You know what else is great about sensory bins? You don't have to spend and arm and a leg on items for them! This year I bought a few cheap things from the bargain area at the front of Target. (You know, where everything is under like $3, MAYBE $5 at the most?) I purchased a couple of bows with bells, a bag of red garland-type stuff, a bead kit with red, green, and white beads along with a cord, and a small Snoopy bucket.
It wasn't until the next day, AFTER we had played with the new stuff, and I was getting last years decorations/crafts out that I realized just how much stuff I had saved from last year's sensory bin. Whoops. So, I decided to split it up into two different sensory bins. More fun and the longer she'll be occupied, right?
Here is ALL of the stuff in both bins.
A closer look at half of it. Some old strings, wrapping paper, tissue paper, garland, Snoopy bucket, things from trees. We got the latter at a storytime we went to last week...which Myka did not sit and listen to the story for.
In this corner: some scrap tulle from tutus, lots and lots of pompom balls, beads, jingle bells, bows, and the one last mini present that remains from last year. lol Btw, have I mentioned how awesome pompom balls are? There are a surprising amount of things to do with them, they are relatively cheap (depending on where you get them), and if your kid is anything like Myka, it will keep his/her attention for longer than you would expect.
As you can see, you don't even necessarily need to go out and buy things for sensory boxes. In typical kid fashion, most of the time "trash" is more fun to play with anyways!
Please use common sense when creating your own sensory bins for your children. Age and habits should be carefully considered when choosing items to use. Even between children of the same age, some items in one child's sensory bin may not be appropriate for another child. For example, I have some VERY small parts in our bins. My 2 year old has never been the kind of child that puts anything and everything in her mouth, therefore I trust her with small pieces. I am sure there are some children out there the same age as her (and older!) that should not be allowed to play with small things like beads yet. That being said, also ALWAYS supervise your child. My daughter and I play with sensory bins together when there are small parts just to be safe.