Not too long ago I wrote about a Halloween sensory bin I made. If you read that article, you know I was inspired by some Halloween figures and cheap fillers I found at Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree. While I was at those places gathering items for that bin, I was also able to snag a few pieces for a Christmas themed bin I had in mind. (If you've ever been to Hobby Lobby, you know they start putting the Christmas stuff out at the end of summer.)
I've been sitting on them all fall but was able to grab the last bits once Dollar Tree put out their Christmas merchandise. I've been waiting to show you guys the completed bin, and without further ado here it is:
What do you think? I love it! But my opinion doesn't matter. The important thing is what the kids think about it.
Even though The Boy isn't shown in these pics, he enjoys this bin as much as the girls. In fact, he and Tres got into a bit of an argument over it. Well, by argument I mean that Tres loudly proclaimed each piece The Boy touched to be hers. He didn't really contribute, as he's learned reasoning with a toddler isn't very productive.
I'd say it's a success!
Do you want to build a snowman? This "Fosty da Mowman" is her favorite piece, but Tres also likes the little "San Claws".
Maybe one day when my kids are grown, they'll look back on their childhoods and remember all the things mama did for them and realize that I constantly had their interests, educational and recreational, in mind. (Am I the only one who daydreams about the future praises and validation they anticipate from their adult children regarding the work being put in now?)
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As with the Halloween bin, I started with a Safari Ltd. Toob set.
These are meant to be ornaments, but they work perfectly for my purpose. I got my set from Rainbow Resource. They currently have a really good price on them, but there only 11 left in stock as of the time of this writing.
As I referenced earlier, everything else came from Hobby Lobby (40% off, of course) or Dollar Tree. At the end of this article is a resource list for online substitutes, if you can't get to either of those stores or if they aren't carrying the product when you need it.
One final note...
After seeing a few of my sensory bins (I have many more than I've shown on here), some of my friends have made comments along the lines of, "I wish I could make that." If you have similar thoughts, let me assure you that there's nothing to constructing any sensory bin.
I usually have a theme in mind, look at other examples on Pinterest, and keep my eye open for cheap components as I'm out and about. Then everything gets dumped in a bin and viola! I include resource lists any time I post a bin to make it that much easier for you. If you don't want to go out, just click the link and you're done. I know this saying is cliché, but if I can do it, anybody can.
Supply list for the sensory bin:
Container: Any container will do. If you need to purchase something new, I have found that in-store prices beat online, but it may be different for you. For legitimate storage containers, the Sterilite brand tends to be cheaper than it's competitors. I often use these Rubbermaid food containers (specifically this kind in the case for the bin shown). I think they are the most cost effective.
- Christmas figures: As shown above, I used the Safari Ltd Christmas Toob.
- Snowflakes: I picked up a couple packs of these acrylic snowflakes from Hobby Lobby when they had Christmas items 40% off. I'm pretty sure this online substitute online substitute is the exact same product.
- Christmas Scatter: This was another 40% off Hobby Lobby Christmas décor find. This festive scatter was located with the snowflakes I used. At first, I was trying to decide between the two. Ultimately, I went with both, and I'm glad I did. The scatter I bought has red and green acrylic trees, holly, and diamond shaped gems. I couldn't locate an exact match at Amazon, but I found another scatter that is similar and that I think I like better. This one has red, green, and blue Christmas trees, snowmen, and gingerbread men. They're really cute.
- Bells: You can get bells year round in craft and hobby stores and in either the craft or sewing areas of Wal-Mart. I picked up my pack of small, golden bells from the Christmas craft area of Dollar Tree. I just happened to be walking by and they caught my eye. I hadn't thought to put bells in before, but when I saw them I knew they were going in. Since they appeal to a sense other than sight or touch, they make perfect sense to use in a sensory bin. (Like how I did that?) Here are some gold bells like what I used. If you prefer silver and want something a smidge larger, check these out. Lastly, I found upon these gold, red, and green bells of various sizes that would work perfectly.
- Pom Poms: From the Dollar Tree Christmas craft area,I also snagged a little bag of red, green, and white pom poms of various sizes. These are a great contrast to the hard acrylic scatter pieces in the bin. Pom poms are something you can get year-round at craft and hobby stores and the craft section of Wal-Mart, but you'd probably have to buy a huge tub of them or several separate small bags to get the same range of colors and sizes shown in the bin I made. I found the same little bag of pom poms I used online. If you want something with a little more pizazz, I also found these fuzzy, metallic Christmas pom poms.
For more sensory bin inspiration, see my Pinterest board.