Easy DIY Sensory Bin Play Ideas for Toddlers

Between 1 to 3 years old, toddler developmental milestones can surprise new parents. Their newfound abilities and skills are linked to how they are gradually making sense of their environment.

Experts advise that a child’s brain grows and develops exponentially in the first 5 years. Sensory play offers a wealth of benefits for a child’s development – this includes memory, problem-solving and even communication.

Wish to incorporate sensory play for your curious bubs without spending much? Here are some ideas on how to put together toddler-safe sensory bins to stimulate his senses!

A young child sitting on a table with a bowl on her headDescription automatically generated with medium confidence
By exploring textures, shapes, colours and scents, kids are learning about the world through experience.

Easy DIY Sensory Bin Play Ideas for Toddlers

Rice or pasta sensory bin

Take uncooked rice or pasta and place into different containers. Let him touch, pinch and scoop the rice or pasta with his hands or a spoon. For extra visual delight, use food colouring to create different coloured pasta or rice. Playing with rainbow pasta or rice turns this sensory experience into an opportunity to teach about colours too!

Underwater world sensory bin

Take a pail or plastic box and fill it less than half with water. Put in different toys e.g. sea animals, safari animals, vehicles or water beads. Invite your child to take certain toys out of the water as you call out those items. This activity encourages conversations between parent and child as he listens to instructions, work on his motor skills to pick up the right toys and pass it to you. Engage in play pretend and encourage storytelling as you bond. This can also be done during bath time – but be warned, water babies might not want to end the game so quickly!

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A sensorial experience offers open-ended fun for kids to enjoy!

Kitchen mish-mash sensory idea

Don’t belittle items in the kitchen! Pick out clean pots, non-fragile bowls and plates, colander, ladles, silicon tongs, kitchen napkins, sushi rolling mats… because exploration is play! Lay them out on the floor for your tot to decide which one he wants to touch and play with first. His little mind is learning to make decisions while syncing his thoughts and hand-eye coordination too.

Shaving cream or whipped cream sensory bin

Depending on your comfort level, you can use either shaving cream or whipped cream to create this easy sensory bin at home. Squirt some into a clean container and have some food colouring on standby to inject colourful fun as playtime extends. Little hands can feel those interesting textures while mama uses adjectives to describe them e.g. “The whipped cream feels so soft and fluffy!” It’s an engaging way to boost your child’s linguistics ability and vocabulary too. Add waterproof toys to the mix for some hunting game fun!

Resealable bags of sensory play

If you prefer mess-free play, take resealable bags and fill them up with glue, blobs of paint and glitter, then seal them completely. Lay the bags on the table or floor so your child can press and squish, while observing visual changes. A simple way for toddlers to experience and learn about cause-and-effect too.

In preschool, Gordon has a taste of sensory play too!

How about outdoor sensory play?

When planning outdoor activities for toddlers, you can also visit places with different textures for your child to explore. For example, sand play at the beach. Kids will reap the benefits of outdoor play and a healthy dose of sunshine is great for their physical development too. At the same time, getting creative with real sand can be extra fun.

Jenelle’s sensory play safety tips: before embarking on any sensory play activities, always ensure adult supervision and make sure your child does not put random things into his mouth or other body parts.

Besides low prep sensory bin ideas, there are other free or no prep stay home activities you can do with your toddlers! Play need not be pricey. Discover the different family activities available for children in Singapore. With smart financial planning in place, you can set aside time and a budget for recreation and entertainment too. Get in touch with me to find out how you can attain the lifestyle goals for yourself and your family.

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