Easy Toddler Sensory Bin Ideas – Spring, Fall and Winter Play Activities

My family and I live in a country home outside a small town, and we are so grateful to have plenty of room outdoors for our son to roam and play. There is nothing better for an active and busy toddler than to have a seemingly endless nature’s playground all in their backyard. Toddlers are constantly exploring their developing senses and taking in the world around them, and it is so fun as a parent to watch them be creative and learn new things. Their eager imaginations and almost never ending energy is pretty amazing!

Exposing a growing little human to as many sights, sounds, and textures is so good for their development. Aside from the outdoors, there are so many creative ideas for sensory play circulating the internet, and many different ways you can put together a fun new activity for them to explore new textures and use their imagination. The idea of a sensory bin works so well for this reason, and even if you are just trying to find a new toddler activity for your busy little one so they can hopefully stay occupied in one place!

I tend to keep these sensory activity ideas very simple by using whatever I can find left over at home, or inexpensively at the Dollar Store! They usually end up being no cost to me or just under a few dollars and even can be reused again and again!

Here are a few ideas for easy Spring, Fall and Winter sensory bin activities for your toddler!

Spring Build a Nest Sensory Bin

Build a bird nest and make some egg shakers with this one, and I found these items all at Aldi for under $3! I had put these items together as an Easter inspired activity, but it also continues to work well for spring play using those left over plastic eggs from Easter!

I love being a boy mom! My son of course loves to get out his trucks to help clean up the spills!

Checklist for this spring sensory bin:

  • Bag of dried pinto beans
  • Crinkle paper
  • Plastic Easter eggs
  • A tablespoon or scoop from the kitchen

Fall Tractor Harvest Sensory Bins

When it’s fall harvest, the tractor sightings around here are endless and my son is thrilled at every one! He is obsessed with all things with wheels, especially trucks, tractors and diggers. These simple throw together bins had my toddler occupied for hours and it is easy to change up the toys as a child’s interests change too. Sensory bin ideas are especially a good idea for when you are stuck indoors, though I am happy when I can bring it outside on a nice day too so the mess isn’t always in the house!

Take a peak in your pantry, you never know what you can find! One day I had some cereal that was going stale, so I threw it in the food processor and used that too along with the rest of a rice cereal box and bag of lentils I had left that weren’t quite enough for a meal. Along with adding a few cinnamon sticks for some “logs”, we were ready to go and the toys were ready to get to work!

If you don’t have a bin, anything will do! This day I grabbed a sheet pan and what I had on hand in the kitchen, even using some dried moss from my craft room. When I bring these outside, my son usually enjoys finding sticks, rocks and other nature pieces to add to it too. Nature ingredients don’t cost a dime!

You can bet that the real life construction projects feel like they last all year round, and they definitely do around here when there is so much to be done! After all, the beans and sticks can’t move themselves!

Checklist for these fall and construction sensory bins:

  • Dried lentils, beans, pasta
  • Various kinds of cereal
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Dried moss
  • Nature pieces such as rocks and sticks
  • Toy tractors and diggers

Winter Snow Sensory Bin

Let’s face it, the winters can feel pretty long and especially when there are many cold days that keep us feeling stuck inside. We were grateful that this last winter wasn’t terrible for us at all, but there were still some frigid and blustery days which called for some creative thinking. This is probably the easiest indoor activity bin yet, as all you need will be:

  • Large plastic bin
  • Fresh snow
  • Toy trucks and plows to move the snow!

As the snow melts I empty it out and step outside to scoop in some fresh snow for more play. I usually keep a large plastic mat down like this one from Amazon and it works super well for catching all of the spills and for easier clean up.

These toddler activities will be sure to have your little ones occupied for hours! The options are endless, and it is so much fun as a parent to be creative in finding new ways for engaging and creative play! I hope these ideas can help inspire you with your little ones!

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