What are sensory bins?

I see this question a lot, what are sensory bins and why are they important? Well, I would love to answer these questions for you.

Sensory Bins

Child melting ice cubes to dig out gems Children playing with fake bugs in a sensory bin Jello cubes on a paper plate colored noodles with kids hands

Sensory bins are hands on activities where children can explore using their different senses. These bins are highly engaging based upon child’s interest and help your child discover new vocabulary words, new objects, and explore the world. Sensory bins are made to engage, calm, and help your child focus on the task in front of them.

Importance of Sensory Bins

In addition to activating their senses and exploring the world there are many benefits of sensory play. Children are able to develop their language skills to discuss the different objects in each bin. By providing a variety of objects they will learn new vocabulary words and use those words to communicate back with you.

Also, children will enhance their motor skills by scooping, grabbing, using tools such as measuring cups, tweezers, and more. These fine motor skills will help with their handwriting skills and even sports as they grow older. Sensory play requires multiple muscles to work together to complete a task. These fine motor skills are the basic building blocks of their development any sport or activity that uses fine motor skills.

Furthermore, each bin provides life skills which are things your child will need to learn in order to complete tasks later in life. For example, using a spoon, pouring juice into a glass, these are all skills taught through sensory play.

Sensory bins are child driven and engaging to each child differently. Some children may pretend play with the different objects, others might love scooping, measuring, pouring skills more and thrive with those types of bins. Since each child will use these bins differently it’s important to observe what they like to do and create similar bins accordingly.

Independent Play

Finally, sensory bins are a great opportunity for your child to learn to play independently. After you have introduced a bin it is important to model expectations. For example, scooping over into the cup not throwing the rice all over the floor. Teach them the vocabulary of each bin by saying things like “This is a yellow dump truck. The dump trunk can drive and move dirt around.” Then, let your child explore and play. You’ll be amazed by what they will be able to accomplish when they do it independently. You might not think there is a lot of learning going on but their motor skills, language, and brain development will all be engaged in each sensory bin activity.

What are your favorite sensory bins to set up for your child(ren)? 

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hey friends!

My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!