Tag Archives: sensory bin

Halloween Sensory Bin

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As most of you already know we love sensory bins and and holidays around here so this activity was perfect:

Halloween Sensory bin

What you need:
A Bin
Epsom salt
Orange food coloring
Plastic halloween toys(bats, spiders, snakes, bugs, eyeballs, ect)

What to do:
Fill the bin with epsom salt
Add a few drops of orange food coloring (C wanted hers to be light orange so if you want it darker just add more)
Mix until all of the epsom salt is orange
Throw in the plastic toys and mix up so your munchkin can dig through the salt and find them

50 of our favorites from the Dollar Tree

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Around here we like to do crafts, sensory activities, and baking together, but we don’t like to spend a ton of money if we don’t have to, who does right? It may come as a surprise that a lot of the things we get for those activities are from the dollar tree.  Today I decided to share a list of our favorite things to buy from the dollar tree and what we use them for some of them you could probably guess and some may be things you would never really think about:

1. Hair Gel- We love hair gel, we use it for our Glitter Bags and also for sensory bins(dyed blue for water), I spy bags, and our Sensory Balloons

2. Dried Beans- We can usually find brown, white and red, and we love them all 🙂 We use these for sensory bins as well, we love the brown for rocks in the bottom of a nature bin, we also use them to make maracas, in our Sensory Balloons and for counting activities

3. Pipe Cleaners- You can use these for so many things, one of our favorites is flower rings which I am hoping to post about soon, but you can also string beads onto them, use them to make critters and so much more

4. Clay- They usually have the multi color packs, A loves to use that to make figures form video games and C loves to make shapes

5. Aluminum Pans- Baking with less clean up, to freeze the ice bricks in our Ice Brick Building Fun Post, making mud pies, to make special bubbles

6. Bubble Bath- There’s works surprisingly well, we love them in the bath and in the pool and to make the special bubbles I linked above

7. Pecans- They can be pricey in the grocery store but you can find them usually in a small bag at the dollar tree and save quite a bit, I wouldn’t buy them to eat plain but they are great for baking things like this Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

8. Glitter- which you may or may not want to use, I know some people consider it the herpes of the craft world, but if that’s herpes well we love us some lol, Glitter is too fun not to play with in my opinion, I am not sure there isn’t a way to use glitter, and we may have glittered far too many things in our days of fun

9. Ribbon- The ribbon I used in my DIY bow holder was actually from the Dollar Tree

10. Bubbles- because who doesn’t love bubbles?

11. Sidewalk chalk- which also works on black construction paper if you do not have sidewalks

12. Cotton balls- painting, doing nails, making Santa’s beard, fake snow, in our sensory balloons linked above

13. Stones- Sensory bin play

14. Water beads

15. Buttons

16. Instant coffee- dirt, mud, and in our coffee play-dohn

17. Measuring cups and spoons- for sensory play, water play, measuring, pouring, mixing, and as holders for paint and other small items

18. Construction paper

19. Glue

20. Craft sticks- so many things including crafts sticks letters

21. Drop cloths- to put under messy sensory play

22. Plastic animals- In many sensory bins, and play mat play including our jello ocean sensory bin and our Dinosaur play mat

23. sea shells

24. Fake flowers- we use them for mostly nature play like our Gardening bath tub

25. Beads

26. Balloons

27. Glowsticks- glow in the dark hunts, baths, and Balloons , light shows

28. Epsom Salt – A variety of options for sensory bins such as the dinosaur and ocean themed bins we made

29. Pasta- dry colored pasta bins, pasta necklaces, introductory cooking, and of course our Messy colored spaghetti pit

30. Food coloring- besides normal things we like to color bath water, epsom salt, and rice with it

31. Baking Soda- For a fun activity try out our Clay Volcanoes

32. Stickers

33. Coloring Books

34. Poster board- besides painting and coloring we like to use them as play mats after we decorate them

35. Vinegar- which is also needed for the volcanoes linked above

36. Glue sticks for glue guns(we even once found a glue gun there)

37. Picture frames- framing artwork or ideas like our 4th of July fireworks craft

38. Googly eyes- for making all types of fun creatures, including our rock friends

39. String, and yarn

40. Paint

41. Gems

42. Foam paint brushes and paint rollers

43. Bowls, and buckets- for sensory play, mixing, and storing

44. Cookie Cutters

45. Foam Sheets- not only for crafting but they make great bathtub toys, you can cut them to whatever shapes you want and they stick to the bathtub walls and eachother

46. Spices- we have used these as grass on a play mat, and for spice painting

47. Felt

48. At Christmas time- garland, jingle bells, mini ornaments, cookie trays, fake poinsettia plants

49. At Halloween time- plastic bugs, bats, ghosts, pumpkins, and gourdes

50. Feathers- for nature, sensory, and light table play

Do you have any Dollar Tree favorites?

Jello Ocean Sensory Bin

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We love the Ocean around here, so we make a lot of Ocean theme bins and crafts.  This by far was one of our favorites!

jello ocean bin

I used Blue Raspberry Jello for the water.

This bin has 2 regular size packages and was prepared according to package directions

When the jello set I just added some of the shells from vacation and some of the sea life stuff we had

This was a huge hit with both munchkins, which doesn’t happen often, considering they are 7 years apart.

Jello Ocean Bin 1

This little guy was hiding from the shark

Jello Ocean Bin 2
Cue the shark lol

Jello Ocean Bin 3
We also explored the texture, feel, and smell of the “water”

Jello Ocean Bin 4

After the jello started to warm up we again reviewed the texture, feel, and smell of our “water”

Epsom Salt Bins Ocean and Dino themes

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I LOVE epsom salt when it comes to play, I first discovered it as a sensory item on pinterest, through multiple sites, and fell in love because you can adapt it to make so many things, and you can get epsom salt from the dollar tree.  These are 2 of my favorite epsom salt activities:

A is really into the ocean, he wants to be a Marine Biologist when he gets older, so the quickest way to make him get involved in an activity is to use an ocean theme.  That is where this bin came from:
colord epsom salt
I colored the epsom salt blue, I use gel food color because I like the fact that you can use less of it
I filled it with Sea shells, plastic sea life, and green rocks that we also purchased at the dollar tree and added the  wooden tunnel that we got from the pet store.

C is gaga over dinosaurs so for her I made this bin:
colored epsom salt1

Again I colored the epsom salt,  but with green this time.
I added rocks, plastic dinosaurs and plastic bugs purchased from the dollar tree, a pinecone from outside, a piece of grass purchased from the pet store, and a wooden block(The husband made these by cutting tree braches into different size blocks, I love them because they have many uses, this is one of them)

These bins can keep children young to old occupied, I even played with them, and it allows them to use a lot of imagination, stay tuned for more epsom salt ideas