Want to try sensory play?! I have rounded up 100 sensory bin fillers your kids will love!
You know those days when kids are melting all over and everything feels hard?? I share activities that are EASY to bust out in those moments – activities that are packed with learning and FUN for your kids!
WHY WE LOVE SENSORY PLAY
I share sensory bins, because they are an easy way to bring more JOY and learning to our days. My 3 kids are extremely active and close in age (5, 3, and 3) – having some activity options around the house helps our days go MUCH more smoothly. It often means the difference between nonstop fighting (when we don’t have activity options) vs. kids having something to focus on that leads into positive, imaginative play (when we do have activity options set up).
** Wondering how to set up a sensory bin? Check out this post!
Sensory tables jump start my kids’ independent play and exploration. It helps in moments when someone needs to reset, regroup, or we all need to start our day in a positive way.
But what can I put in the bin?! Here you have it! 100 sensory bin fillers!
Pick some to try that sound doable (and not stressful!) to you, and please let me know how it goes! Sign up to join the Low Lift Fun newsletter here – please stay in touch! I’d love to hear from you.
100 Sensory Bin Fillers
- From the Pantry:
- Popcorn kernals
- Dry macaroni
- Coffee beans
- Baking Soda (+vinegar for fizz)
Sensory Play with Nature Based Materials – 100 Sensory Bin Fillers
- From Nature:
- Wooden discs
- Pea gravel
- Pine needles
- Sticks and branches
- Helicopter pods
- Flowers (play with them before they die!)
- Grass clippings
- Snow! (It’s so fun to bring inside!)
Materials You Already Have! 100 Sensory Bin Fillers
- From the Play Room:
- Ball pit balls
- Sports balls, bouncy balls, any balls!
- Play food
- Silk scarves (like the ones in a music class)
- DUPLO LEGOS
- Counting bears
- Stuffed animals
- From Around the House:
- Q Tips
- Cotton balls
- Shaving cream
- Random magnetic items + some that aren’t – explore what is magnetic
- Ribbon scraps
- Easter basket grass
- Fabric Scraps
- Old game pieces (scrabble, bananagrams, boggle)
- Old puzzle pieces
- From the Recycling Bin:
- Pouch tops
- Bottle tops
- Rubber bands
- Hole Punches
- Bubble wrap
- Crinkly paper
- Tissue paper
- Packing paper
- Packing peanuts
- Strips of newspaper
- Use the box AS the sensory bin – fill with anything!
- From Dollar Tree, Michaels, or similar:
- Plastic gems
- Glass stones
- Pony beads
- Letter beads
- Crinkly paper
- Fake flowers
- Fake leaves
- Fake moss
- Foam shapes
- Foam letters
- Mini erasers
- Unexpected Sensory Bin Fillers:
- Fish tank rocks
- Plastic counting chips
- Scraps of carpet
- Messy Messy:
- Taste Safe mud (cocoa powder + oil or water)
- Hair gel
- Ooblek (cornstarch + water)
- Bubble foam (baby soap + water blended with a mixer)
- Life Skills with Soapy Water:
- Wash fruits (like apples or pears)
- Scrub pumpkins with soapy water
- Sensory Fillers Worth Buying:
Taste Safe Options – 100 Sensory Bin Fillers
HELP! What if my child or baby still mouths things?!
I’m all about sharing ideas that create space for all families and children to participate. If your child still puts things in their mouth, here are options for you.
Check out this post for 100 activities for babies and young toddlers as well – you will see some ideas that would be a match for your little one.
- Taste Safe Sensory Bin Fillers
- water with food coloring
- stale cereal
- any crushed pantry items (can mix in a blender)
- cool whip
- leftover cooked noodles
- Consider Sensory Bags (ziploc gallon bag taped to table or window)
- flower and water
- hair gel and pom poms
- paint bags to mix paint colors
- water beads in a bag
- shaving cream
100 Sensory Bin Fillers – Sensory Play with Water
- Water Play
- Ice cubes
- water dyed any color
- bubble foam (1:1 ratio baby soap and water mixed with hand mixer)
- water with DUPLO legos
- toys frozen in ice – thaw them out with warm water
Does sensory play stress you out? READ THIS!
Please know sensory play doesn’t have to feel expensive, stressful, or elaborate! And if it is stressful to you, it is OK to skip it! I share ideas to add joy to your day – aiming to make life easier for you and more fun for them. If you see anything here that isn’t your jam, skip it and don’t look back. You’re doing a great job. PERIOD.
Rice play was a NO for me for the longest, because it seemed too messy – now I’m into it. I have a personal vendetta against slime – other people love it. IT’S ALL GOOD.
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