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Simple River Animal Sensory Bin 🐊

I wanted to start and tell you how easy it is to create this style of sensory bin for your children. My children adore playing with these sensory bins especially my daughter. She can play with the same sensory bin for about a month straight.

I tend to create themes that she is currently interested in so one month I might make a theme with dinosaurs or the next month, I could be hot in the summer. I create mostly water based sensory bin activities and I also use our sensory table under the shade tree to create something underneath it.
 River Animal Sensory Bin
Animal Sensory Bin

How To Make a Simple River Animal Sensory Bin

Today, I wanted to show you how easy it is to create a sensory bin using materials that you might already have at home. In some cases we buy a few things to make each bin different from the last.

To get our sensory bin started we put in these river animals. We placed each of the animal toys in the bottom of our bin. This will hide the animal toys and at the same time create an activity for my daughter. We wanted to pretend she was rescuing them and bringing them to safety on the green mat.

The next thing that we added was the sensory bin filler - in this case, we will be using these blue water beads which are very calming to the touch.

I have used these over and over for the last year. The water beads have worked amazingly. They last a long time and it's really great when you can reuse items. I just let them dry out and shrink to their original shape before I put them back in the bottle. You will need to soak them for about two hours in water before starting. Warm water will speed up the water absorption process. 

To dry the water beads do not use paper towels or glass container. The beads will dry out and be stuck to them. I use a cookie sheet and put parchment paper over the top. The drying of the water beads takes around four to five days. Store them in a ziploc bag in a cool and dry place.
Animal Toys in Sensory Bin
The filler can also be dried beans, cooked spaghetti, or just plain water. There are so many different items that you can use. I love to use water beads because the clean up is pretty simple.
Sensory Bin Filler
My daughter then picked up some small stones outside. I placed a green floor tile near the bin to give it the appearance of grass. We like to pretend play.

She placed the stones on the green mat to give the grassy area some texture. It was a fun time for bonding as we picked out the stones for our sensory bin. Time goes by so fast that is why I want to spend as much time with the children as possible.
Foam play mat as grass
We go over the name of each animal as they are moved from the bin to incorporate animal recognition. The sensory playtime also goes well with any animal nursery rhyme.
Playing in the Sensory Bin
My daughter enjoyed putting her hands in the water beads which are bouncy and very squishy.

She carefully used the net as much as possible to bring the animals safely onto the green grass. This is very simple play area but she had an imaginative playtime. Using the toy net she is getting great motor skills.
Counting the Animals
When she placed the animals on the mat, it also gave us a chance to count the animals one by one. We started this activity together but my daughter took it from there.
Simple River Animal Sensory Bin 
Once she had rescued all of the animal toys from the bin she put them back in the water beads and started all over again. Time to find them again! 

I hope you enjoyed our simple river animal sensory bin as much as we did. This is a really easy activity to make for young children. It will keep them entertained while you do things around the home. It is really mess free because you can layout a plastic table cloth over the table before your child begins playing. My kids are pretty good about keeping most of it inside the bins. They have been playing with bins for a really long time and they absolutely love it. They will stay at the sensory bins for hours.

Materials Needed for this Animal Sensory Bin:

  1. River animals
  2. Sensory bin
  3. Toy net 
  4. Water beads
Thanks again and be sure to share this post on social media.

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