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Gratitude Sensory Bin

Finding a great sensory activity can feel like you have hit the jackpot. The right sensory bin will allow your kids to learn so many things. Don’t believe me, read Sensory Bins 101. Hands on activities such as sensory play allows our children to explore the world around them while negaging their senses. My daughter Jael is a sensory seeker. She loves using her nostrils to explore everything around her. This Gratitude Sensory Bin was perfect for her and allowed her to be exposed to the concept of gratitude.

Finding a great sensory activity can feel like you have hit the jackpot. The right sensory bin will allow your kids to learn so many things- all while they are playing. This Gratitude Sensory Bin for preschool kids is a fun way for kids to remember what they are thankful for.

What You Need

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1) 3 cups pearl barley
2) food coloring (red orange and yellow)
3) cardstock
4) scissors
5) markers
6) bin (a container for your sensory activity)
7) 3 ziplock bags
8) Peppermint extract

Putting Together Your Gratitude Sensory Bin

First place 1 cup of barley in each ziplock bag.

Second add 7 drops of red food colouring as well as 1 drop peppermint extract to one bag. For the orange bag, add 2 drops red and 10 drops yellow. For the yellow bag, add 8 drops (or more depending on how deep you would like your colour to be) to the barley.

Third Let your beans dry overnight in the ziplock bag. If you are in a rush you can simply pop them in the oven at a low temperature but you will have to monitor them so that they don’t burn

Using the Gratitude Sensory Bin

Our activity consisted of me interviewing Jael to see what they are thankful for. If you preschooler doesn’t understand what thankful means, ask them the following questions:

“What is your favourite thing to do?” “Who is your favourite person?”

Jael prays every night and there is a portion in her prayers where she says all the things she is thankful for. She has said things such as Daddy (did I mention she was a Daddy’s girl?), the playground, Caillou and other things that she enjoyed that day.

Once you have a few answers, write down each thing that they are thankful for on strips of cardstock. Fold it and place it in the bin. Pick one card read it and then ask your preschooler,

“Are you happy you have Daddy (or some other family member?”

When they say yes, ask them how they can show that they are happy. Suggestions could vary from giving the person a big hug to making a painting. The sky and their imagination is the limit really.


If you enjoyed this sensory activity, be sure to check out Learning 2 Walk on Facebook where I share sensory activities daily.


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Monday 1st of December 2014

Great idea for playing with the concept of Gratitude and Thankfulness!


Sunday 30th of November 2014

We are very thankful for Caillou also. What a great bin to help with gratitude.

Jodie @ Growing Book by Book

Saturday 29th of November 2014

Sensory bins are great for teaching on so many levels.