Taste-Safe Fourth of July Sensory Bin

July is my favorite month of the year. Schools have been over for a bit, and summer activities are in full swing! Let’s celebrate the 4th of July with a colorful-edible-safe sensory bin.

As a sensory teacher, I’m always creating activities that can be played by kids of all ages. Especially those babies and young toddlers that still mouth everything, that’s why for this 4th if July sensory post, I chose food to be front and center. 

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4th of july sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers

This Fourth of July sensory bin for 1 year old is perfect to celebrate independence day! it is edible safe and so much fun.

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Materials for fourth of July sensory bin for 1 year old

  • Tray 
  • Whipped cream 
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon slices 
  • Star cookie cutter 
  • Bowls & Spoons
  • Splash mat 
fourth of July sensory bin for 1 year old

Let’s create a super fun and quick to set up edible-safe 4th of July Sensory bin that is just beautiful as it is yummy!

To get started, you will need to choose if you are going to do this activity indoors or take advantage of the weather and do it outside. 

No matter if you are setting up the play area outside or inside, I always recommend using a splash mat or blanket underneath the bin. The mat allows any spills to be contained in one place. Marking a play area also allows your toddler to keep the materials in one play. 

fourth of July sensory bin for 1 year old

I love to do this fourth of July sensory bin for 1 year old outdoors. For me, setting up sensory activities outside allows me to clean up easier using a nearby hose. It is easier to strip down my baby and take off his messy clothes before going inside to get changed. 

4th of july bin Set up

  • On a shallow tray, spread about 3 cups of whipped cream evenly. Using the blueberries create a few rows to create a blue and white stripe pattern. 
  • Using a cutting board, take the watermelon slices and cut out a few stars using the star-shaped cookie cutter. 
  • Place the stars randomly across the tray. 
  • Add spoons and bowls to encourage fine motor skill play. 

I always like to offer the tray first and watch for a few minutes to see how the kids interact with the materials. You will be surprised how some are ready to dig in, while others will need time to observe first. 

My son loved to cover his hands with the whipped cream, clap, and see the whipped cream splash away! He thought it was the funniest thing ever! Thank goodness for the splash mat to catch it all. 

He loved counting the blueberries one by one, placing them in a bowl. Sensory bins are great for working on math skills at any age. 

He ate a few watermelon stars along the way as a yummy snack! 


If your little one is one that doesn’t want to engage with the activity, I always do these three steps before removing the tray. 

  1. Some kids are more sensitive to sensory materials and will take longer to engage. Provide spoons and other materials where they can engage with the tray but not necessarily get messy or have to touch it with their hands.
  2. Model play. Some kids need to observe how to play before they feel safe to do so themselves. Grab a spoon, pour some blueberries onto a cup, touch the whipped cream with your hand, even taste it, and say yummy! 
  3. If your toddler is throwing everything and not engaging with the bin as they should, it could be that they are just not in the mood for sensory play right now, and that is ok. You can always try later on. If you see this behavior is constant, your little one might be in the trajectory play stage and are experimenting in how things move, how things fall, and different kinds of play should provide to support their current stage.  

Check out the different play stages and see if you can identify in which stage your toddler is. 

Sensory bins can be an excellent opportunity to learn through play. Don’t be afraid of a little mess; just prepare the area and only pour out as much as you are willing to clean up. Don’t forget to join the fun. 

Need more summer ideas? I collected 27 activities you can do this summer. There’s even a free bucket list and calendar printable, so you can plan your summer fun!