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How To Create A Christmas Sensory Bin

How To Create A Christmas Sensory Bin
Christmas sensory play

It’s no secret now, we love sensory activities!  Any type of sensory experience is an intricate part to my child’s like due to autism and sensory processing disorder.  But with sensory play, I am always trying to find new and easy activities to include in my children’s daily schedule.  

Giving my oldest son the sensory input he craves is my top priority and most of his schedule revolves around speech and occupational therapy exercises and sensory play!  Sensory bins continue to be my favorite go-to activity because they are so customizable.  I can focus on developing fine motor skills and also teach an educational concept as well.  

This year I’m slowly adding in holiday theme sensory bins.  In honor of the holiday season this year, I’ve created a themed Christmas sensory bin to ignite your kids Christmas spirit and senses!

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Christmas Sensory Bin

To create a Christmas sensory play experience for your kids, start with a sensory bin filler!  For this Christmas sensory bin I chose rice.  I always recommend for any sensory bin filler to find the cheapest option!  Overall, rice is a very cheap options, but always try to score a 5 pound plus bag for the lowest price you can find!  Odds are, your family will not be eating it and it’s only used for sensory play activities. 

Now, you need to color the rice two colors of red and green.  If you’ve never colored rice before don’t worry, it’s simple and I’ll walk you through it.  Gather a long-grain white rice (white rice works best), 3 quart sized Ziploc bags, and red and green food coloring.  Measure 2 cups of rice and pour into each Ziploc bag.  This will give you 3 bags of rice for a total of 6 cups worth of rice for your Christmas sensory bin.

Next, take your red food coloring and put 30 drops into one rice bag  (yes, 30!).  Close bag and shake well.  Do the same with the green food coloring (add 30 drops).  But keep one bag of rice without any dye.  This will give you your third color of white for the sensory bin of course.  

 

Christmas sensory playExtra Tip: Allow the rice to dry out by placing it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This will prevent little hands being dyed red and green!

After you’ve let the dyed red and green rice dry out for a while, it’s time to gather some other Christmas sensory bin supplies. Here’s the full supplies for this holiday themed sensory bin!

  • Long-grain white rice
  • Sensory bin container
  • Food coloring
  • Ziploc bags (quart)
  • Jingle bells (silver and gold)
  • Plastic ornament snowflakes
  • Starry Night resin alphabet letters (CLICK HERE to make them!)

Now all you have to do is arrange the rice, throw in the jingle bells, plastic ornament snowflakes and resin alphabet letters (if you choose too!). If you choose to make Starry Night resin alphabet letters you can add all the letters to spell out holiday themed words for children older than preschool age to make the Christmas sensory bin be both educational and more challenging!

Here are some word ideas for your child to spell out:

  • Christmas
  • Jingle
  • Bell
  • Reindeer
  • Holiday
  • Angel
  • Red
  • Green
  • Santa
  • Cookies

The most important part about this sensory bin is for your child to find letters and jingle bells. So hide them in the rice! Your child can then use his/her hands, a slotted spoon, sandbox plastic rake, or sensory bin tweezers to develop fine motor skills for preschoolers.

Extra Add In’s For A Christmas Sensory Bin

Although I only added in jingle bells (for sound sensory), plastic snowflakes, and resin alphabet letters, you don’t have to use those exact items. You can get more creative! The great thing about sensory bins, is you can add almost anything! Is a list of add in’s to complete your Christmas sensory play activity:

Final Thoughts

For this holiday sensory bin, I kept it simple. My son tends to get overwhelmed or easily distracted if there’s too much going on in an activity. But you can add in as many things as you want, as long as it’s cohesive with the Christmas theme! So let your kids make a mess and get excited for the upcoming holiday with this Christmas sensory play activity!

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