Books and Crafts

Easy Garden Sensory Bin for Toddlers

This easy garden sensory bin for toddlers allows little ones to explore the joys of gardening through reading and play! All you need are a few materials to get started.

Sensory Bin Supplies

  • Plastic bin with lid
  • Dry beans
  • Small cups
  • Gardening tools
  • Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
  • Toy items that “grow” (i.e. silk flowers or velvet pumpkins)
  • Garden gloves

Remember, sensory bin materials are completely flexible and inexpensive! That is what makes these bins so fun and easy. Save a little money and shop your house to see what items can be included in the bin that fits the garden theme.

As the seasons and holidays change, check out the Dollar Store or the Target dollar spot for small little items that might fit a garden bin. For this bin, I found many of my items such as the pumpkins and acorns at my local Dollar Tree.

Putting It Together

Sensory bins are so easy to put together and give toddlers hours of endless play and exploration! The point of a sensory bin is to give a child a chance to explore different textures while he plays. For this bin, I used dried black beans as the base of our sensory experience.

Easy Garden Sensory Bin for Toddlers

First, fill the bin with the dried beans. Make sure there is enough beans for your toddler to be able to scoop and dig in the beans. Next, add little garden items such as silk flowers or vegetables. When your child begins to play, give them tools such as a small spade and little cups to dig around in the beans.

To give their imagination a little boost, begin your experience by reading the book Up in the Garden and Under the Dirt by Kate Messner. This sweet book, filled with beautiful illustrations, explores the wonder of plants growing above the garden, creatures living under the dirt, and the overall wonder of growing a garden.

Watch as your child explores, plays, and imagines planting their own little garden right there in your kitchen!

Seasonal Variations

Recently, I put together seasonal variations of the garden sensory bin. The first bin was an autumn garden. Because it is October, I filled the bin with little wooden acorns, apples, and velvet pumpkins that I found at the Dollar Store.

To create a spring garden, simply replace the pumpkins and acorns with bright colored silk flowers or pretend fruits and veggies. This is a great conversation starter about the types of vegetables that grow throughout the year.

Pro Tip: Find a plastic bin that has a lid! When the sensory activity is done, load all of the supplies into the bin, label it, and store it for another day. Your future self will thank you!

I hope that this garden sensory bin will inspire you and your child to read, learn, explore, and play!

Happy exploring!

*Disclaimer: Sensory bin items can be a choking hazard. Make sure to include items that are age appropriate, and always ensure that there is adult supervision while the sensory bin is in use.

Love the garden tools?

Find the garden tool products in The Little Gardener gift guide! These tools are perfect for indoor or outdoor play.

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