What better way to get your toddler in the Christmas spirit than with a fun Christmas Sensory Bin?
Our collection of winter sensory bins has been such a hit, we just had to plan some festive Christmas Sensory Bins to play with in December!
New to sensory bins? Below are answers to a few commonly asked questions about sensory bins for toddlers.
If you’re an old pro feel free to skip straight to the list of fun & festive Christmas Sensory Bins!
What are sensory bins for toddlers?
Sensory bins are a collection of simple materials that you can find around your house, placed in a plastic bin for your toddler to explore.
Why do toddlers have sensory bins?
Sensory play is so important to toddler development! Toddlers naturally crave sensory input, so they tend to play with sensory bins longer than they would play with other toys.
What do sensory bins teach?
Through open-ended play, sensory bins naturally encourage essential life skills such as
- scooping and pouring
- estimation and measurement
- understanding cause-and-effect
- fine and gross motor skills
Why do toddlers need sensory activities?
Toddlers are programmed to explore the world by using their senses. When they play with sensory-based activities such as sensory bins, they learn about the world through experimentation and trial-and-error.
What do you put in a sensory bin for a toddler?
You can most likely find plenty of sensory materials in your kitchen or bathroom! Some popular ones include
- cotton balls
- measuring cups
- essential oils
- crinkle paper
The possibilities are endless!
Christmas Themed Sensory Bins for Toddlers
Ready for some festive sensory play? Check out our 11 favorite Christmas sensory bins to try this December!
Adult supervision is required for all activities on this website. Some materials may pose a choking hazard. Use good judgement when selecting activities – nobody knows your child better than you!
11 Festive Christmas Sensory Bins Your Toddler Will Love
Candy Cane Sensory Play Rice Sensory Bin
Toddlers love playing with rice! Scooping it, pouring it, running their little fingers through it...it's very soothing and will hold their little attention spans for longer than you might think! Click through to learn how to dye your rice candy cane colors (it's not hard, promise). Feel free to throw in some peppermint essential oil too, or even real candy canes - the choice is yours!
Jingle Bells Sensory Bin
Put a little Jingle Bell Rock on and let your toddler go to town on this cute jingle bell sensory bin! The textures and colors of the paper shreds combined with the sweet sound of jingle bells are sure to keep your toddler engaged. Click through for the details!
O Holy Night Nativity Sensory Bin
We love the idea of making a nativity scene sensory bin! Remind your toddler of the true meaning of Christmas with this sweet sensory bin from the Chaos and the Clutter. Click through to grab your own felt nativity scene pieces for your toddler!
DIY Christmas Sensory Sticks for Kids
Sensory bins are great but they do hold the potential to make a big mess, especially when you first introduce them to your toddler. If you have a younger baby or just aren't in the mood for a sensory bin, you might want to check out these Christmas sensory sticks! You'll need to prep them ahead of time by hot gluing items to craft sticks, but once you do, your baby or toddler can engage in an easy, no-mess sensory playtime that appeals to all the senses, from smell to sound to touch sight to touch. If you are doing a Christmas sensory bin, these sensory sticks would be a great addition!
All Natural Christmas Sensory Bin
My favorite thing about this Christmas sensory bin is there is no dyeing involved - use white beans, red beans, and split peas to easily incorporate all the colors of the season! You'll have to click through to see the picture of the fully assembled bin. It looks so appealing with the different colors of all the natural foliage added, and I'm sure it smells amazing, too!
Never underestimate the power of old toilet paper rolls and paper towel tubes! Seriously. Toddlers love them. This sensory bin couldn't be easier to set up, and your toddler is sure to play with it for days. Scooping, pouring, and cardboard tubes - this is toddler heaven guys!
Christmas Water Sensory Play Activity with Plastic Ornaments
What toddler doesn't love water play? Practice the important life skill of scooping and pouring with this fun and festive sensory water bin. If the idea of playing with water in the house makes you panic you have 3 options:
1. Throw an old shower curtain or some towels down and play on top of that.
2. Play with this bin in the bathtub.
3. Move to Florida and play with it outside.
Or you could go with secret option 4, my personal favorite - pour yourself a festive glass of prosecco with a splash of cranberry and calm down.
Christmas Gift Wrap Sensory Bin
This is the perfect activity for your toddler to do while you get some wrapping done, if you're the type of person who does your wrapping early. (If you're not that person, hi friend. Me neither.) Give your toddler some leftover scraps of paper, tissue, sticky bows, whatever you've got. They can pretend to "wrap" their toys, stick the bows on the wall, or just rip up paper. Toddler's choice on this one.
Gingerbread Cloud Dough Sensory Bin
This delicious smelling cloud dough is edible, so it's perfect for babies and younger toddlers who still explore like to explore life via mouth. Just be careful if you choose to add marshmallows. Cloud dough is super fun but potentially super messy, so throw down a plastic table cloth or do this one on floor cleaning day. I personally remember to clean the floors exclusively after messy sensory bins, so I try to throw them in the mix at least a couple times a month. But that's a different story.
Cranberry Sensory Play for Toddlers
I have to be honest, I've never made cranberry sauce before so I'm slightly nervous about this because I'm imagining that cranberries are like red blueberries. My daughter likes to squish blueberries between her finger and make a lovely little mess of things. But another part of my brain vaguely remembers that cranberries come in a plastic bag and maybe they are dried? I'm sure they're dried. It's fine. If not, back to the prosecco tip.
Peppermint Cloud Dough
This festive cloud dough will have your house smelling like candy canes! If your little one still likes to taste sensory materials, skip the part where you dye it green. White cloud dough works just fine with peppermint scents!
Which Christmas sensory bin will you try? Let us know in the comments!
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