're looking for a quick and easy sensory bin base that comes ready to go: try oversized pom poms!

With these basics to get you started, you'll be well on your way!

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