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Sensory Bins Sensory Bins
I have to admit that I only just discovered the world of sensory bins a few weeks ago when I was aimlessly perusing Pinterest.... Sensory Bins

I have to admit that I only just discovered the world of sensory bins a few weeks ago when I was aimlessly perusing Pinterest.

Since then, “sensory bins” seem to be everywhere: in everyday conversation with friends, on my favourite mommy blogs, and now in both our own living room and backyard.

Sensory bins can be totally extravagant or ridiculously simple, yet still effective.  The whole idea of a sensory bin is to create a little world inside a plastic container for your child to explore.

When I first decided I wanted to create some sensory bins for Portia, I felt slightly overwhelmed because I didn’t have ‘the perfect materials’ nor did I always feel I had the time to put together these elaborate bins I kept seeing. I realised that I needed to get past the idea of wanting to have a spectacular sensory bin, and I needed to instead make whatever I could that would engage and excite our 20 month old.

So here is what I have come up with so far.

Water and water beads. So basic. So much fun for Portia.

Portia eventually started adding her own items to the bin.  She ran off to the bathroom at one point and came back with a rubber ducky and some foam numbers that she plays with in the bathtub.  Soon, there was a little party going on in the water sensory bin.  Imaginations running wild.

The second bin I put together was, again, super simple.  I filled the same plastic tub (that I had filled with water the last time) with cornmeal this time and added a plastic ice-cube tray, a set of measuring spoons, and various colourful containers.

Portia had a great time transferring the cornmeal from one container to the next, emptying that container and starting again. We got to be outside this time, which is why I decided to do the cornmeal, as it can get pretty messy indoors!

All in all, another simplistic idea went a long way.  Letting the little ones explore silently can be just as valuable as the conversations that can be had during these sensory experiences.

I encourage you to put together a sensory bin for your kidlet as a great indoor or outdoor activity.

On that note, my next bin is going to be fantastic! I got the idea from Mama Papa Bubba‘s truly inspirational blog and I am heading out tomorrow to gather the materials that I need to make this Bird Themed Sensory Bin the most mind blowing sensory bin ever! 😉

Happy Binning!

North Shore Mama


Jessica Blumel

Nice to meet you! I'm Jessica a.k.a North Shore Mama. This site was born out of my love for my daughters and the desire to share my motherhood journey with fellow moms. I believe we're all in this craziness called 'parenthood' together and North Shore Mama is my way of reaching out to anyone who needs a laugh, a cry or dinner inspiration. Thank you so much for reading!

  • Jen

    June 18, 2012 #1 Author

    You’re sweet! Thanks so much for the link. I completely agree about sensory bins not having to be fancy or perfect (despite sometimes feeling like they have to be). While I do enjoy setting up the more elaborate bins, just setting out a bin of sand/water/pebbles and letting Gracen collect her own things to put inside is always just as fun. Sometimes I even just fill a bowl with water and put it on a towel in the middle of the kitchen while I make dinner! Wait until you see the one we tried today… I think it may be a new favourite!

    BTW – your little Portia is GORGEOUS. That last photo needs to be in a frame on the wall.


  • amy lee

    June 22, 2012 #2 Author

    Apparently I’ve been living under a rock. I’ve never heard of this before! I’m going to do it!!! I truly believe kids don’t need toys (although we do have a few). My 2 year old would rather play with my pots and pans than her toys.


    • northshoremama

      June 22, 2012 #3 Author

      Haha. I just learned about this type of activity a little while ago as well, so don’t feel bad 😉


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