Kimberley Kirby of @sensoreadplay is back today with more fabulous ideas for sensory bins for toddlers! In case you missed Kimberley’s first article on Dollar Store Sensory Bins, Kimberley is quite the expert on DIY sensory bins. On her Instagram account @sensoreadplay, she shares new sensory play and reading pairings daily, and she will be sharing some of her favorite ideas here on Fab Everyday in the months ahead. In today’s article, we are ready to ditch this cold weather and spring forward into some spring toddler activities. Kimberley is sharing 7 inspired ideas for spring sensory bins, including butterfly sensory bins, insect sensory bins, gardening sensory bins, Easter sensory bins, Earth Day sensory bins, and more, plus lots of ideas for spring sensory bin fillers. As Kimberley says, the possibilities are endless! You’re going to want to save this spring sensory table ideas article!
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Spring Sensory Bins
By Kimberley Kirby
SAFETY WARNING: Some of these ideas include small items that may be a choking hazard. These should only be used with adult supervision.
After being hit with the first snowstorm of the winter on the day before Halloween, I am SO ready to move on to spring toddler activities. We have continued rocking sensory bins every day, but moving on to spring sensory bins for toddlers will be a welcome change from snow- and ice-based bins. I can’t wait to get outside and brainstorm more spring sensory table ideas. Butterfly sensory bins, insect sensory bins, gardening sensory bins, Easter sensory bins – the possibilities are endless!
Spring provides so many sensory opportunities naturally: planting new gardens, nurturing baby animals, and jumping in rain puddles to name a few. Additionally, many holidays throughout the world feature celebrations with themes that are consistent with Spring, like rainbows (St. Patrick’s Day), bright colors (Holi), baby animals (Easter), and being outdoors (Earth Day).
To prepare you for setting up your own spring sensory bin, I pulled inspiration from a combination of spring holidays, weather, and activities. Here are some of my favorite spring sensory bins for toddlers.
April Showers, May Flowers spring sensory bin – With Grapat Mandala pieces, you can make any sensory bin come to life! Spring toddler activities don’t have to be complicated! Just fill up a bin with these open-ended wooden toys (and in this case some cotton balls) and imagine away!
Butterfly sensory bin – The sky for this bin is the same blue rice dyed using Hawaiian Punch from the Dollar Tree sensory bin post! Layered on top are these mini butterflies from Amazon and flowers from Grapat Mandala pieces.
Gardening sensory bin – Flower garden building toys (like this Build a Bouquet Flower set) provide so many teaching opportunities, but combined with beans, pots, and mini succulent plant tools, they make a perfect garden sensory bin for spring planting!
Insect sensory bin – Green split peas make the perfect earth-like backdrop for these fun mini insect erasers! Throw in some scoops and containers and voila! You will love the ease of setting of this spring toddler sensory activity!
Rainbow fruit spring sensory bin – This one may look like it would be simple to put together, but honestly it is the hardest water sensory bin ever because floating fruit does NOT cooperate! I think it was worth the effort though, no?
Recycled materials spring sensory bin – Talk about an inexpensive, cheaper than dollar store sensory bin! And, even better, by re-using materials you’d otherwise have thrown away, like pouch caps, egg cartons, and shredded paper, you’re helping contribute to a healthier planet!
Spring sensory bin fillers
In addition to providing some already-imagined spring sensory bins, here are some key sensory bases, sensory bin fillers, and items that can be used to further inspire your spring sensory activities for toddlers:
- Brown mud/dirt sensory bases – Between various beans and grains, cereals, and doughs/clays, there are so many options for creating simulated mud or dirt in your spring sensory bins, and especially for gardening sensory bins!
- Green earth/plants sensory bases – Plants, grass, and moss in your spring sensory bins can be easily simulated using so many artificial green sensory items, such as recycled green pouch caps, dyed rice, and split peas.
- New Life sensory bases and items – Party and dollar store sensory items are perfect for adding accents to your spring sensory bins.
- Easter sensory bases and items – Easter basket fillers can often double as perfect sensory accents for spring toddler activities. Just add some themed erasers or wood parts to a sensory base such as dyed rice!
About the Author
Kimberley Kirby works in the information security industry full time and embraces creative outlets on the side. She owns and operates an Etsy shop, Gray Duck Greetings, when we are not living through a pandemic. Kimberley is ‘Mama’ to a 2-year-old boy who has been home full time since the start of the pandemic and she has therefore become well-versed in crafts and activities to occupy toddlers. At the beginning of 2021, she started the Instagram account @sensoreadplay where she shares new sensory play and reading pairings daily. Kimberley lives outside of Boston, MA with her husband, son, and dog.