Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School Sensory Bin

I have been planning my themed sensory bins for the year since I first saw the Counting Coconuts blog. That is where I got the inspiration for my first real sensory bin- the back to school bin! My inspiration, and most of the ideas, came from this bin. I just modified it a bit for Boogie, since he is 2 years younger than her son.

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Isn't it pretty?? I love it. So, what's in the bin, you ask?

Shredded paper
Alphabet Blocks (Dollar Zone)- stacking, lining up, spelling
Apple (Dollar Zone)- pretending
Leaves (Dollar Zone)- counting
Calculator (Dollar Zone)- pushing buttons, talking about numbers
Football pencils and erasers (Dollar Zone)- on and off with the erasers
Some letter magnets (Michael's dollar section)- letter recognition
Some number magnets (Walmart, I think. I already had the magnets on the fridge)- number recognition
Giant paper clips (Dollar Zone)- linking
Bus (Border's closing sale)- playing :)
Scissors (they were mine when I was little!)- cutting shredded paper
Acorns and pine cones (Dollar Zone)- counting
Dry erase board (Walmart- $2.47)- coloring
Foam shapes (Target dollar section)- colors and shapes
Zipper pencil case (Dollar Zone)- putting things in and out
Crayola dry erase crayons (Michaels- $4.99 I think)- coloring

I realized when Boogie accidentally drew on his face that I hadn't checked the dry erase marker to see if it was non-toxic. Since it didn't say, I put it away and took out the Crayola dry erase crayons, so those and the erasing mit that came with them) are now in the zipper pencil bag. I believe they were $5 at Michaels.

My philosophy with the sensory bins is that whatever I put in them that I already have stays in the bin until I change it. For example, we won't use the dry erase crayons for anything else while the back to school sensory bin is out. That way, the items in the sensory bin are special just for the time he is using it. When I change the sensory bin, some of the things will be available again (the crayons and dry erase board will go in the diaper bag, I think) and some of them will go into storage to wait for another sensory bin or project. The lovely thing about sensory bins is so many of the items are either things you already have, things you will use in homeschooling in general, or things you can reuse if you plan on doing sensory bins consistently.

Like with the rice bin, I put the blanket down on the floor (in the playroom this time), because he already sees that as a boundary for the contents of the bin. It worked beautifully. Even though he knew that some of the items usually belonged somewhere else, he played with them in the bin or on the blanket. The only reason he stopped playing with it was because Bun woke up and I had to feed him, so we put the sensory bin away. Boogie was VERY mad that it was time to clean up and he had been playing with it for 45 minutes! Success :)

Linking up to some of these great parties!


  1. This is waaaaay cute 7 creative! LOVE it! Thanks for linking it up to Living Life Intentionally Sensory LInky!! Beth =-)

  2. Thanks, Beth! I love making sensory bins!

  3. Love the tub and your philosophy! And thanks for the link back too! *hugs*


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