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Make your own DIY Sensory Bin



At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced the joy of playing with things that feel squishy, bouncy, or fuzzy.

Sensory play takes that joy to the next level by engaging all of our senses – touch, sight, smell, sound, and even taste!

In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up and play a variety of sensory games that are sure to delight both kids and adults alike.


What do I need to make a Sensory Bin?

The great thing about sensory play is that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get started.

Here are a few basic materials to get you started:

  • Small bin or trays
  • A variety of fillers (e.g. rice, beans, sand, water beads, etc.)
  • Tools for scooping, pouring, and manipulating the fillers (e.g. spoons, cups, funnels, tweezers, etc.)
  • Optional: toys or figurines to incorporate into the play

Once you have your materials gathered, you’re ready to start setting up your sensory play experience!


Setting up your Sensory Bin

The possibilities for sensory play are truly endless – you can use any combination of fillers, tools, and toys to create a unique experience every time. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Rainbow rice: Dye white rice in a variety of colours using food colouring or liquid watercolours. Add in scoops and cups for pouring and mixing.
  • Ocean sensory bin: Fill a bin with blue water beads and add in sea creatures, shells, and rocks for an under-the-sea adventure.
  • Cloud dough: Mix flour and oil together to create a soft, moldable dough that can be shaped and sculpted like sand.

As you set up your sensory play, keep in mind the ages and abilities of the players. Younger children may need more guidance and supervision, while older children may enjoy more open-ended play.


Rules to follow

The beauty of sensory play is that there are no hard and fast rules! Encourage players to explore the materials and use their imaginations to create their own games and scenarios. However, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Keep the play area clean and organised to prevent spills and accidents.
  • Only use non-toxic materials that are safe for children to handle.
  • Encourage players to use gentle hands and take turns with the tools and toys.


Variations of Sensory Bins

Sensory play is easily adaptable to a variety of themes and settings. Here are a few ideas to mix things up:

  • Seasonal sensory bins: Use materials like leaves, pinecones, and acorns for a fall-themed sensory bin, or cotton balls and glitter for a winter wonderland.
  • Sensory art: Use sensory materials like shaving cream or finger paint to create unique works of art.
  • Sensory storytime: Read a story and then create a sensory bin or activity based on the book.


Tips for Success

Sensory play is all about exploration and discovery, but here are a few tips to help make the experience even more enjoyable:

  • Keep a variety of fillers and tools on hand to switch things up and prevent boredom.
  • Encourage children to use their senses to describe the materials and their experiences.
  • Provide a quiet, calming area for children who may be overwhelmed by the sensory input.



Making your own DIY Sensory Bin is a fantastic way to engage children’s imaginations and promote their cognitive and sensory development. By following these tips and experimenting with different materials and themes, you can create a fun and stimulating sensory play experience for kids of all ages. And the best part? You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment or toys to get started – just a few basic materials and a willingness to explore.

So go ahead, get creative, and see what kind of sensory magic you can create!