30 Sensory Bin Activities for Kids…A Small Potatoes Sensory Round-Up!

“Memories establish the past; senses perceive the present; imaginations shape the future.”  ~Toba Beta

The smalls love sensory play. It’s a fact. And why not? Through their senses, is how they learn. If children can see, touch, smell, listen, and sometimes even taste their play activities, just think of the information they will process. Experimenting, thinking, practicing small-motor and cognitive skills, learning cause and effect, honing their imaginations…all of this is done during sensory play. All of these reasons, plus the fun factor, is why we love sensory play so much here at Small Potatoes.

I decided it was time to put all our sensory activities in one place so you can find what you’re looking for without going on a serious hunting expedition!

This round-up is seriously easy to navigate. There are 3 categories…Toddler/Babies, Messy Play, and Preschool/Kindergarten. Each photo will have a link beneath it that will open up a new window with the activity instructions.

Ready? Let’s start with Messy Play…my favourite category!Rainbow Bubble-Fest

Muddy Race Car Derby

Soapy, Gritty, Slimy, Smelly

Baking Sensory Bin

Ice Block Critter Melt

The Aliens Have Landed

This Planet Earth

Next, is Preschool/Kindergarten…it’s our most extensive category.The Great Dinosaur Dig

My Little Pony

Outer Space Sensory Bin

Underwater Mermaid Kingdom

Under Construction Bin

Down On the Farm

Ice Cream Sensory Play Bin

Spring Sensory Activity

This Bin is for the Birds

In the Gnome Garden

Big Builders

A Bit of Japan in a Box

The next 4 sensory activities will be found in the same location. They are part of our Imagination Bowl Series. The link will be found underneath the last of the 4 photographs…Imagination Bowls…Earth, Sea, and Sky

The next three sensory bowls are from our second installation of the Imagination Bowl series. The link will be found at the bottom of the third photograph…Imagination Bowls 2

*Many of the Preschool/Kindergarten sensory activities make great birthday/christmas presents for your kids or their friends. Simply make them on a smaller scale, in a smaller bin with a lid and add a little card to go along with them.

Lastly, is Toddler/Babies. This is currently our fastest-growing category…Vroom, Beep Zoom!

Monster Jelly Slime Bowl

Bubbly Babies

A Sensory Paint Bin for Babies

So there you have it! 30 different sensory play activities/bins you can do at home! I do hope you enjoy some or even all of these sometime soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

~Arlee, Small Potatoes


35 thoughts on “30 Sensory Bin Activities for Kids…A Small Potatoes Sensory Round-Up!

  1. hi there! i am a friend of bobbi cullum and erin luijkx. i plan to open a dayhome in fall 2013 when my son starts school full time. i just wanted to email you to tell you how inspirational your blog is. i dont know how you do it! youre simply amazing! before this sensory bin post i was going to email you for a few ideason sensory bins but you beat me to the punch and they are all fabulous! (do you happen to have a maybe dated blog post about busy bags by chance that i may have missed???) thank you for all you do and for your enlightening blog. you are literally my only reference for dayhome ideas; it all lives in your blog! 🙂

    all my very best from winnipeg, manitoba!

    teres 🙂 sent from my iphone

  2. You are my new hero. Not just because you’ve put together the most awesome sensory bin post ever. There’s also your absolutely amazing creativity, your photography skills, your dedication to your smalls, your design skills… I could go on and on… Your posts are so darn dreamy on TOP of being just plain awesome, Arlee!

  3. Wow!!

    I’ve only tried a couple of basic sensory play ideas with my Monkey so far… he’s 15 months and tends to just pick up the container and pour everything straight out!

    I can’t wait to try some of these once he gets the hang of it! Your bins look amazing.

  4. I love this post! I try to do more of those with Nico since he loves them (he’s a very touchy feely boy) but I have no clue how to store it all!

    • Valerie, I have supplies stored in empty ice cream pails stacked and labeled in the storage room so we can rotate bins. The bins we are using are stored under the kid’s table…I can store 6 big bins under it. Not sure if this helps…

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  6. What an amazing post. Arlee, you are such an inspiration! Your blog has literally transformed my approach to child care.And where on earh do you get all the figurines you use in your bowls and bins? Like the animals and astraunauts and eskimos and little construction people? I can never find things like that.

  7. What an amazing post. Arlee, you are such an inspiration! Your blog has literally transformed my approach to child care. And where on earth do you get all the figurines you use in your bowls and bins? Like the animals and astraunauts and eskimos and little construction people? I can never find things like that.

  8. These are awesome!! My question is In the dry sensory bins (beans, rice, seeds etc.) do you leave all the added in toys only in that bin when you put it away? Thanks for your great ideas!!

    • Thank you!! And yes, I do. I only take the toys out when we are switching out bins. We reuse the beans and rice and other substrates in different bins…we just change out the props and toys. I store the substrates an special props that aren’t from our toy bins in icecream buckets in my storage room.

  9. Your sensory bins are amazing! Thank you for the inspiration! Hello! My name is Jessica and I am an Early Childhood Technical Consultant. I am writing to ask your permission to use some of the photos from your website. (primarily the sensory bins and photos of activities. I will not use photos that have children in them.

    The photos would be used as examples in trainings that I will be offering online as continuing education opportunities for childcare providers. Some of the trainings will be free others will be sold for a low cost.

    If you have any questions, please let me know. I’m happy to answer them. Thanks a bunch!

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  16. I am a kindergarten teacher and these are AWESOME! I’ve introduced a new one each week and the kids have so much anticipation. They are always first pick at choice time. I had a few questions: what size bins do you use? do you have any secrets about where to buy the figures/animals etc.? Michaels and even Walmart are pretty expensive. I can’t find the right type of thing at the dollar store either.

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