This Crinkle Paper Garden Sensory Bin is the most fun, adorable activity for spring! We’re in the middle of a very dreary, rainy Spring Break week and this is about as close as we’re going to get to actual gardening. This bin kept the kids entertained for over an hour and the clean up was far easier than actual gardening.
Like so many kids, mine get bored with their toys pretty easily. But if you change things up a bit — repackage the same ole toys in a new way for example — they are entranced all over again. For this activity, I simply went around the house (and raided our outdoor toys) and collected any toy that represented things found in a garden: I raided the play food for veggies (our super cute soft Ikea veggies), a set of children’s gardening tools, a few tin “pots”, our Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Flower Set, some dried beans for “seeds,” and a whole bunch of brown crinkle paper we had leftover from a gift box I’d saved from Christmas.
All of these toys have been in plain view, collecting dust on shelves for months. As soon as I dumped them all in our sensory tub and added that crinkle paper, they were magical once more.
They loved “planting” seeds and “digging up” veggies.
They loved planting flowers in pots or in the bin. After a while, they found a stuffed bunny puppet and a few dolls to live in the garden and their imaginations really took off. We even added a couple of plastic bugs as garden visitors.
Gathering everything into a bin and giving them a bit of direction was all that was needed to spark their creativity. Such a fun activity and it really kept them engaged!
I know what you’re thinking: what if I don’t have those particular toys? Won’t the paper get everywhere? Go digging around your play room or toy area and I bet you’ll find at least a couple of items that will work great. If not, take a trip to the Dollar Store and you can round out or bin for about $5. And the crinkle paper stays surprisingly well contained. We spread out a plastic tablecloth underneath our bin but we really didn’t need to. The paper stays in the bin pretty well.
Garden Sensory Bin
Key items for this sensory bin are:
- Kid’s garden tools (check Target or the Dollar Store)
- Pretend fruits and vegetables
- Pretend flowers or a few silk flowers
- Crinkle paper (check your wrapping paper stash)
- A few dried beans to use as “seeds” (optional)
- Stuffed garden animals (bunny, squirrel, etc) or plastic bugs (optional)
- Small pots for planting (optional)
- Plastic tub or bin to contain the fun
- Your imagination