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Sensory Bin

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How to make sensory bins for toddlers with dollar store supplies

Entertain your little ones for hours and help build cognitive skills with these sensory bins for toddlers, using dollar store supplies.

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Starbucks Hot Chocolate Sensory Bin

Check out the 40 best themed sensory bins that help children discover, explore, create, play, and learn by using their senses!

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Fake Snow Sensory Bin

Check out the 40 best themed sensory bins that help children discover, explore, create, play, and learn by using their senses!

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Pumpkin Patch Sensory Play

Looking for fall and Halloween activities to do with your kids? I have 25 exciting and festive learning and play activities in this article!

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Christmas Sensory Bins - Fantastic Fun & Learning

Get kids in the Christmas spirit as they explore different textures and work on fine motor skills with these engaging Christmas sensory bins.

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Winter Themed Sensory Bins

The best winter sensory bin ideas for kids. Fun, sensory learning experiences kids can do at home this winter.

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Dollar Store Sensory Bins (budget DIY sensory bins for toddlers) - Fab Everyday

Budget sensory bins for toddlers! Dollar store sensory bins just as fun! 10 Dollar Tree sensory bins using dollar store sensory items.

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Sensory Bins on a Budget - Dollar Store Edition!

Utilizing sensory bins can get expensive... but it doesn't have to! Here are some of my favorite dollar store finds for setting up your sensory bins on a budget. 1. Clear Plastic Containers - You can find these for around a dollar at most big retailers. I like to go for clear bins with a lid so I can easily see what is inside. These can be used as a single student sensory bin or to store some of your sensory bin filler when not in use. 2. Rice and Beans - The food isle is full of sensory bin fillers. I often see white rice, black beans, and kidney beans. Lentils and split peas are two of my favorite fillers and every once in awhile I will see them on the shelves of the dollar store. 3. Pasta - Look for boxes or bags of elbow noodles or penne pasta. They make a great filler for your sensory bin! 4. Colored Sand - Did you know that the dollar store carries colored sand? They do! It is a quick and inexpensive filler for both salt trays and sensory bins. I like to use the red sand in my Valentine's Day bin. I mixed it with regular sand and noticed that the texture is a little lighter. The two colors separate a bit as the kids play... which makes it even more fun! 5. Aquarium rocks and gravel - These give your sensory in a uniquely rough feel. They are great for construction or dinosaur themed bins. 6. Shredded paper is one of my favorite fillers to pick up at the dollar store. It comes in a ton of different colors and is a nice contrast to my typical fillers. It can be found by the gift bags. 7. Muffin tins, plates and trays - I like to give these plates to my students and let them sort the objects however they want. Sometimes they will sort based on shape and sometimes based on color. 8. Magnetic Sheet Pans - Every few months I find magnetic refrigerator scenes in the seasonal section of the dollar store. I always pick up a few to create a fun magnetic sensory bin. I give each student a sheet pan (round pizza pans work well too!) and they have a blast creating a scene out of the magnets. Magnetic letters or numbers can also be used to create a more academic bin. 9. Funnels, Spoons and Measuring Cups - These are super versatile and can be tossed into nearly every sensory bin. The funnels, spoons, and measuring cups give the kids a chance to measure, pour, and stir the filler. 10. Party Favors - I always check the party favors for fun toys that I can toss in my bins. They typically come in multiple colors so I can split the pack up and put each color in a different bin. Some of my favorites are the mini-maracas, rings, and mini slinkies. 11. Beaded Necklaces - I stock up on beaded necklaces for every holiday. My kids love to pull them out of the bins and put them on. They can be found in the seasonal section around most major holidays, as well as in the party isle. 12. Seasonal Trinkets - I pass through the seasonal isle every time I am at the dollar store and always find something that would be perfect for a sensory bin. 13. Fake Flowers - The dollar store typically has fake flowers for every season. They make a great addition to most bins. 14. Pots and Gardening Gloves - Adding on to the fake flowers... try throwing in some plastic pots and gloves to make a gardening bin! These are typically only available during the spring and summer so make sure you pick them up while you can. 15. Water Beads - The dollar store carries containers of water beads by the candles, frames, and crafts. They come full of water and ready to use! 16. Plastic Jewels - My students love to dig through the bins to find these jewels. They can sort them by color or count them out on a 10 frame. 17. Shells - Who knew you could buy seashells at the dollar store!?! They can be found by the candles, frames, and crafts. They are perfect for a beach bin. 18. Polished rocks - I love to add polished rocks to any "outdoorsy" bin. I add them to my construction, farm, bug hunt, dinosaur, and gardening bins. 19. Glass Beads - These can be found by the candles, frames, and crafts. The clear beads look beautiful in winter and beach bins and the blue and green are perfect for an under the sea theme. 20. Pom-Poms - These add a pop of color to your bins. I like to separate the colors and add them to each thematic bin. For example, I put the orange into my fall bin, blue into winter, and red into Valentine's Day. If you buy a few packs, these pom-poms also make for a unique sensory bin all on their own! 21. Buttons & Beads - I love to use buttons and beads in my sensory bins to add texture and color. Just like the pom-poms, I often separate the colors and add them to each thematic bin. 22. Pipe-cleaners - It is amazing how creative kids can be with pipe-cleaners! They can twist them together to make rings and bracelets or add beads to create a pattern. Toss a few into your sensory bins to get their creative minds working. 23. Jewels & Gems - Jewels and plastic gems can be found in the craft section. They come in a variety of colors and shapes and are a fun surprise when tossed into a sensory bin. 24. Large Tweezers - I love these tweezers! They are huge and perfect for little hands to work on fine motor as they pull items out of the sensory bins. 25. Magnifying glass - These magnifying glasses are a fun addition to nearly any sensory bin. Kids can get an up close look at all of the treasures and goodies hidden in the filler. 26. Flash Cards - I am often surprised at how many of my students love to look at flash cards when I put them into a sensory bin. It is a great way to build vocabulary and encourage communication. I like to look for cards that fit with the theme of the bin. 27. Mini Erasers - Most people seem to get their mini erasers at Target, but did you know that many dollar stores carry them as well? They can often be found in the office section. 28. Small Toys - You know those tiny toys that kids play with once and then toss aside? They are perfect for sensory bins! The dollar store often has packs of small toys that can encourage imaginative play. Some of the packs that I have found contain farm animals, ocean animals, construction vehicles, and doll house furniture. 29. Puzzles - The dollar store often carries small puzzles. I love to add these into my sensory bins. The kids dig through the bins to find the pieces to complete the puzzle. This adds an extra level of complexity in addition to the sensory input. 30. Bug hunt sets - You can typically find a bag of plastic bugs in the toy section. These are great for a bug exploration or gardening bin. This set also contains a net and bug catcher! 31. Rubber ducks - I love to toss these into a bin of waterbeads to create a duck pond! 32. Small animals - The dollar store has a huge selection of small plastic animals. Over the years I have seen dinosaurs, fish, snakes, farm animals, and zoo animals. They are a great option to create a variety of themed sensory bins. Have you found any other treasures at the dollar store? Please share! And if you are looking for more tips and tricks for sensory bin fun, be sure to check out my Sensory Bin Blog Post Round Up.

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