We love to make sensory bins in our house- so read on for our new garden sensory bin!
Summer is finally here, hooray! Thankfully the weather has been pretty warm and sunny lately, so we’ve been busy working on stuff around the house a bit. One thing that has taken up a surprising amount of time for me as a new home owner is lawn and garden care. We live in a valley with super fertile soil, so it seems like we have to weed and mow every 3 days or things start to get crazy!
Lulu loves helping me pull weeds and is always walking around checking on and admiring our flowers with me. J just likes to eat dirt lol! I really want my kids to always enjoy and appreciate nature, so it’s been awesome having space for them to explore and get messy. Yes, I am totally that mom whose kids are always dirty because I let them play in the dirt all day, but that’s what being a kid is all about, right?
I decided to foster this love of nature by making a garden sensory bin for them to play in. Of course they can always just play outside, but I don’t really let them dig up plants or do anything destructive. I, too, have a love for the nature that surrounds us, and would like it to stay alive and beautiful haha. This also would be great for apartment living without access to a backyard full of plants!
Here’s what we used for our Garden Sensory Bin:
- 1 large bin
- Dried beans, can also use dirt or planting soil if you don’t mind the extra mess
- Fresh cut flowers, or fake flowers
- Little pots, or cups
- Gardening tools
- Real or pretend fruits and veggies
- Watering can
- Seeds, we used rice
- Gardening gloves
- Plant labels printable (at bottom of this page)
- Popsicle stick or skewer to glue/tape labels onto
Here’s the fun thing about sensory bins. You can do it however you want, and it doesn’t really take away from the fun! For example: black beans would probably look more like dirt, but we had a tonnn of lentils (an attempt at healthy eating that my family rejected LOL), so I used those instead. I included items that made it fun for both a baby and a toddler since I wanted both of my kiddos to enjoy it.
Babies will love feeling the different textures, pouring beans or dirt into the pots, and burying the fruits and veggies. Toddlers can do a little more pretend play by placing flowers in the pots to surround with beans/dirt, or pretending to plant some seeds and place a label on top. Lulu also loves to use the watering can. If you have a kid-sized one it would probably be easier, but a normal sized one is fine too if you just put a little water in.
A Full Sensory Experience
This garden sensory bin has the potential to tap into all five senses. Sight, touch, and sound are pretty standard for sensory bins with all the digging and pouring. But if you choose to use real flowers and fruit/veggies, your kids can see how beautiful flowers smell. And then you can wash off their “harvest” to bring in for a snack! Lulu couldn’t get over the fact that we brought her carrot inside to eat after they were done playing. It helps illustrate the point that gardens, and the farmers who tend them, are so important because they provide a lot of our food!
Is there anything else you would add to your garden sensory bin? I’d love to hear your ideas below! Not Quite Super Mom has another awesome gardening sensory bin that includes May Day baskets! And if you want a sensory bin that’s perfect for the fall, check out this post.