Garden sensory bins are a great way to bring the spirit of spring in to a learning space and keep a little one busy for hours. My little one loves sensory bin and with a few expensive items, I put together a garden themed sensory bin complete with a learning activity. This flower vase shape sorting activity was the perfect way to learn shapes and matching, while having fun exploring the sensory bin.
Sensory Bin Ideas
If you are looking to put together sensory bins, I suggest a shallow tub of some sort to keep all of your pieces and items contained. This KooKaRoo Wooden tray and tool set is perfect if you are trying to limit your plastic consumption. This Garden and Critter set is a great start to your garden sensory bin and the bin can be used for future sensory bins.
Next, decide on what base you will use to fill your garden sensory bin. We used kenetic sand for our garden sensory bin. Our kenetic sand has lasted us over a year and has been played with so many times. I keep our sand in an airtight container with all of the tools. My son got this set for his 2nd birthday and has been loving it ever since. For your sensory bin, you can also use water beads, rainbow rice, or bulk dried beans.
Garden Sensory Bin Accessories
When you have decided on a base, the fun part for your garden sensory bin begins. I love shopping for sensory bin items for my son. I typically look in places like Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot, the thrift stores, or in our own kitchen. Dollar Tree’s seasonal department typically has items that go great in sensory bins. The trick is to shop a season or two ahead. For example, the twine wrapped carrots I used for our garden sensory bin were purchased during the Easter holiday almost as soon as they put the Easter items on the shelf. I also found the small planting pots at Dollar Tree in the summer section and the white mini buckets came from the wedding party favor section. Hobby Lobby is another great place to find items for your sensory bin.
I picked up wooden scoopers like these at Hobby Lobby for all of our sensory bins. If you go somewhere to eat and they give you fun spoons or scoops, wash them and save them for your sensory bins. You can also keep an eye out at thrift stores for baking utensils and cookie cutters.
Put together your base and your accessories in your sensory bin. I like to arrange these items so they are appealing to my little one. He loves sensory bins that have new combinations of things. It doesn’t always need to be something new, but a variety of things paired in a new way.
Garden Sensory Bin Free Activity
I printed the flower vase shape sorting activity, cut out and laminated the flowers. The flower pieces were tucked in the kenetic sand and I asked him to match the correct shape he saw on the flower with the flower vase matching mat. This activity helped stimulate matching and shape recognition. You can download this activity for free here! Or if you would like to download the entire bundle of early learning spring activities, visit my shop here!
That is it for our garden sensory bin! I like to put these bins together the night before, when my son goes to bed. You can add a sheet or table cloth to the area you will be using to make clean up easier.
If you are looking for more fun, spring time activities to do check out my last post Earth Day Seed Paper!