Sensory bins are an excellent screen-free activity idea! If you search "sensory bins for kids" you will get an enormous variety of ideas: valentine sensory bins, Christmas sensory bins, birthday sensory bins, the list goes on. It's enough to overload your ... um... senses. (Oh, come on! I had to say that!)
As creative as all those sensory bin ideas are, however, sometimes simple is best. Or rather, lazy is best. Because lazy is what I was when I came across a small container of rice mixed with letters and numbers in the closet. It had been sitting in there since my son used it to play the Sift -n-Spell game.
Why a "mini" bin?
My 5 year old loves to run his hand through the rice, looking for letters (making an impromptu alphabet learning activity!), telling me what he finds and spilling a little on the floor (just being honest).
I love sensory bins because they keep him busy and I appreciate a mini bin because it means less rice to vacuum up.
Not only that, mini bins are very portable. If you use a simple plastic food container, like we did here, you can pop a lid on it so take with you, or save for later.
Ideas for mini sensory bins
You can turn any sensory bin or sensory tray into a mini version of itself. Just use a smaller container and fewer add-in items. Here are some sensory bin ideas you can draw on:
- Bubble bath toy car wash
- Shaving cream sensory car wash tray
- Digger toy and bean sensory tray
- Alphabet rice sensory bin
- Toy vehicle rice sensory bin
If you really, really don't want a sensory bin that creates a mess, perhaps I can convince you that it's okay to let your kids make big giant messes.
Still not sure why you should give your kids a sensory bin? Read this.