Tuesday, August 11, 2009

149 Sensory Bin Ideas

Over the past couple of years since I started teaching this population, I have developed a list of things that can be put in to our sensory bins. Here are some of the ideas that I've used and collected.  This is by no means an exhuastive list as I'm sure there are many other ideas but wanted to throw this out there as at first I was reaching for new and different ways to use our sensory bins...

64 Dry Things to Put in Sensory Bins (these can last a while)

  1. sand
  2. dry beans
  3. puffed wheat
  4. uncooked pasta
  5. dry cereal
  6. packing peanuts
  7. shredded paper
  8. confetti
  9. pop corn seeds
  10. pop corn (popped)
  11. rice
  12. cotton balls
  13. pea gravel
  14. colored salt
  15. peanuts
  16. buttons
  17. legos
  18. cut up ribbons
  19. cut up yarn
  20. leaves
  21. cut up straws
  22. birdseed
  23. plastic flower petals
  24. Easter grass
  25. Mardi Gras beads
  26. dirt
  27. tissue paper
  28. feathers
  29. seashells
  30. wrapping bows
  31. dry instant mashed potatoes
  32. dried corn
  33. bubble wrap
  34. dry oatmeal
  35. egg shells
  36. coffee grounds
  37. flax
  38. sawdust
  39. flour
  40. hay/straw
  41. colored sugar
  42. magazine pages
  43. bean bag filler
  44. roll of sod laid out
  45. "Supersand" (coffee and cornmeal)
  46. Moon Sand
  47. Floam
  48. pom-poms
  49. ball bath balls
  50. wigs (or hair cut up from wigs)
  51. sunflower seeds
  52. pennies
  53. streamers
  54. cut up material
  55. crushed up ice cream cones/potato chips...etc.
  56. scrafs
  57. tactile cylinders (cover old-fashioned curlers with tactile fabric using a glue gun and then put these in a sensory bin)
  58. blocks
  59. powder puffs
  60. tinsel
  61. kleenex or toilet paper squares
  62. wheat
  63. poker chips/counting chips
  64. unifex cubes (or other math manipulatives that sit around unused for a large portion of the year)

27 Messy Things to Put in Sensory Bins (some of these can only last a few day or one session and some need to be refridgerated)
  1. water
  2. cooked pasta
  3. cooked oatmeal
  4. whipped cream
  5. shaving cream
  6. pudding
  7. goop
  8. playdough
  9. tubes of toothpaste and tooth brushes
  10. snow
  11. mashed potatoes
  12. pumpkin "guts"
  13. jello
  14. frozen peas
  15. finger paint
  16. bubble mix and bubble toys
  17. gel bags (put hair gel in sealable plastic bag, put some item in each one and seal shut - students can squish it around and find/move item)
  18. icing
  19. mini-marshmellows
  20. yougurt
  21. mashed banana
  22. cut grass
  23. flowers
  24. clay
  25. ice cubes
  26. crushed ice
  27. paper mache paste
44 Toys to Put In Sensory Bins
  1. Magnetic Wands and Magnetic Toys
  2. Shovels
  3. Buckets
  4. Sifters
  5. Basters
  6. Plastic knifes, fortks, spoons
  7. rolling pin
  8. plastic bugs, snakes
  9. cars/trucks
  10. toy boats
  11. any bathtub toys
  12. ladel
  13. bowls
  14. sand molds
  15. small toys related to current theme/topic of study
  16. fish tank plants
  17. bottles
  18. cups
  19. finger puppets
  20. syringes
  21. rubber gloves
  22. combs, brushes
  23. kitchen scale
  24. berry baskets
  25. PVC piping
  26. small toy rake
  27. salt/pepper shakers
  28. egg beater
  29. funnels
  30. measuring cups and soons
  31. paper bags
  32. ziploc bags
  33. play tools
  34. stamps and stamp pads
  35. craft sticks
  36. tongs
  37. tweezers
  38. cookie cutters
  39. water guns
  40. spray bottles
  41. matchbox toys
  42. sponges
  43. eye droppers
  44. Little People
14 Ways to Use Sensory Bins
  1. Matching Games - bury sets of matching items in bin and then students dig out pairs
  2. Matching Pictures to Items - put items in sensory bin and have pictures outside of sensory bin, student finds the item and then matches it to the picture - need to find all items
  3. Put puzzle pieces in sensory bin, student digs them out and then you make the puzzle
  4. Shadow Matching - actual items go in the bin, students find them and then match them to a page that has outlines/shadow of those items
  5. Flannel Board Stories - put the flannel board pieces in, have student find them and then put them on the board and tell a story
  6. Alphabet Sort - put items that begin with two different letters in sensory bin, student takes them out and sorts them accoding to letter (can simplify to exposure to beginning letter sound by just putting in items with one letter sound and then labeling and noting beginning sound)
  7. Drawing/Writing in Sensory Bin
  8. Pick items out of the sensory bin up with tongs or tweezers.
  9. Color Matching with Plastic Eggs - put two sides in and students find the ones that match and put them together.
  10. Picture Find - put pictures related to any topic in and have students find them - can sort them, define them, talk about them...etc.
  11. Sink and Float Discovery
  12. Mr. Potato Head - parts go in sensory bin, find them, label them, put them in the right place on the Mr. Potato Head
  13. Teaching Colors - color sand, rice, pasta, playdough to the color you are learning about
  14. Work on hand/fine motor skills while playing with students in sensory bins

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