The SPD Shop

Sensory Bins And Water Beads

What are sensory bins?

Sensory bins can be made in a bin, bucket, pot or even a tray. Sensory bins can be filled with so many different items and use different themes too. Sensory Bins are used for many reasons with so many benefits for children. Sensory bins are a great tactile activity for kiddos with special needs, for example Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or Autism.

Sensory bins are a way to play and learn too, using the senses, calming and focus. When using different tools they can be great for fine motor as well. You can use almost anything in a sensory bin but my sensory bins are mainly with sensory water beads right now as they feel amazing but I do plan to add more over time with different textures and themes. Having other children join in and play is also a great way to develop more social skills as well.

Children learn through play. Remember have fun and make a mess!

Other Suggestions For Making A Sensory Bin

ice
water
sand
kinetic sand
moon sand
colored craft sand
floam
modeling clay
clay
play dough
snow
fake snow
acorns
sticks
branches
wood chips
cut pieces of tree branches
pine cones
sawdust
fresh cut grass or fake grass
sod
cedar chips
mulch
pebbles or rocks
wood scraps
aquarium pebbles
corn starch
corn meal
baking soda
flour
jello
uncooked pasta (colored or plain)
cooked pasta (colored or plain)
jelly
popcorn
corn kernels
dried beans
cooked beans
lentils
coffee beans
ice (cubes, chipped, shaved, - dyed or plain)
uncooked rice (colored or plain)
cooked rice (colored or plain)
shredded coconut
oranges (some sliced and some whole)
lemons (some sliced and some whole)
grapefruit (some sliced and some whole)
potatoes (some sliced and some whole)
carrots
green beans
sweet peppers
dry oatmeal or steel cut oats
dry cereal (cheerios, fruit loops, other dry cereals)
cool whip or whipped cream
loose tea
potato flakes
pumpkin guts
nuts in their shells (for those not allergic)
gum balls
hay
dirt
coffee grounds
mardi gras beads
Hawaiian lei's (cut and whole)
bubble wrap
cotton balls
bubble wrap
finger paint or tempera/activity paint
bells
watermelon (half and slices)
poker chips
fake fruit and vegetables
plastic Easter eggs
balloons (fill with air, water, water beads, sand, spices or rice
hair gel
bingo chips
yarn
shredded paper
cellophane paper
construction paper
small paper squares or tissue paper squares
coins (plastic or fake)
tapioca pearls
Indian corn
led tea lights
led finger lights
bubble solution and wands
poly-fil
baby cereal (dry or with water)
tea bags and a child's tea set or plastic cups
paperclips
glow sticks
flower or vegetable seeds
soil
 
frozen veggies
used coffee grounds
flowers (real or fake)
fish aquarium gravel
leaves (real or fake)
water beads
water polymers
water
shaving cream
sponges (various sizes and shapes)
bird seed
slime (store bought or home made)
gak
silly putty (store bought or home made)
Easter grass
ball pit balls
sensory balls
packing peanuts
sea glass
marbles
glass plant gems
plastic gems
confetti
oobleck
tinsel
crepe paper
tissue paper
wrapping paper
plastic fishing worms (no hooks of course)
plastic animals
plastic people
floating toys
bath toys
foam bits or foam toys
buttons
tri-beads, pony beads, seed beads
fabric scraps
play silks
corks
pom poms
ribbon
yarn
string
craft feathers
feather boas (cut into sections or whole)
squeegee
aluminum pie pans
squeeze bottles
cupcake liners (paper, aluminum, or silicone)
Popsicle sticks
chop sticks
small containers with lids
recycled food or juice containers
magnifying glass
spray bottles
safety scissors
cookie cutters
plastic bowls and cups
nets / netting
potato masher
whisk
bucket and pail
clothespins
small plastic containers with lids
dolls and doll clothing
scraps cut from old clothes
small stuffed animals
small unbreakable mirrors
empty spice jars/containers
gel window clings
potatoes (cut in half, slices, and whole)
marshmallows
dried herbs
play dishes
play money/
plastic or wooden cooking utensils
funnels
canning funnels
sifters
strainers
measuring cups and spoons
foam letters and numbers
plastic letters and numbers
old costume/cheap jewelry
moss
garden tools
turkey baster
pipettes
spools of thread (empty or with thread still on them)
ice cube trays
muffin tins
tongs/
magazines (whole, pages. or pieces cut)
hard boiled eggs
dish soap
body wash
hand soap
bath beads
soap bars