16 Ways to Play with Sensory Bins

16 of the Best Sensory Bin Play Ideas

Do your children love playing with sensory bins? Or are you wondering what a sensory bin is!? Let me explain :)

A sensory bin is a large container, large enough for little hands (and sometimes bodies!) to reach in and feel, grasp, move, play. You can put almost anything and everything in a sensory bin, anything that will help young children play, explore and experiment using their senses.

Diamond-Dig-5 IMG_1607 spagetti-sensory-tub-1

Children are sensory seekers and learn through their senses. When swishing coloured shaving cream, or pouring rice, or smelling scented play dough, children are practising maths and science skills, learning and using language and social skills. Sensory bins give children the chance to do all of these things without fear of failure or getting it wrong. There is no wrong!

Whether you’re new to sensory bins or have been using them for years, here are a few fun ideas to try out.

16 of the Best Sensory Bin Play Ideas

Using Sticks as Sensory Bin Fillers (Danya Banya)
Recycled Paper Sensory Bin (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Birds and Nests Sensory Play (Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes)
Shaving Cream Play (Triple T Mum)
Water Beads Sensory Play (Racheous Loveable Learning)
Bedtime Sensory Tub: Lavender Dyed Rice (Nurture Store)
ABC Sensory Bin (3 Dinosaurs)
Baking Sensory Tub (The Imagination Tree)
Farm Sensory Tub (Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails)
Construction Sensory Bin (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Tub (One Perfect Day)
Christmas Sensory Tub (Octavia and Vicky)
Fresh Mint Sensory Play (Mama Papa Bubba)
I Spy Sensory Bin (Happy Hooligans)
Diamond Mine Sensory Tub (Childhood 101)
Sludge Sensory Play (Picklebums)
Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Welcome to The Weekly Kids Co-Op


Three ways to play and learn with measurement

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

Children love to measure things in their world. Pebble has often helped us with measuring furniture for a space in our house, or measuring ingredients for cooking. She also naturally measures objects in her play, choosing longer and shorter blocks for building, filling and pouring different sized cups of water in the bath or choosing which piece of furniture to put where in her doll house. 

Giving children the chance to play with measurement helps them learn how to compare objects and use words such as ‘tall’, ‘taller’, ‘heavy’, ‘heavier’, ‘full’, ’empty’.

1. Block play

You will need:

  • blocks of different sizes

How to play

  • Build with the blocks.
  • Talk about the similarities and differences – colour, size, shape.
  • Hunt for blocks that are short and blocks that are tall.
  • Choose five blocks and put them in order from tallest to shortest.

Before starting this activity it’s important that your child knows what “long” and “short’ mean and how to compare two objects. If five objects is too overwhelming then start with a few less.

Pebble found this activity easy peasy. I asked her how she knew which one was the longest and she showed me how she lined them up along side each other to check. Rocky joined in alongside, playing with the blocks too.

We talked about how the size of the blocks changed depending on which way you turned them and ultimately Pebble chose which way she wanted the blocks to go.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

2. Lego Towers Race

You will need:

  • duplo/lego
  • stop watch/clock/timer

How to play:

  • Set the timer for 60 seconds.
  • Build a tower as tall as you can in that time.
  • Keep repeating the tower building race until you have three or four towers (or build one each if you are playing with three or four children).
  • Compare the towers to see which is the tallest and which is the shortest. Put them in order.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

3. Straw collage

You will need:

  • straws
  • scissors
  • paper
  • craft glue

How to play:

  • Cut straws into different lengths using the scissors.
  • Choose some straws of different lengths to stick on to your straw collage.
  • Stick the straws in order from tallest to shortest.

This looks very simple but can be quite tricky, especially with so many objects to compare. Pebble lined up each straw from one end, so that she was getting an accurate comparison. It takes children a little while to get the hang of doing this. Lots and lots of practice will help them get more confident and accurate.

Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky} Playing with Measurement {via Octavia and Vicky}

More ideas for playing with measurement:

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities
More maths play on Octavia and Vicky:

Invitation to Play bottle top numbres

Learning about numbers - subitising and number recognition | Octavia and Vicky

20 Awesome Baby Play Ideas {and Bumper Baby Toy Giveaway!!!!}

20 Awesome Baby Play Activities {via Octavia and Vicky}

Sponsored by Fisher Price

20 Awesome Baby Play Activities {via Octavia and Vicky}

You guys! Our baby boy is growing up so fast! Rocky is already 11 months old, almost a toddler. In fact, in reality, he IS a toddler. He’s staggering all over the place, he’s got a mouth full of teeth and he’s becoming much more cuddly and much more cheeky with each passing day.

To make the most of the last of Rocky’s baby stage I want to share some awesome baby play ideas with you all. This time goes so fast, I hope these ideas will help you to enjoy this precious time with your little ones too.

Looking for more baby play ideas?
Get your copy of Zero to Two: the book of play.

Zero to Two - The Book of Play

20 Awesome Baby Play Ideas

Gel sensory baby (Paging Fun Mums)
Discovery box play (Just for Daisy)
Rice bubble sensory tub (Paint on the Ceiling)
Water tub play (Teach Preschool)
Sticky paper sensory play (Octavia and Vicky)

20 Awesome Baby Play Activities {via Octavia and Vicky}

Playing with mirrors (The Imagination Tree)
Texture sensory wall (Hands On as We Grow)
Ball and tube play (Octavia and Vicky)
Shaving foam sensory bag (Octavia and Vicky)
Rolling ramp fun (Learn with Play at Home)

20 Awesome Baby Play Activities {via Octavia and Vicky}

Active baby play ideas (Childhood 101)
Ice painting (Laughing Kids Learn)
Sensory bottles for baby (Dirt and Boogers)
The magical cardboard box (Mamasmiles)
Baby sensory tray (Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails)

20 Awesome Baby Play Activities {via Octavia and Vicky}

Montessori baby resources (Living Montessori Now)
Baby play 3 – 6 months (Lessons Learnt Journal)
Crazy baby songs and finger plays (Picklebums)
Tummy time ideas (Nurturestore)
Finger paint (Rainy Day Mum)

Fisher Price Bumper Baby Gear Giveaway!

It has been my great pleasure to represent Fisher Price, they are a brand that I have loved as a child and a mama. I’ve SO enjoyed sharing my parenting reflections, yummy kids recipes and GIVEAWAYS with you all. Now for one final giveaway as my time as a Fisher Price Play Ambassador comes to an end. And it’s a doozy!
Fisher Price Baby Toy Giveaway {via Octavia and Vicky}

The awesome people over at Fisher-Price are big advocates of baby and children’s play, and as their Play Ambassador they’ve given me the chance to giveaway $150 worth of baby toys to one Australian Octavia and Vicky readers:

  • Prize 1: Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Jumperoo –  There’s so much for baby to discover on this jumperoo – music, lights and exciting sounds reward baby with every jump! A rotating seat gives baby 360° access to toys and activities all around, including a light-up waterfall, spinners, bead bar, roller bar, teether and more!

  • Prize 2: Fisher -Price Rainforest Friends  Tote ‘n Glow –  the Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Tote ‘n Glow Soother is an adorable elephant character designed to help soothe baby to sleep with a rich variety of soothing lights, music and white noise effects.

  • Prize 3: Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends 4-in-1 Projection Soother – A sweet table top soother provides a variety of options to soothe baby to sleep. Modes let parents customise music and sounds (including white noise!), projection and glowing lights to baby’s preference.

To enter to win all three of these awesome prizes simply leave a comment answering this question:

What will you miss most when your baby isn’t a baby anymore?

Australian entrants only. Entries close 5.00pm AEDST on Wednesday, February 26 2014.

Want more baby play ideas?

Zero to two: The Book of Play is now on sale! It is packed full of fun activities for babies and toddlers. You can buy the e-book anywhere in the world, and it comes with freebie printable puppets and stroller cards. Get your copy here.

Zero to Two - The Book of PlayZero to Two - The Book of Play

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

The Weekly Kids Co Op - fun stuff for kids to play, make and do

The Weekly Kids Co Op - fun stuff for kids to play, make and do

I’m so sorry I’ve missed a few weeks with the Weekly Kids Co-op! Life is so busy right now, right? I know it’s not just me. December is here, the festive season has arrived – YAY! But. That means a never ended to-do list, a constant stream of social functions to go to and lots of end of year parties, concerts and shows to attend. It’s all very fun but all very exhausting too.

I’d love to share a super, duper awesome round up of play ideas for you, but it just ain’t gonna happen right now. But I can share the Kids Co-op linky and that’s jam-packed full of cool stuff to play, make and do :) I hope these ideas help keep the kids happy while you all get some more things ticked off your to-do lists xxxx

DIY Baby Play Ideas

DIY Baby Play Ideas {via Octavia and Vicky}

Rocky is really keeping me on my toes at the moment. He’s crawling, pulling himself up to standing using anything he can get his hands on and trying his very best to take his first steps. Can someone please tell this kid that he’s only just eight months old!? The other day, while I was busy rushing around, doing one thing or another, I threw some dried lentils into an empty (clean, dry) water bottle container and gave it to him to play with. He LOVES it! He takes it in the bath, he throws it across the room, he bashes it on cardboard boxes and slobbers all over it. It reminded me of all the awesome baby play ideas that I’ve seen around the interwebs and I thought, why not put them some of the best ideas together in one handy place? You’re welcome.

Looking for more baby play ideas?
Get your copy of Zero to Two: the book of play.

Zero to Two - The Book of Play

DIY Baby Play Ideas

Post the blocks (Learn with Play at Home)

Marble paint and play (Happy Whimsical Hearts)

The disappearing act (Laughing Kids Learn)

DIY Baby Play {via Octavia and Vicky}

Wet chalk play (Lessons Learnt Journal)

Crawler obstacle course (Hands on as we Grow)

Baby sensory tray (Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails)

Sensory water bag (Paint on the Ceiling)

Shiny paper play (Teach Preschool)

Glitter bottles (Mama Smiles)

DIY Baby Play {via Octavia and Vicky}

Treasure baskets for babies (NurtureStore)

Vehicles, balls and ramps (Childhood 101)

DIY ribbon tag play (Adventures at Home with Mum)

DIY Baby Play {via Octavia and Vicky}

Bottle top bell (Picklebums)

Foamy treasure bottle (The Imagination Tree)

Ball and tube play (Octavia and Vicky)

DIY Baby Play {via Octavia and Vicky}

Discovery box (Just for Daisy)

Jelly play (Playing and Learning Begins at Home)

Zero to Two - The Book of Play