5 fun DIY sensory bin themes to stimulate your child’s senses

Sensory bins are containers filled with colorful, textured materials and objects designed to stimulate children’s senses. The concept behind sensory bins stems from Montessori principles, a method of education that emphasizes independence and hands-on learning.

Not only are sensory bins beneficial for children’s language development and cognitive growth, they’re also easy to make with many of their materials available at your local dollar store.

For parents looking for fun and exciting ideas for crafting these delightful discovery boxes, here are 5 different DIY sensory bin themes. 

1. Ladybug-Themed Sensory Bin

You probably already own all the items needed for this homemade sensory bin. The filmer begins by sourcing rocks to paint as ladybugs with numbers on their backs. Next, they mix a box of uncooked mini pasta with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and food coloring in a plastic bag to create the main filling for the sensory bin and the grass for the ladybugs. After lining the container with the green pasta shells, they arrange the ladybug rocks in a charming cluster.  They add a small wooden bowl and spoon to scoop up the “grass” for a finishing touch. 

2. Fall-Themed Sensory Bin

Sensory bins with a seasonal theme are a great way to teach kids about the different times of the year. To make this autumnal one, pour a bag of yellow popcorn kernels into your container for the base filler. Then arrange an assortment of small fall-related decorations, which you can get at any craft or dollar store. This bin includes sparkly orange and brown balls, acorns, mini pumpkins, and cinnamon potpourri. 

3. Galaxy-Themed Sensory Bin

Your child will have a blast exploring the galaxy with this out-of-the-world sensory bin! The filmer begins by making the base filler using a layer of coffee beans followed by layers of colorful dyed rice. They then create the universe using a constellation of galaxy-themed party favors or crafting materials, such as neon plastic spaceships, sparkly plastic jewels, glow sticks, iridescent bits of ribbon, and anything shaped like a star.  

4. Ocean-Themed Sensory Bin

@ot.tati

Ocean themed sensory bin! Great for indoor or outdoor play! 🥰 #fyp #foryoupage #pediatricot #pedsot #sensoryplay #sensorybin #kidsactivities

♬ Ocean – MBB

Explore the entire ocean in one plastic container. This “sea”-sory bin is filled with various blue and transparent colored Orbeez to resemble water’s flowy, liquidy texture. Fish, turtles, and other toy sea critters make for exciting underwater exploration. 

5. Pirate-Themed Sensory Bin

@lifewithaleigh

Pirate week Mateys!! 🏴‍☠️☠️ almost everything found at the dollar store! #toddlertok #toddleractivities #sensoryplay #sensory #pinterestmom #fyp

♬ Pirates Of The Caribbean (Title Theme) – Voidoid

Your little pirate will have a blast digging for treasure in this sensory bin. The filmer begins by filling a container with dry, uncooked black beans. They then scatter in some gold plastic coins followed by plastic gemstones, bead necklaces, and pirate-themed stickers as treasure that swashbuckling little ones can hunt

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