If you read my recent Pumpkins and Play Time article, you know I have been in great anticipation of cooler weather. Well, our pumpkin treat smorgasbord had it's desired effect. Just like that, the temperature has dropped. Last week we were in the eighties, and now the highs are in the upper 60s with lows in the 40s. Yep, it changes that fast in these parts. Sometimes, we can experience three season in one day!
From the previous post, you also got a glimpse at a farm-in-the-fall sensory bin I put out for all the visiting kiddos.
I have a lot of sensory bins I want to write about on the blog, but I wasn't planning to bring one up again so soon.
I had a different topic picked for this week, but two things changed my mind.
- I've got a ridiculously busy week, and what I wanted to write about is a bit involved. I'm going to save it for the future.
- I made this awesome (at least I think so) little sensory bin for Halloween.
I love sensory bins, as they are great for all ages and serve many uses. Tres runs her fingers through everything or focuses on certain items while "talking" about them. The Boy and Little Mama play pretend with them and, depending on the fillers, simply enjoy feeling everything. They are also great for distracting little ones for a while, if needed. They can even offer an extra educational component by including some printed information related to the bin's contents (animal facts related to animal figures, for example). Additionally, they are a good "brain break" from school work.
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I am a Safari Ltd. Toob fanatic. My inspiration for this bin came when I saw their Halloween Toob.
Aren't they cute? And they glow in the dark!
I already had the container on hand, as most of my sensory bin containers are these Rubbermaid containers, and they come in multiples. I knew I wanted a black filler and found some coarse black sand at Dollar Tree. Because I started the bin well before Halloween, it stayed like that and pretty bare for a while.
Once stores started putting out their Halloween décor, I finished up the bin with some cheap finds. You can see my source list at the bottom of the post.
Here's a zoomed in view to highlight some of the details. I love all the colors!
I just added the last bit and immediately knew I had a replacement blog topic. My kids haven't been into it yet, but I plan to update the post with their reactions once they play with it. I wanted to go ahead an put it out there in case any of you are inspired and want to create your own bin since Halloween is quickly approaching. (Update 11/8/17: Sorry for the delay, but you can see the bin in use via my Instagram posting here.)
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.
Black, coarse sand: I used two packs from the flower décor section of Dollar Tree. It's supposed to be a vase filler, and they carry a few other colors. I like that it doesn't stick to you like regular sand. You could also use black aquarium rocks or dried black beans (I prefer non-food fillers). Here's another alternative. As you can see from that link, it's much cheaper to buy black sand from Dollar Tree for a small project like this, but your color choices are limited. If you want several color options, this link will help you out. I've got it displaying orange, but you can see several options. The purple or a combination of Halloween colors would be neat.
- Halloween figures: As I mentioned previously, I used the glow-in-the-dark Safari Ltd. Halloween Toob.
- Skeleton Army Men: I can't remember if these came from Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree. I have a stronger feeling they came from Dollar Tree. In either case, I found them amongst the Halloween party favor things. They're like those green army men figures, except they aren't green or men with flesh and their weapons are more medieval. I found these online.
- Googly Monster Eyes: I picked these up at Dollar Tree, where I found them with the tiny Halloween crafting supplies section. Here are the same kind online, if you can't find them at your Dollar Tree (or don't have one).
- Halloween jewels: This is another Dollar Tree find from their Halloween crafting area. I bought two packs of these. I used on the Halloween bin, and the other was used in a pirate themed bin that I had already created. I couldn't find the same jewels online, but if you're looking to add some color and shine to your bin, there are some good alternatives here.
- Halloween color snakes: I got these at Wal-Mart with the Halloween party favors. They were only a dollar, and I can't find anything similar online. Here are some more realistic looking snake figures that would work based on the dimensions given.
- Little rubber mice/rats: Yet another Dollar Tree score. These are a seasonal item, like all the others things I got there. Check these out as an alternative. They aren't exactly the same, but they look pretty similar. I really like this set of mice, because they come in different colors. However, the price is a bit high for my taste. I suspect it will come down, along with all other Halloween things, once the trick-or-treating has ended.
- Rubber worms: These came from the Halloween party favor section at Wal-Mart. They were a dollar. I used them in this bin, as well as a bird and a flower bin I already had. Here is an online alternative. But if you have a fisherman in your life, it would probably be much cheaper to "borrow" some earthworm lures from them. Don't tell them it was my idea, though!
That's everything I've put in my bin so far. I need to add some spiders, and who knows what I'll find next Halloween to put in there. While I was researching alternatives for this source list, I came across a big, economical bag of bugs, lizards, bats, and creepy things. This would be good for a Halloween bin but could also be used in other bins that need bugs and reptiles, and it's cheaper than buying everything separately.
For more sensory bin inspiration, see my Pinterest board.