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Sensory Bin 101: What is a Sensory Bin?

It is no secret that my daughter is a sensory addict. Scented playdough, scented rice bin, sensory engineering– once it appeals to her senses, she loves it. Courtesy of my daughter’s obsession,  I have been able to share many of our preschool sensory activities to date. After a conversation with a reader, I realized that I have taken for granted the fact that everyone knows what a sensory bin is. Today I will begin the process of correcting that. Welcome to SENSORY BIN 101.

preschool sensory activities- what is a sensory bin

What Is A Sensory Bin?

A sensory bin is simply a container filled with items that appeal to as many senses as possible. It should appeal to a few of the following:

  • sight
  • hearing
  • taste
  • smell
  • touch

This container and its contents allow the scientist in your preschooler to take over. They get to explore and stimulate their senses. They can feel different textures, be exposed to different concepts. For example, J learnt the names of  a few popular arctic animals through her Arctic Mini World.

Want to help your kids with letter recognition? Try a letter recognition sensory bin. Want them to learn about being grateful? Use a sensory bin.

preschool sensory activities- what is a sensory bin 2

Why Use A Sensory Bin?

It’s FUN. I am going to be totally honest and say that whenever I plan a bin for J, I get excited. Okay, maybe I get a little too excited but that’s okay. If you have ever given your kid a sensory bin I am sure they greet you with pure glee and they can spend almost hours playing with it.

It helps with their FINE MOTOR SKILLS. Most of the bins that J uses has spoons and cups so that she can pour and scoop as well as transfer.

A sensory bin also further DEVELOPS THE SENSES. They are using at least 2 senses when you create a simple sensory bin: seeing and feeling.

Sensory activities allow them to have open-ended play and DEVELOP FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION. I have watched J countless times and once she is in the zone, forget about her paying attention. She hates being interrupted from her sensory activities.

They are learning PRE-MATH AND LANGUAGE SKILLS. No I am not kidding. Through this messy play, they learn concepts such as empty and full, heavy and light.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT and heart warming moments for me. Yup, when sensory activities are in full gear, I get to snap pictures such as the one below.

preschool sensory activities- social development 1


Feeling scared or overwhelmed as yet? No worries, my next post (and the ones to follow) will guide you in choosing the correct container for your sensory bin. Thanks for walking with me.


More posts in this series

Sensory Bin Bases

Sensory Bin Tools and Storage Solutions


Preschool Sensory Activities: Gratitude Sensory Bin

Wednesday 6th of July 2016

[…] 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 […]

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Tuesday 17th of March 2015

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Preschool Sensory Activities: Sensory Bin Tools and Storage

Monday 2nd of February 2015

[…] back to our last class of Sensory Bin 101. So far we have covered What is a Sensory Bin? as well as bases of Sensory Bins. Today we will be covering our last topic in our preschool sensory […]


Thursday 29th of January 2015

Thanks for sharing this with the Frugal Family! Evelyne

Gentle Joy

Tuesday 27th of January 2015

Sensory tasks are fun... and easy to use, so why don't we do them more? Hmmm.. Thank you for the post on it. :)