If you have an empty baby wipes container, you can easily repurpose it into a simple sensory box for your toddler or preschooler. The ideas I’ve listed here don’t cost anything besides the initial investment in the wipes (which you’ve probably already paid for and used anyway!) – they all use everyday, around the house items.
Sensory Box 1 – Colors
We have a “blue box” filled with small items that Callan and I go through together each day (just for as long as his attention holds), zipping the bag, talking about shapes, counting the Duplos, feeling the soft washcloth, etc. As we play with each item, I make sure that I tell him it’s blue. He also plays with the box on his own, exploring the items his way, instead of how I lead. In a few days, I’ll swap out the blue items for red. We’ll go back and forth between those two colors for awhile and then I’ll add a third color. If you have multiple boxes, you could have several color boxes at once.
As I mentioned earlier, everything in the box is from around the house. Just make a quick “sweep” through your house and grab a variety of objects in one color. Here’s a closer look at what’s inside our box:
Sensory Box 2 -Washcloths
Callan loves to pull the wipes out of our “working” wipes container, and he also likes to put them back in. That’s where this box comes in handy. With just a few baby washcloths, he can explore “in” and “out,” “push” and “pull,” to his heart’s content. If you don’t have a surplus of washcloths, use fabric scraps instead. If they’re different colors, patterns, or sizes, that opens up even more possibilities for discovery. Or try ribbons, which will allow you to talk about length and height.
Sensory Box 3 – Beans
Our last box is full of beans. This is one that I don’t allow Callan to play with on his own yet, since he’s still putting everything in his mouth. With beans, corn, cereal, beads, etc., and a few kitchen items, your little one can measure, funnel, scoop, mix, and pour. Use more than one type of bean in the same box (for instance, pinto, kidney, and black beans) for an older toddler to sort.
Do you use sensory bins with your kids? I’d love to hear how you make them and what they hold!