Love Themed Sensory Bin

February 10, 2023 |
love themed sensory bin with hearts and other babbles

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or any day, there is never a better time to spread a little love around. This Love Themed Sensory Bin is easy to put together and full of fun textures, little surprises, shiny treasure, and unique sensory experiences. I’ve got a video walking you through the whole thing, and then I’ll give you quick supply list, tips and tricks, and links to everything I used to get you started.

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popcorn kernels make fun sensory bins
Popcorn kernels make a fun base for sensory bins, but you can use all sorts of things like rolled oats, rice, quinoa, etc.

Love Themed Sensory Bin Supplies

This is a great activity to prepare for Valentine’s Day, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to take advantage of those after-holiday sales and leftover Valentine’s Day supplies. It doesn’t matter if it’s February 14th or any old day, there is never a bad time to show a little love. Keep in mind that most of the supplies below come in larger supplies than what I used here, but that’s okay! I stockpile everything for future sensory bins and activities anyway. Here is what I used in this Love Themed Sensory Bin:

The key here is to use your imagination. What craft supplies do you already have on hand and how can you use them to represent or convey your theme? See something on clearance at Joann? How can that fit into a sensory bin? I knew I wanted pipe-cleaners for the kids to play around with, so I bent them into my theme… literally. 😉

IMPORTANT NOTE: This sensory bin will NOT be a good fit for young children who are still mouthing objects or anyone who is allergic to corn.

Mix it up!

There’s no wrong way to put together a sensory bin. You’re just going to mix everything together in a way that feels balanced and achieves the effect you are looking for. I like to layer my bins like I layer my nachos: base, topping, more base, more toppings, more base, toppings forever etc etc. Of course, I mix up my bins to get a nice variety, and I certainly don’t recommend doing something so offensive to your nachos.

scoops by learning resources are perfect for sensory activities
We absolutely LOVE these handy scoops by Learning Resources. My kids use them for everything.

Sensory Bin Tools

Both my 4 year old and 9 year old loved exploring the Love Themed Sensory Bin, excavating treasures, digging their fingers into the corn kernels, and making all sorts of messes. Here are some of the tools that they enjoy using with dry sensory bins:

Giving the kids lots of different tools to explore their sensory bin with will help extend the amount of time they spend playing with it. I also highly recommend setting their sensory bin up on a cloth or carpeted area–actually still cover your carpet with a cloth because a quick and easy clean up is no joke–to prevent split popcorn kernels from bouncing all over your house.

sneak preview of our sensory bin

Clean Up & Storage

We usually play with our prepped sensory bins a few times before we are ready to break them down and put them away. At that point, I usually recruit the kids to help me with some sorts. We keeps the base (popcorn kernels, in this case) in the bin, and the kids excavate the goodies into different piles so we can use them later. At the end, they each get a small cup to fill up with whatever they want to keep for now, such as stickers or a few of their favorite polished gemstones. In this case, we broke everything down into three containers:

  • popcorn kernels
  • polished gemstones
  • miscellaneous stickers and decor

Now, if we want to do another sensory bin, I already have everything separated out! We can pull out the Valentine’s Day misc bag any time we want to decorate cards, envelopes, etc, and the popcorn kernels are good to go for many sensory bins to come.

pipe cleaners bent into heart shapes
With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.

Most importantly, have fun!

Lots of people think that putting together sensory bins has to be time consuming or expensive, but it really doesn’t have to be at all. If you love bargain hunting, hit up craft stores like Joann after big holidays and grab some decor on clearance. Easter sales can easily be turned into Springtime Sensory bins, Christmas to winter, etc.

A potato carved into a heart stamp sits on a white table cloth surrounded by painted heart art for valentine's day

Looking for other Heart Themed Crafts?

Love is in the air, and I’ve made a list of super fun heart-themed crafts for you to enjoy this February:

script text reads "happy crafting"

love themed sensory bin with hearts and other babbles
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Originally posted on February 16, 2022.


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