1. At my school, Brevard Community College Lab School, we make sure every class room has a sensory bin. Thanks for some more ideas of what to put in them!In the winter we put potato flakes in for “snow.”

  2. Did I totally miss the baby section?? My baby girl is 8 months, I’m a first time mom so I’m just trying to find ways to foster and encourage her ever growing curiosity! I love your blog!

    • Probably not, at the end of the first section I have parenthesis after the last couple of ideas that are totally safe for babies. There are many other’s in the list that are probably ok, but would require close supervision. I will have to revise the post because shaved ice, bubbles, and water are all great for babies too, but I didn’t mention that in the post. Check me out on Pinterest too because I have pinned a lot of interesting sensory play for babies.

  3. I am a pediatric SLP and I’m new to your blog. I love all your ideas! I work with children ages 0-3 and I’m always looking for new ideas. Thanks for your blog!

  4. I am a pediatric SLP and I’m new to your blog. I love all your ideas! I work with children ages 0-3 and I’m always looking for new ideas. Thanks for your blog!

  5. I love these ideas and really think they will help my son with his sensory issues. I want to do these the right way, and how long does he practice or play with each bin–days, weeks? He will not touch “wet” or soft foods to put in his mouth. If he does not have issues with harder foods like crackers, toast should I still have him play with those types of bins? He is 11 moths old right now. P.S. thanks for your help with the straw/sippy cup!

    • Julie, there is no exact formula. Dry bins are a good place to start because they are less intense and they still give really good sensory feedback. However, with him only being 11 months old, I’m assuming he will try to put whatever you have in the bin, in his mouth. So, you may be a little limited there, for now.

      Experiment with the wet textures, too. As I mentioned in the post, encourage don’t force. Make it as fun as possible.

      As far as how long… Initially, follow his lead. He may really like it and let him play as long as he wants. If he doesn’t seem interested. Try to engage him by putting fun things into bin that he likes. You could put his blocks, cups, or little people in there. Also, give kitchen utensils because he may be more willing to try with a spoon, but not if he has to put his own hand in. Try for 5 minutes and then move on if he isn’t interested. Keep trying every day or two, trying different games to keep him interested.

      Most kids love these bins, they are a good idea to have around and pull out from time to time. Since you are working to decrease sensitivity, keep playing with different textures, focusing on the ones that seem to make him uncomfortable. Keep playing with them regularly until he isn’t resistant to fully play in the texture.

      Does that make sense? Hope it helps! I would love to hear how it all goes!

  6. I’ve been lurking for a while now. I have no words to tell you how much you’ve helped me and my 17 month old son. I’ve cried tears of joy and relief. Thank you so, so much.

  7. Hi all, thanks for all great ideas. I made one for my
    10 month old with pingpong balls left over scraps of 15″ to 20″ pieces ribbons differ. type textures, small balls of yarn, fabrics or bandanas, baby wash cloths and container to put in and take out hope this was helpful=)

    oh I tie knots on ribbons to a hair tie and make bows she loves to unravel and play peekaboo.

  8. Just made my first two sensory bins tonight. The cheapest and most effective play I’ve seen my son do in a long, long, long time. I did rice with some beach toys (small bucket, sifter, shovel, etc) and dry pinto beans with measuring cups and spoons. He has been playing at the kitchen table with this bin for almost 2 hours. this is unheard of with my son. I have seen the idea to use loose puzzle pieces in a sensory bin. What do you think would be an appropriate toy to go along with the puzzle pieces? I am at a loss at the moment.

    • So sorry that I just saw this! These bins are amazing and kids really do love them, so glad it has been a help to you. I say throw anything in there, it doesn’t have to make sense!

  9. I have a 23-month old girl with Down Syndrome. Is the bin supposed to be big enough for her to climb into/sit in, or just reach in to play? She does not seem bothered by textures but is just hesitant to pick stuff up, especially if it is handed to her, more willing to pick things up by herself. I am excited to try this with her, not something any of her therapists have mentioned.


    • Hi Melanie- you can set it up any way you want, a larger bin provides more sensory stimulation and might be more motivating for a child. However, a small one might be sufficient to start. I would try and hide small toys she likes in the texture and have her put the texture into empty water bottles one at a time and then dump out. All of that is really good for fine motor development! Let me know how it goes!

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