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Toddler Talk: Sensory Bins

The weather’s warming up and your little ones are exploring the outdoors—possibly for the first time.

You’ve done the park, you’ve done the picnics, you’ve followed your toddling child as she collects dandelions.

But one of the absolute best ways to entertain your child is with an outdoor sensory bin. They’re a little messier, but a whole lot more fun:


Water tables are one of the best parts of summer for a toddler. They get to splash, scoop and dump—and the possibilities are endless. Add funnels, bath toys, little plastic cups, or add some plastic baby dolls and soap for a “baby bath.” You’ll have to drag your little one away from that table.

Make a Theme

Is your toddler especially interested in dinosaurs? Put a bunch of dirt, rocks, and dinosaur figurines in a big bin, and then watch the play unfold. Or opt for some sand and mini construction vehicles—creating a miniature construction site.

Springtime Sensory Bin

Fill a bin with multi-sized and multi-shaped pebbles, along with dirt, grass, flowers, and other interesting textures. Add some little flower pots and pretend gardening tools for digging and playing.

Day at the beach

Next time you’re at the beach, stock up on sand and seashells in all sizes and textures. Then create an at-home sensory bin filled with sand shovels and beach toys—recreating the sensory wonderland that is the beach.

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