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Easy Christmas Sensory Bin

Skip the electronics and get your preschoolers playing with their hands by making this easy Christmas Sensory Bin. It’ll keep them entertained for hours.

For more ideas of things to make, check out all of our DIY posts.

A young boy playing in a sensory bin with the words "Easy Christmas Sensory Bin" digitally written above him.

Sensory boxes are super popular lately. I think it’s because it’s a way, with very little mess, to keep young kids occupied.

Preschool aged children are the perfect age for this because their little hands fit well inside the box and because they’re old enough to know not to eat the contents of the sensory bin.

Sensory bins have a lot of benefits for kids too. I don’t want to summarize them and do that a disservice, so check out this post about Developmental Benefits of Sensory Bins if you want to know more.

For now, just know they’re really fun and really easy to customize. This one Michelle made for her boys is Christmas themed (because we’re in the Christmas season). If you’re not reading this during Christmastime, you can still adapt this to whatever season it is.

Boy in an elf cut out photo prop with the words "12 Days Of Christmas Things To Do With Kids" digitally written on top.

This Christmas sensory bin is just one fun Christmas-themed thing to do with kids. For more ideas, check out our 12 Days Of Christmas Activities List For Kids.

Easy Christmas Sensory Bin

Affiliate links are included in this post and Drugstore Divas may make a small commission if you use them.

Plastic tongs, spatulas, cookie cutters, Christmas figurines, beans, and Cheerios.

Christmas Sensory Bin Supplies:

How To Make A Christmas Sensory Bin:

Start with a rectangular-shaped plastic container. The one in this post is 136 oz. and has a locking lid, which is super important (the lid, not so much the size). You want to be able to easily close this when you’re done playing and assure that nothing falls out if it accidentally gets bumped and knocked over when it’s stored.

Cheerios in a plastic container.

Open the bag of Cheerios and pour them on one side of the bin.

Beans in a plastic container.

Open the bag of dried beans and pour them on the opposite side of the bin. Now, if you want to make this more Christmas-y, you can use dried split green peas to get in the “green” from the red and green of Christmas.

A pair of tongs, Christmas cookie cutters, spatulas, and figurines in a plastic bin with Cheerios and beans.

Place the Christmas spatulas, cookie cutters, figurine, and plastic tongs on top of the Cheerios and beans. Hand it to your child to play this way and let him or her dig, mix, and play.

Your child will be able to use this sensory bin as calming play (similar to those office desk zen gardens that people buy), plus as a way to learn and explore. They look so simple, but sensory bins are really great for kids.

And great for you during the holiday season when you need something to occupy your kids while you fill out Christmas cards.

When your kids are done, just close the box, lock it, and put it away until you’re ready to play again.

A boy playing with a Christmas sensory bin.

Simple Ways To Play With A Sensory Bin:

Counting

If your child is learning how to count, ask him or her to pick up a certain number of beans. This will work on both fine motor skills and counting.

Guessing

Place only the Christmas cookie cutters in the sensory bin. Have your child close his or her eyes, then search for one of the cookie cutters. When he or she finds it, ask him or her to touch it and figure out what shape it is.

This is definitely a lot easier after your child has played with the bin for a while and knows which cookie cutters are being used in the bin. It’ll be easier for him or her to recognize it that way.

Hide And Seek

“Hide” the Christmas figurines under the beans and Cheerios. See if your child can “find” them. Once your child finds them, put them back in the sensory bin, gently shake it, and re-hide the figurines.

Change the game so that your child can search using his or her hands, search using the tongs only, search with his or her eyes opened or closed, etc.

Sorting

Once your children play with this sensory bin once, the Cheerios and beans will be mixed together. So, have them sort the beans and Cheerios back into separate groups.

Sensory Bins: Frequently Asked Questions

Is rice good for sensory bin?

Rice is a really expensive sensory bin filler. It’s great for little hands to pick up, which is a fun way for children to work on fine motor skills.

Beans and Cheerios are much larger and much easier for little hands to play with, so that’s why we picked those for this sensory bin.

But, if you’re making this from what you have on hand, and you only have rice, use that.

What should I put in a Christmas sensory bin?

If you want to add to this sensory bin, you can. Be sure to choose items with different textures so that there is a variety of sounds and textures while your child is playing.

Consider adding Christmas colored pompoms, red and green paper shred, and adding a shovel in addition to the other toys.

Farm Sand Play Set.

Purchase A Sensory Bin Online:

If you like the idea of a sensory bin, but you just don’t feel like putting one together, you can purchase a sensory bin online. There are a ton out there, and really fun ones that look vastly different than this Christmas one, but still have the same play benefits.

Our favorites are below:

Instead of bins, you can actually purchase a full Toddler Sensory Table. That one comes with a lid, so it’s good for indoor or outdoor play, but you will have to fill it yourself with toys.

Two packaged DoodleJamz toys.

More Toys For Sensory Play:

Sensory toys are really important for a child. So, if you’re looking for more ideas, like the DoodleJamz JellyPics and DoodleJamz JellyBoards above, check out the following online stores to buy more:

Be sure to check a store’s minimum cart total to qualify for free shipping. Also, consider instore or curbside pickup to avoid shipping charges.

Yield: 1 Bin

Christmas Sensory Bin

Skip the electronics and get your preschoolers playing with their hands by making this easy Christmas Sensory Bin. It'll keep them entertained for hours.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • 3.5 oz. bag of Cheerios
  • 16 oz. bag of dried beans
  • 2 Christmas spatulas
  • 3 Christmas cookie cutters
  • Plastic Christmas figurines
  • Plastic tongs

Tools

  • Rectangular-shaped plastic container

Instructions

  1. Start with a rectangular-shaped plastic container.
  2. Open the bag of Cheerios and pour them on one side of the bin.
  3. Open the bag of dried beans and pour them on the opposite side of the bin.
  4. Place the Christmas spatulas, cookie cutters, figurine, and plastic tongs on top of the Cheerios and beans. 

Did you make this Christmas Sensory Bin? What did you fill it with?

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