Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin: 2 Ways
Miss O has only experienced sensory bins at various Momstown Burlington events. Ranging from an autumn-themed bin full of oats, cinnamon sticks and plastic apples to a Christmas-themed bin full of Christmas decorations, she has always gravitated towards them. I’ve been meaning to make one for her at home for quite some time but alas the life of a mom is a busy one. I finally decided enough was enough and I would start by making a Valentine’s Day-themed sensory bin for her.
I purchased a 32L Sterilite bin from Walmart (I prefer Rubbermaid as I find lids stay attached better; however, the Rubbermaid bin was larger at 39L and also more expensive – the Sterilite bin was under $10). I decided to fill the bin with white navy beans that I purchased from Walmart in 900g bags at $2.78 each x 6. Perhaps buying in bulk would have been cheaper but I wasn’t sure how much I would need. By purchasing the bin and the beans at the same time, I could lay the bags in the bin to get an idea of how much would be needed to fill it. In future I will most likely purchase in bulk.
When planning what to put in the bin, I knew I needed cups and scoops and a wide assortment of little trinkets to put in. Basically, I went nuts at my local dollar store. Here’s what I included:
- Glittery foam hearts
- Porcupine balls (that’s what the package said!)
- “Ring for a Hug” bell (the first toy she grabbed!)
- Pink cup (from a set of 8 in different colours)
- XOXO bucket
- Sparkly puffy hearts
- Large heart-shaped rhinestones
- Clear scoop
- Fuzzy puffy hearts
- Vase filler that looks like diamonds
- Red stress-ball heart
- Measuring cups
- Heart container that held the erasers
- Pink silicone bracelet with rhinestone heart (not pictured as she was wearing it)
We absolutely love sensory bins at our house and always have the vacuum and dust pan at the ready to scoop up any stray materials. I usually change out the dry activity in it once a week and try an absolute messy one once a month. So far we’ve tried Rainbow Rice, Shaving Cream, Oatmeal, Dirt. My favourite has been pasta. It is larger and is easy to scoop up, plus it doubles as a beading/threading and sorting activity.
Our simple Valentine’s Day sensory bin got filled with:
- Dyed red penne & fusili
- 2 bags of cinnamon hearts
- 2 bags of chocolate hearts
- Our regular recycled material playthings
- Measuring utensils
The cinnamon hearts made the bin smell wonderful. Miss M when first discovering it, got her face right close to the bin and took some deep breaths (‘Haaah…. Haaah…..”).
Mr J and Miss M totally love chocolate – so they dug those chocolate hearts out with abandon and crunched them back as fast as they could be unwrapped. I think I may have been a little too generous in how many I put in, so a few magically disappeared after each of them had eaten several.
Overall they had a great time picking up pasta with tongs, putting them into the measuring cup and dumping them back out.