Must Try sensory bin ideas for 2 year olds

Creating cost affordable and easy to setup sensory bins is one of my goals both at home and during my sensory classes. Try these sensory bin ideas and get inspired.

When kids have a short attention span it is frustrating to spend a lot of time and money creating sensory bins. Luckily for you, I collected a few ideas that you can set up quickly offer lots of different textures and engagement for yourself little ones.

These sensory bin ideas can be quickly set up using finds from the dollar store, here are a few ideas you can do at home:

Sensory bins are great for kids because they receive loads of tactile stimulation

sensory bin ideas Tips & Tricks for Success

As a sensory teacher I have learned a lot along the way. These are my best 12 tips to help you get started and enjoy the experience.

  • Embrace that play can be messy. Allow for messy play in a designated area and plan ahead to expect that.
  • Small bins are ok. Sensory bins don’t have to be very large, with two cups of beans or rice kids have plenty to play with. They don’t need all 5 pounds!
  • Only pour as much as you are willing to clean up. Smaller amounts make clean up easier without losing the benefit of the activity.
  • Use a splash mat or blanket under the bin to make clean up faster.
  • If you have kids of different ages add extra scoops and supplies to the bin. Consider individual bins as well.
  • Have everything ready before inviting your kids to play – this includes clean up supplies like a towel and a broom
  • If your toddler puts everything in their mouth, stick with edible-safe materials
  • Always supervise your child- especially if you have small parts in your bin
  • Save the sensory fillers in Tupperware or Ziplocks to be reused later on
  • Do not direct play right away. Let your child experiment first and only model play after about 2-3 minutes of free play.
  • If the toddler doesn’t want to touch the texture, do not force, push, or spill the material. Provide a spoon, sticks, and other materials to engage with instead.
  • Use your child’s interest to create themes around the bins. If he is into cars? add cars, dinosaurs? then do that! unicorns? you guessed it. A child will engage more if the theme is around something that is of interest.

Ok! So now, let’s get started with a few ideas you can do right away that won’t take you long to set up. There is no prep and no long processes to go through.

sensory bin ideas for Toddlers

Color Cars Sensory Bin

sensory bin ideas for 2 year olds

Black beans are fun to play with. They are not as small as the grain of rice but soft and manageable to play with. They can also last for a long time so you can reuse them over and over. Add a few cars for a vehicle theme bin or add starts for a space bin.

Pirate Treasure Sensory Bin

Rice itself is one of the most accessible sensory fillers you can use. You can color it and reuse it over and over again, or you can use plain white rice and add the colors with toys and scooping spoons.

Wondering how to color rice? here’s the easiest way to do it!

Ocean Sensory Bin

Never underestimate the power of plain water. When Manu was cranky, I would quickly take him to the sink and add a few toys to it. He couldn’t resist water. It just took all his problems away. A tray or a bowl with a few toys, and you are set!

Beach Sensory Bin

It is like having your beach at home. Buy some play sand and offer a bowl of water next to it. When you add just enough water, the sand becomes moldable, and you can play making sandcastles with molds. Get those feet in there!  Bury feet and have them explore too; it is such an enjoyable sensory experience!

Mom tip: Sprinkle some cinnamon into the sand when storing it to prevents bugs from getting in it. Also, check with tour local state laws as some states (like Florida) it is illegal to take sand from the beach.

Egypt Sensory Bin using Corn-meal

Cornmeal is cheap and can be found at any supermarket. Add it dry to a bin with some construction vehicles, and you have a container set up in less than 10 seconds.

Are you looking for a bit more messy play? Mix one cup of cornmeal to I cup of hot water and mix to create a dough. It turns like a sticky Playdough.
Add some extra water, and you have yourself a muddy bin that offers tons of play opportunities.

Pom-poms in toilet Paper Tubes

Toilet tubes are a great add on for a sensory bin. USe any type of beans you have like black beans and use it to scoop them into the tube. We covered the tubes with the ghost printable and made little scary ghosts for this Halloween sensory bin idea.

Wondering where the crayon labels come from? get them as part of the Toddler Busy Book

Fruit Sensory Bin

If you are worried that your little one puts everything in his/her mouth, then this tasty idea is perfect! Add some whipping cream and some fruit, and you have not just a Sensory bin but a yummy one 😋

Want step by step instructions to make this 4th of July bin? Get them scoop here

Pigs in the Mud Sensory Bin

For a muddy pig theme, you can mix some oatmeal and chocolate pudding. It is edible-safe, and the combination of textures is a lot of fun.

easy sensory bin ideas

Valentines Marshmallow’s Sensory Bin

Marshmallows are cheap, and they come in many sizes. Grab a few bags next time you are at the market and place them in a bin. Offer tongs and containers to manipulate the marshmallows for a sweet bin.

My First Cereal Sensory Bin

Do you have a toddler that is obsessed with vehicles? Grab a bag of cereal and a dump truck and watch their creativity go. Pair the activity with your favorite truck book to recreate the story and extend playtime.

No Mess Ocean Sensory Bin

During Easter, they have gift basket paper fillings at a low price. They also come in every color! Buy the color blue for an ocean bin, a yellow one for a farm-themed, or even a green one for a zoo theme.

sensory bin ideas no mess ocean

Toy Wash

Water and bubbles are so much fun! I’m a bin add some water and some baby soap or bath soap and mix around to make bubbles. Add some toys and brushes to create a toy wash station.

Rainbow Sensory Bin

sensory bin ideas using colored rice

Make rainbow rice with our favorite color recipe to make the boldest colors and provide some spoons, bowls and cups and let your little ones have fun! yes, it is that simple!

Where to find supplies for your sensory bin ideas

Your local dollar store and grocery store has everything you need to create any of the above sensory bins. Here is a great video tour made by The Purple Alphabet with all the cool stuff she has found on her local dollar store to make sensory bins.

Last thoughts on easy sensory bin ideas

Setting up sensory bins doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Use what you have at home and keep an eye for any of the above ideas to shop next time you go to the dollar store or the grocery store. Have fun! Remember, kids learn through play, and sensory play is essential for their development.

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easy sensory bin ideas for toddlers and preschoolers

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