Frozen Sensory Bin

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There’s a Disney movie you may have heard of called Frozen. I am probably one of the few people in North America who has not seen it. I heard little snippets of it once when the kid had friends over who had brought the movie with them and they were all watching it in the other room while I made supper, but I have never sat down and watched it.

I can deduce though given the amount of references to the movie, the frequency of times I’ve been subjected to listen to “Let it Go” sung by my tone deaf daughter, and what I see in stores that this movie is a big deal, in particular to children of a certain age. In this case, given that I haven’t seen the movie, I guess you could say that I was inspired by the movie’s popularity to make a Frozen sensory bin.

Frozen inspired sensory binFor the base, I used salt, but you could also use sugar (which I don’t recommend because it may be too tempting for kids to eat it!) or epsom salt. I added reusable plastic ice cubes in purple and various shades of blue. I froze these to begin with to add another sensory element to the bin of having something cold.

I added fuzzy pompoms in blue and white, glass beads in blue and clear, a tiny Elsa figurine, and some larger Frozen characters, Olaf, Kristof, Anna, and Hans or Sven ( I don’t know which is which!).

Frozen Inspired Sensory BinThis Frozen sensory bin is a simple one but it combines several textures and opens itself up to imaginative play with the addition of the characters.

For hundreds of other sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins, you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins

Summer Sensory Bins

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Ahhh, summer…that wonderful time of year when the weather is nice and life seems simpler. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when kids seem even more restless and even though some things about parenting may be easier, the sensory needs of your child don’t automatically disappear.

In fact, the sensory needs of some kids become more noticeable in the summer as they adjust to the changes in routine.

15 Summer Sensory BinsTo combat this challenge with my kids, many of whom have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), I use sensory stations. Sensory stations are even easier to set up in the summer because so many of them can be set up outside with little to no preparation. One sensory station that we always keep year-round is a sensory bin. I make a new sensory bin every week or two.

Sensory Station Ideas for the home or classroomEven though my kids are getting older, they have not outgrown sensory bins. They still play in them and after spending time with one, they are calmer and more able to focus.

These ideas will help inspire you to create your own sensory bin for your kids this summer:

Summer Sensory Bin here at The Chaos and The Clutter

Frog Life Cycle Sensory Bin from Teaching Mama

Starfish and Sand Dollar Shaving Cream Tray from The House of Burke

Water Sensory Tray here at The Chaos and The Clutter

Edible Sand Sensory Activity from A Little Pinch of Perfect

Fizzy Ocean Sensory Bin from Wildflower Ramblings

Seaside Sensory Bin here at The Chaos and The Clutter

Beach Themed Water Sensory Table for Toddlers from Golden Reflections Blog

Summer Sensory Bin IdeasSparkling Ocean Playdough from Stir the Wonder

Calming Lavender Sensory Bin here at The Chaos and The Clutter

Sea Turtle Sensory Bin from Teaching Mama

Watermelon Sensory Play from Little Bins for Little Hands

Garden Sensory Pail here at The Chaos and The Clutter

Ocean Sensory Bin from Happy Hooligans

Gardening Sensory Bin from Mama Papa Bubba

For hundreds of other sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins, you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins

Citrus Sensory Bin

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

I first got the idea for making this sensory bin when my neighbour was telling me that you can dry out limes. I thought it would be neat to combine some elements of real food with other items in a sensory bin. I liked the idea of keeping some of the natural scents and textures.

Citrus Sensory Bin

This took me on a bit of an experimental journey into drying citrus! I had some limes that I had taken some of the zest off for a recipe (that’s why there are stripes on the limes in the picture!) and I set them on top of the registers so that when the heat came on, they would dry out.

Drying the limes worked really well so I decided to try the same process on oranges and lemons. The larger fruit didn’t fare as well.

I wasn’t deterred. I then tried slicing oranges and lemons and limes and drying the slices in the same way I had dried the limes. I threw a few more of the whole fruit on there as well to see if I might have better luck the second time around. The larger lemons and orange didn’t work out but the citrus slices did.

drying citrusFor the sensory bin, I used dried lemon, orange and lime slices, the dried limes, some dried mini mandarin oranges, 2 plastic lemons, some oranges I had cut out from the cardboard box the mandarins came in, and a yellow scrubber. I also added a shaker of lemon pepper to put another element of citrus scent in the bin.

It was a very different sensory bin than what we usually make so it was a nice change and the kids thought it was neat that it used real fruit.

For hundreds of other sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins, you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins

History Sensory Bin

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

I find it easiest to create sensory bins that have some type of theme to them. If there is something that we are studying in homeschooling, a sensory bin along that theme can further reinforce what the kids are learning as well as providing an opportunity for sensory play.

Last week, the kids watched the classic musical “Annie Get Your Gun“. They adored it and are still singing “no, you can’t get a man with a gu-un”! Granola Girl was even singing it through the aisles in the grocery store the other day!

Since they were already so interested and asking lots of questions, I decided to expand their learning and teach them about the history of Annie Oakley, the woman the movie is based on and about that time in history. I happened to have a Wild West TOOB which had an Annie Oakley figurine in it (I hadn’t even noticed that when I bought it!) so I used that to create a sensory bin that would allow the kids to play and expand on the story they had watched in the movie.

History Sensory BinFor the base of the bin, I used dry white beans in one section, aquarium rocks that we had left over from a science experiment we had done the week before in another section and I finished it off with an area of moss. Then I added the Wild West TOOB figures and let the kids play.

I know that my sensory bin may not be completely historically accurate, but the point of it is to get the kids more interested in history and its characters by letting them explore. They loved that there was an Annie Oakley figure and had such fun reenacting scenes from the movie.

You can create a history sensory bin to go with any period in history (think Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt) or that is centred on a specific historical figure (think inventors, artists, politicians or heroes).

For hundreds of other sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Sensory Bins on Pinterest.

If you are looking for information on making sensory bins, you may be interested in my book. The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bins