Sensory bin ideas - Forest

Sensory bins represent nearly limitless possibilities for child's sensory development. Mixed with imaginative play, no two sensory bins will have the same life. Have a look what happened to our 'forest sensory bin' :)

sensory bin ideas and imaginative play

Dinosaurs happened, that's what happened :) But let's start at the beginning:

Following last-year's winter forest disaster in our country when many trees bent and fell under a thick layer of glaze ice, there is still an occasional tractor to be seen pulling tree trunks out and clearing our local forest. While on a walk, I just couldn't resist the heavenly smell of the freshly chopped branches of spruce and pine trees, and ended up carrying out a large bunch of spruce tree branches, some pieces of pine bark, a few sticks, and green moss. These ended up in our apartment:

forest sensory bin and natural materials

I offered these natural materials to our kid, together with a transparent Ikea bin, to form a living environment for his toys for the day:

sensory bin ideas for kids

See how I it all ended up on our kitchen floor, just to be reassembled into a beautiful 'ancient forest'  with an addition of (not the logically expected forest animals, no-no, but) his current favorites -  DINOSAURS, off course!

sensory bin ideas for kids

It was a rewarding process to observe the toddler playing and to listen to his story-line of dinosaur friends, who according to the kid's explanations, kept falling from bridges (sticks) and had to be 'rescued' by their (dinosaur) friends, about making friendships and about heroic jumps from one part of the 'forest' into another. 

natural materials from the local forest

USEFUL HINT: I'd suggest you to place an old bed sheet under the sensory bin already at the beginning of the activity, if you'd like to avoid running around with a vacuum cleaner.

And this is how nearly every play activity ends these days: with our kid's favorite Cat digger. It came to help clean the mess at the end of the activity.

sensory bin ideas for kids and imaginative play
 And yes, if you are thinking about the way I brought these materials, it's waaaay more interesting if you go gathering them TOGETHER with your TODDLER. In which case you'd probably like to try out this idea, too:


surviving the sensory play - tips for easy cleanup