A sensory bin is almost always a huge hit during therapy sessions. A sensory bin is oftentimes filled with rice, beans, or sand, along with cups to pour and dig with, and small objects to locate (e.g., plastic animals, puzzle pieces, coins). Other tactile media could also be used in the sensory bin (e.g., cotton balls, Styrofoam peanuts). A sensory bin can provide “a break” and relaxation for a child who is overstressed or overstimulated and it can provide tactile input for a child who is hypersensitive to certain textures or seeking sensory input throughout the day. A sensory bin can also help a child to work on their fine motor, visual motor, and bilateral skills, depending how the activity is set-up.
How To Create A Sensory Bin:
- Fill any size plastic tub with a tactile media of choice (Note: make sure your tub has a lid as well, so that it can be easily stored, and so you don’t have to worry about spills)
- Then depending on the goals of your child you can hide the following items:
- Hide plastic or real coins inside the tactile media for a child who is working on in-hand manipulation, finger translation (moving object from palm to fingers), or money skills
- Hide letters or numbers (e.g. puzzle pieces/magnets/letters from Scrabble game) for a child who is working on identifying letters or numbers or spelling words or sentences
- Hide pieces to a puzzle for a child who is working on visual motor skills and problem solving
- Allow your child to play in the sensory bin before times of transition or before a challenging task, as it might help them to mentally and physically prepare for the next activity, and ideally prevent a meltdown