How to put together a sensory bin?

Sensory bins have been quite a life saver whenever I need to keep our little friend occupied. We tried it out while holidaying in Australia and during the holidays at home. It was lots of fun even though I have to watch over her at times. At least our little friend is kept occupied and really concentrated on the play at hand. I have shared briefly on what a sensory bin is all about, and I have seen that in our plays with the little friend. After putting together a few bins together and having some friends asked, I figured out that I might as well share how I put one together.

1. Select a theme e.g. ocean, zoo, farm christmas, chinese new year etc
So that it’s easier for you to plan out what items you would like to place in the bin. While in Australia, we collected these animal figurines and topped up with 2 more sets from Singapore Zoo. These are extremely useful for themes such as zoo, ocean, farm, Australian animals.

There are also many items you can get your local craft stores or Daiso.  I will be sharing the items that I used from Daiso in the subsequent sensory bins.

2. Choose a base
Water is the easiest which our little friend loves! Others you might need to collect or buy or ransack your kitchen. I have used water, oats, tea leaves, beans and rice before. You probably need a standard collection of various ‘coloured’ bases and you can use them over again. I also choose to use food so that it is at least safe if accidentally swallowed. Water beads are not food safe, but they are quite fun to play with. You might like to match the base with the theme.

3. Gather some bowls, scoops and such.
You can use a sandcastle building kit, or simply use those found in the kitchen.

4. Place the base and arrange the items in a huge bin.
I am using a spare transparent bin we bought from ikea. They also have a huge laundry bin which is perfect if you would like your little one to get into the bin. If not any wide basins or the unused bath tub might work as well.

Yes it does get messy when playing with the sensory bin but we take this opportunity to teach our little friend to clean and pack up. Once I got the bin planned out, it takes about 5 minutes or less to put everything together. Some friends have also commented that they are not creative enough to put one together. There is not much designing to do really. Unless you are photographing them for blogging, it doesn’t have to be that aesthetically pleasing. Alternatively, you can just copy what others have put together and make your own modifications along with whatever is available.

Here are some of my first humble bins for a reference:
Floral (and pandan)
Apple Tree Farm
Zoo
Duckies and Friends
Have fun!

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