Today, I’m going to share some tips for setting up a simple sensory bin. This is an activity that can be pulled out and put together in a variety of ways. It’s also an activity that can keep kids entertained and learning when you need a little time to yourself. This activity is a part of the Activity of the Day series and can be used in those moments when you need a little break for you and your kiddos.

Simple Sensory Bin

I’m listing the supplies and set up for the bin that is pictured. I’ve included more ideas and variations in the notes section of this post. I recommend supervising this activity – especially with our littlest of learners.


  • empty bin
  • out of date cereal
  • bowl
  • cup
  • measuring spoon
  • kitchen spoon
  • small toys

Set Up

  1. Fill a bin with out of date cereal. (This is a great activity to do after you clean out the pantry!)
  2. Add in the kitchen items and toys.
  3. Let your little one play and explore.

Babies (under 1)

This bin is taste safe (depending on the type of cereal) and suitable for six months and above. (Keep in mind your baby’s abilities. Some may need more time before they’re ready.) Babies will enjoy playing with a new sensory material and they will likely try to taste it.

Toddlers (1-3)

A simple sensory bin is a great way to work on fine motor skills with your toddler. You can practice scooping, pouring, and grabbing while playing with this bin. You may need to demonstrate a few of these before your little one catches on. Fine motor skills are the beginning steps to writing.

Preschoolers (3-5)

Preschoolers will also enjoy working on basic fine motor skills with this bin. You can take it a step further and hide flashcards or pictures among the cereal. As your little one finds each item, talk about it and get extra practice for whatever skill they’ve been working on (shapes, colors, etc).

Big Kids (6+)

For big kids, I recommend turning this bin into a fun learning game! Bury reading tasks or math problems written on cards in the cereal and have your kids look for them. When they find each card, they can complete the activity before looking for another card.


We used expired cereal when we did this bin. I know that some people might be hesitant to use food in a time of need. There are several different materials that you can use instead including rocks, sand, dirt, and more! Use a different material each time for a completely new experience!

This activity is a part of our Activity of the Day series. This series was created to help parents with activities to do during school closures due to the coronavirus. Check back every weekday for new activity that you can do with kids of all ages!

Simple sensory bins can be great for keeping kids entertained and learning.