Make your kids an Easy and Fun Kids Ocean Sensory Bin Activity with inexpensive items and watch their imaginations run wild! Plus, a no mess option, and how to store and re-use the DIY ocean sensory bin again and again. This craft is a perfect learning activity for toddlers, preschools, kindergarteners, and beyond!
Back with another awesome kids activity that I think you and your little ones are going to love! (Spoiler alert: mine sure did!)
This DIY kids ocean sensory bin activity is easy to put together for your kids, and the supplies are inexpensive. Our bins also captured our girls’ attention for nearly an hour, so I call that a real win. Honestly, anything that keeps them busy for more than ten-minute intervals is a winning activity in my book. 🙈
I was able to easily wash off everything we used for the kids’ ocean sensory bin activity and put it all away to be brought out and used again and again. Having an arsenal of easy kids activities for a rainy day is SO helpful. Any time I get an, “I’m bored!” I often reach for one of our pre-made simple activities to hand over to the kids. That way, I get to be hands-off while they dive right into the activity.
A few other great sensory activity bins I often reach for:
How to Make Sensory Bins for Multiple Kids
One of my mom hacks for sensory bins is to divide up the sensory activity into two bins for our two kids. I don’t know about you and your kiddos, but mine sometimes struggle to share, especially when they’re excited. We have plenty of activities and toys where I’ll push them to share, and they of course can, but when it comes to sensory bins, I find that it’s helpful sometimes to give them their own independent play.
For reference, we have two girls: ages 2 and 5. Our toddler is finally coming out of the stage of putting everything in her mouth, but I do still watch her when I let her play with smaller pieces. If you have a toddler who puts things in their mouth, just give them Toy Ocean Creatures Figurines and larger sea shells when they do this ocean sensory bin activity and consider using homemade play dough rather than hair gel.
The Perfect Bins for Fun Sensory Play
I’ve shared the larger version of these super useable storage boxes before. (We typically use the 14.5qt. Latchmate Blush Storage Box with Tray by Recollections from Michaels. You can also find the Latchmate Storage Boxes on Amazon!) We love them and use them to store crafts, toys, legos, and more. We’re currently living in a city apartment where space is tight. Using something super functional, that can double as craft storage or a place to organize and store favorite toys and accessories seemed like the perfect solution.
When I found the 3.4 qt size (on sale for $5!), I knew they would be a great size to split up our DIY sensory bins between the two kids. The Latchmate Storage Boxes are ideal for sensory bins that you plan to use again because even the smallest size comes with the tray insert that “nests” into the trays and has built in dividers to sort all of the smaller pieces and accessories; i.e., sea shells, little toys like sea creatures, glass gems and stones, etc.
How to Put Together This Easy and Fun Kids Ocean Sensory Bin Activity
Let your kids’ imaginations run wild with this easy kids ocean sensory bin activity! Perfect for little hands, easily customizable, and messy, good, contained fun for all.
What You’ll Need
How to Put Together Your Easy Kids Ocean Sensory Bin
You’ll want to start with an empty, clean clear plastic bin.
Squirt about half a bottle of inexpensive blue hair gel in the bin.
Give your kids sea shells, stones or glass garden gems, and toy sea creature figurines, and let them play! (You can find all of these things at places like Target, the dollar store, Michaels, and on Amazon.)
Here are a few of our favorite Ocean Sensory Bin Accessories:
A Note on Mess:
If you’re worried about mess, you have a few options: (1) Set up the sensory bins on a big towel or plastic tablecloth in your kitchen, (2) Set up the sensory bins with the kids IN your bathtub or shower, (3) Or set up the sensory bins outside, or (4) Replace the hair gel with Water Beads. (Water beads are tons of fun and less messy. We really like MarvelBeads Water Beads. They’re affordable, provide endless hours of play, they’re non-toxic, reusable, and they come in such a beautiful variety of colors. This post shares our favorite water bead accessories, in case you’re looking for even more fun.)
Make Ocean Learning Fun
Play counting and sorting games with your ocean sensory bins. Have your kids count the number of sea shells, crabs, whales, blue stones, etc. and sort them into groups.
For toddlers, this activity is great for fine motor skills. Give them tongs and droppers to manipulate and pick up and hunt the items in the sensory bin.
- Plastic Bin
- Blue Hair Gel (or Water Beads for less mess)
- Sea Shells
- Stones or Glass Garden Gems
- Toy Sea Creature Figurines
- Start with an empty, clean clear plastic bin. Squirt about half a bottle of inexpensive blue hair gel in the bin.
- Give your kids sea shells, stones or glass garden gems, and toy sea creature figurines, and let them play!
If you're worried about mess, you have a few options: (1) Set up the sensory bins on a big towel or plastic tablecloth in your kitchen, (2) Set up the sensory bins with the kids IN your bath tub or shower, or (3) Replace the hair gel with water beads. (Water beads are tons of fun and less messy.)
I like that I can switch up the things I put in the ocean sensory bins each time. Sometimes it may be fish, other times mermaids, different sea shells and rocks we collect, etc.
I find that when I sneak in somewhat new accessories and toys into our kids’ sensory bins, it provides so much more entertainment and as a result, play time.
After our messy fun ocean play, which we did sitting on a towel in our tiled kitchen, we went straight to bath time. It was honestly way less messy than I thought and the girls really loved it!
SHOP THE KIDS DIY OCEAN SENSORY BIN ACTIVITY | CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE
In case you find yourself at home with your kids, be sure to check out this huge list of fun and educational activities for young children!
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