S is for Sensory Bins

These are one of my fave activities to do during treatment sessions. Not only are there a million and one textures to put in the box, but the activities that you can do with it are also endless.

Some of my go to textures are dried rice/ beans/ pasta, water beads, tissue paper, feathers, plastic grass/ tinsel, kinetic sand, yarn, pebbles, playdough, foamy soap & water, shredded paper, and of course dirt.

Using a sensory bin can easily be graded up and down depending on the age, functional level, and tactile sensitivity of your client. You can simply allow kiddos to explore the texture with their hands, incorporate scooping and pouring with their hands or with tools (i.e. cups and spoons), and bury objects in it and ask them to find them.

When using sensory bins, you can target so many skills too, including tactile processing, fine motor, gross motor, visual perception, visual motor, bilateral motor coordination, crossing midline, weight bearing, imitation, and language, all of which is addressed through the act of play.

You can also vary the size of bin you use: small bins for small amounts of tactile stimuli and isolating for just hands and fingers, medium bins for hands and arms, and large bins that clients can actually sit in. I have even had parents use a small kiddie pool as a sensory bin.

What are your go-to textures and activities to do with sensory bins?

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