How to Make a Red Sensory Bin – Step-by-Step Instructions

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Learn how to make a red sensory bin to entertain and teach your child, and to facilitate creative thinking and fine-motor development.

How to Make a Red Sensory Bin


Sensory bins are one of my most favorite ways to facilitate learning in children and let them practice their fine-motor development.

Creating a sensory bin is a lot of fun and you can tailor it specifically to your child or children.

So what do you need to do to make sensory bins? Is it hard? Do kids really like sensory bins?

In this post, you’ll learn what a sensory bin really is, why you should let your child play with a sensory bin and how you can easily create your first sensory bin to engage and interact with your young children!


What Is a Sensory Bin?

A sensory bin is typically a plastic tub or a large container of some sort filled with materials and various objects that are intentionally picked out to stimulate different senses.

A sensory bin can be filled with a large variety of different materials such as shredded paper, water beads, water, sand, and more.

You can add tiny amounts of food-grade dye to learn colors or a farm with your child’s favorite figure toys including a tractor. It can be anything you and/or your child want it to be. That is the beauty and creative expression of the open-ended sensory bin.

Typically sensory bins work to challenge six different senses (source):

  • Tactile (touch)
  • Auditory (sound)
  • Visual (sight)
  • Olfactory (smell)
  • Proprioceptive (Pressure)
  • Gustatory (taste)
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What Is the Purpose of a Sensory Bin?

Sensory bins, sensory bottles, or sensory bags, bring about amazing benefits! Some of which are:

  • Creativity
  • Fine motor development
  • Stimulation of hearing, touch, and sight {senses}
  • Encourage critical thinking
  • Foster imagination

Sensory bins help a child to learn, calm down, and engage in their own creativity using their imagination. They can also help build language skills and introduce new vocabulary when new and unfamiliar items are used in the bin



What Age Do You Start Sensory Bins?

You can start introducing sensory bins to your child anytime they’re around 16-24 months old. 

Toddlers need to be taught how to play appropriately with sensory bins because they won’t instantly know what to do with them. 

It’s kinda like teaching a toddler how to eat. It will be messy at first, but you teach, you lay out ground rules and build boundaries and one day, you realize you aren’t scraping spaghetti off the ceiling anymore.


What do you fill a sensory bin with?

When it comes to filling sensory bins the skies the limit! 

For the theme of your bin, choose something that your child is passionate about. You can always opt for a theme that is new to your child too, as that will offer lots of opportunities for learning. 

You can also create sensory bins that focus on colors, letters, holidays, seasons, and other interests that they may want to explore.

For your sensory bin base, items and substances that are interesting to look at and touch.  Textured items that make a nice sound when you run your fingers through them are wonderful.

Rice and dry pasta are two bases that I use often in my sensory bins. Sometimes I leave it in its natural state, and sometimes I color it. 


Suggested base materials:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Mud
  • Sand
  • Coffee beans
  • Lentils
  • Corn kernels
  • Birdseed
  • Shredded paper
  • Water (colored water, soapy water)
  • Colored ice cubes
  • Shaving cream
  • Snow
  • Water beads
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Items to put in a sensory bin:

To make your sensory bin intriguing, add lots of small, interesting items.

 Along with little toys and accessories, you can also incorporate natural materials into your sensory bins. Their colors, shapes and scents, and textures are wonderful to explore, and they help children to connect with nature.


  • Leaves
  • Sticks
  • Stones
  • Small gourds
  • Chestnuts
  • Acorns
  • Pinecones
  • Flower petals
  • Sea shells
  • Beads
  • Buttons
  • Gemstones
  • Artificial flowers/fruit/vegetables
  • Ribbons
  • Pom poms
  • Magnetic letters
  • Cotton balls
  • Fabric scraps
  • Magnetic letters

You can also add tools like tweezers, tongs scoops and a magnifying glass to help your child strengthening fine-motor skills and coordination.


Valentines day sensory bin


How To Make A Red Sensory Bin

This red sensory bin is really easy to create. I’ve linked to everything I’ve used below, but you can, of course, take a look around your house and search for anything red.


What You Need For A Red Sensory Bin


How to make a sensory bin



1. Pour the red sand into the bin. Spread it out into an even layer.


How to make a sensory bin for kids


2. Add pom poms and pink heart gems.


Red Sensory bin


3. Add cookie cutters and straws.


Sensory bin for kids


4. Add clear and red gems.

5. Add a scoop and small container.


How to make a sensory bin for children

It’s playtime!


How to make a sensory bin for children

How To Make A Red Sensory Bin

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how to make a red sensory bin to entertain and teach your child, and to facilitate creative thinking and fine-motor development.


1. Pour the red sand into the bin. Spread it out into an even layer.

2. Add pom poms and pink heart gems.

3. Add cookie cutters and straws.

4. Add clear and red gems.

5. Add a scoop and small container.

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How Do You Present a Sensory Bin To Your Child? 

If your child has never played with a sensory bin before, it’s not likely that your child will know what to do with it. 

Encourage them to use their imagination to come up with creative stories or explorative play ideas. You can go about asking them, “what do you feel/see/hear?”

Some children will jump right in and explore independent play. Some may be shy in the beginning but slowly with a little help watching you scoop and pour, they’ll get it and finally come up with their own form of play.


How do you minimize the mess from a sensory bin?

First of all, if you’re worried about the mess, put a tableclothsheet or towel under your sensory bin. That way, you can tip spills back into the bin when your child finishes playing.

Alternatively, your kid can play with their sensory bin outdoors where messes won’t matter.

Secondly, give your child clear instructions for playing with the bin and supervise the play to ensure things don’t get out of hand:

  • Redirect their hands back into the bin.
  • Steer their pouring over the bin.
  • Scoop up messes and say “Uh Oh! Let’s put it back in the bin.” They will catch on.

This way I think you’ll find that the joy and the developmental benefits that a sensory bin provides will outweigh any mess.


The best thing about a sensory bin is the endless entertainment, skill-development and learning it provides. The next best thing, is that you can create countless bins using items that you already have on hand.

You know what that means…  hours of good, old-fashioned play without spending a dime!

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