A sensory bin filled with surprises works wonders to stimulate the senses, creativity and the urge to discover. Children will be able to explore, manipulate and have fun while improving their fine motor skills.

Creating a sensory bin offers so many opportunities, it is simple to throw together and the whole family can join in! This activity can be tailored to children of all ages!

Step 1 : Getting your materials together

Don’t be concerned about getting certain materials or containers. You can use any kind of box or container to fill with items you will find at home.

For bins, the size or shape depends on the content, there is no rule. Also prepare utensils, such as tongs, shovels, spoons, cookie cutters and / or rakes.


When rummaging around for the contents of your bins, the possibilities are endless! Here are some examples: sand, liquid, flour, pasta, pompoms, different fabrics. For a complete sensory experience, the important thing is that there are different textures and materials in each of the bins. Be inventive with what you have available!

To avoid a mess, it is wise to cover the surfaces with newspaper or use a tablecloth.

Step 2 : Let's explore!

For the little ones, the bin can be super simple, with just one material per bin.

For older children, you can create scenes and combine several textures and elements. For example, with animal sand or small figurines.

You can also let the children do small mixing experiments in the tubs. For example, water and oil or vinegar and baking soda.

Step 3 : Let loose!

Let yourself go and have fun! We encourage you to keep the bins around for a few days and add items each day for a complete experience.

You can vary the contents of the bins and vary the instruments used for exploration. You can also add or remove materials and make new mixes.

But above all, let the little ones explore for themselves!



In today’s diary, kids can document the day’s activity. For example, by drawing their bins or by describing what new textures they discovered. Stay creative!

If your child is documenting alone, you are invited to ask him or her questions to feed and improve the journal entry. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What elements could we add to the bin tomorrow?
  • What textures did you prefer?
  • What did you discover while having fun with the bins today?

Did you know...

  • … Is your yard like a gigantic sensory bin? Experience new things the next time you go outside. You can even build a permanent sensory wall in your yard, here are a few ideas 
  • … We have 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. This corresponds to seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. To better understand our 5 senses and how they work, click here! 
  • … Our nose is able to recognize more than 10,000 different smells! This allows us to avoid certain dangers like fire or toxic gases. 


To takes things further, you can explore these simple games and challenges on the theme of the 5 senses here! 


Activity by Van Bam Bam