Thursday, August 21, 2014

The ultimate list of tools for the sensory bin

Yesterday I shared my huge list of sensory bin ideas (see the list here).  Today I'm going to give you a list of all of the awesome tools that I like to add to the sensory bin alongside these materials.  Kids love to explore with their hands, but introducing additional tools can add to the learning and help children make meaningful connections, especially when they use the same tools with different materials.  This helps children to learn basic scientific concepts like texture, states and properties of matter, making and testing hypotheses, and mass and weight.

Again, it is important to remember that sensory play should be supervised to ensure that all materials and tools are used appropriately!


1. Measuring Cups
2. Measuring Spoons
3. Straws
4. Q-tips
5. Toothpicks
6. Basters
7. Funnels
8. Scoops
9. Ice Cube Trays
10. Egg Cartons
11. Cardboard Tubes
12. Popsicle Sticks
13. Cups
14. Spoons
15. Tongs
16. Tweezers
17. Chopsticks
18. Muffin Tins
19. Spice Jars
20. Empty Containers
21. Paintbrushes
22. Film Canisters
23. Sponges
24. Spatulas
25. Rolling Pins
26. Colanders
27. Bowls
28. Silicone Muffin cups
29. Pencils
30. Mittens (for snow and ice)
31. Food Coloring
32. Eye Droppers
33. Coffee Mugs
34. Plastic Animals
35. Plastic People
36. Toy Cars
37. Forks
38. Cookie Cutters
39. Bamboo Skewers
40. Shovels

I've found that if I provide tools for the children to use with sensory materials, they are much less likely to make a mess because they are focused on a task.  They want to keep the materials in the bin because they need it all in order to accomplish the task.  I'd love to know what your favorite sensory exploration tools are! List them in the comments!

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