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.
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.
For 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.
If you are looking for information on making sensory bins, you may be interested in my book.