The flower sensory bin is one of our simple sensory activities. But with a twist! With this combination of materials, this spring sensory bin will be a delight for the children’s senses of touch and smell!
This soil and flower sensory bin is sure to check all the tactile boxes. First, there is the hard, smooth surface of the plastic bin. Then, there is the whispy material of the faux flowers, the bumpy texture of the dry beans, and even the squishy feeling of the play dough! It’s a truly immersive sensory experience for the kids!
Flower Sensory Bin Materials
To set up this sensory play experience, I searched through my supply closet for some inspiration. And the children sure were happy I did! I found everything I needed from previous activities and from the kitchen cabinets.
Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
Both at home and at school, the children came right over to check out the sensory bin. A few asked me what I was doing, but most of them delved right in! I didn’t give an explanation beyond, “here are some things I thought you might like to play with”. I wanted to see what the children would do without any preconceived notions.
I rather enjoyed sitting back and just observing the kids as they played.
- I saw children just playing with the play dough, squishing it in their hands.
- Some of the children pushed the flowers directly into the play dough.
- A few children set about adding beans to the play dough in a detailed manner, one-by-one.
- Still others took lumps of play dough and rolled the play dough in the beans.
- Quite a few of the kiddos enjoyed placing their hands and arms in the bin of beans over and over again.
I definitely had fun listening to the children as they explored the materials, too.
- “I don’t like how this smells! It’s yucky!”
- “Why do these beans look different than the other beans?”
- “Oh, my mommy drinks coffee in the mornings.”
- “I’m making a giant flower in the play dough.”
- “Look, it’s an alligator!”
- “Hey, listen while I pour them all out!”
Even though this was an incredibly simple activity, I loved it for a variety of reasons. The kids all had fun with the coffee and flower bin, which is the most important reason to me. 🙂 Beyond that, it allowed them to explore using their eyes, their hands, their noses, and their ears. The bin included different textures, especially when comparing the play dough and the beans. What about you? Have you done something like this with your kids before? How did they like it?
If you’re interested in more flower ideas, please check out my Flowers & Plants Pinterest Board.
Shared at Empty Your Archive Party, Creative Learning, Link & Learn, The Kids Co-op, Crayon Freckles’ 60+ Sensory Bin Ideas for Preschoolers, Discover & Explore: Flowers
Preschool Gardening and Outdoor Tools
One of the most important things we can allow young children to explore, in my opinion, is the great outdoors. Whether that means letting the children explore the woods by the preschool, the mulch around the playground, the field of grass outside, or the school garden, the children will get so much out of exploring natural things.
With that in mind, I’ve created a list of some great items to keep on hand for your class of little outdoors people. Some of them are on the pricier side, but they can be used for years to come! Check out the list below.
I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
- Kids gardening gloves
- Child-friendly gardening tools
- Children’s wheelbarrow
- A set of kids’ aprons
- Kid-friendly shovels
- Plastic pails
- Watering cans
- Construction vehicles set
- Kid’s ride-on excavator
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and a personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
Preschool Teacher 101 has created some amazing preschool lesson and activity plans that will be perfect for your classroom. Click on the images below to learn more about some of our hands-on lesson plans!
Join The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101 today for exclusive access to our content. We have a variety of membership options to suit your needs.
Alice (@mumsmakelists) says
Oh this looks lovely!
I would love for you to link up this – and your other sensory play posts – at the Sensory Play link up on Empty Your Archive, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x
Hi Alice — thanks so much for the invite. I’ll be popping by shortly. We had a ton of fun with this one. I loved the smell of the coffee beans, while the kiddos seemed to enjoy the textures the best.
Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest says
What fun! We’ve never done a bean based sensory bin before but I’d love to give one like this a try. Love the quotes from the kids. I’m always fascinated by what they say while discovering new things.
Thanks so much, Anna! I’ve done a variety of bean-based sensory bins both in the classroom and at home. Kiddos almost always seem to have a blast with them! 🙂 Even if it’s just putting their hands in the beans and feeling the textures. If you do any, I’d love to hear how it goes. 🙂
What a great idea! I wish we had that much coffee available ha ha I guess any other bean would do!
Oh Varya, you crack me up! Yes, I am sure any other bean would do. I just added the coffee for the scent. 🙂 I’m having fun reading up on your new site.
Kristin @ OneOrganicMama says
Made this this week!!! Thanks for the idea <3 Thanks for linking up at One Organic Mama! Hope to see you back on Thursday morning!
Oh, I love to hear back from others who have tried out ideas from Fun-A-Day! Thanks so much for leaving such a sweet comment, Kristin! Yes, I definitely plan on coming by the pin it party again this week. :0
i love this idea1 so bright and colorful. i bet it smelled good too! i’d love it if you linked it up to my sensory bin link-up! right now, there are over 60 great resources, i’d love for this to be one of them! http://www.crayonfreckles.com/2013/05/9-sensory-bin-ideas-for-preschoolers.html
Thanks — I would LOVE to link it up over there. Yes, it smelled yummy! I loved the way the browns of the beans set off the colors as well. We actually adapted it a little bit for my preschool class today — black beans, coffee beans, and hidden pompom flowers the kids had to find with chopsticks and tweezers. Can’t wait to check out the other bins, too!
Nancy E Awamura says
I usually do mine with dirt, fake flowers, small flower pots and small shovels. I like your idea of using the beans though. It will be much easier to clean up.
Mary Catherine says
I love using dirt, too. But I like taking the dirt bins outside if possible. The coffee beans are definitely easier for the kids to clean up!