This ocean themed sensory bin feels just like beach sand!
If you are doing an ocean theme or beach preschool theme, this has to be on your list of things to do!
Beach sand is one of the softest, most inviting textures I have ever laid hands and feet on.
Unfortunately, we don’t live close to any to play in. I do happen to know of a sensory play recipe that feels like beach sand that I learned about ages ago.
It’s the next best thing if you don’t have actual beach sand. Plus, it’s only two ingredients!
Ocean Themed Sensory Bin
Our beach sand sensory bin is amazingly silky soft, and all my sensory seeking friends especially enjoy it — including myself.
It’s a perfect sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers. Heck, I think it’s amazing. It’s great for parents or teachers who love to get into sensory play too. If you like to dig your feet in really beach sand, this would be something you would like too.
We made a sand crawling creature small world out of our beach sand sensory play recipe.
I wish you could reach your hand in and feel this! I will warn you that it is addicting…and super messy!
This is definitely an outdoor sensory bin for our family since I want the kiddos to love it while keeping my own sanity. If I’m sweeping up sensory bin materials for a month after we did them, then it’s a no go. In my preschool classroom, I would only do this if I was close by to supervise and help them walk through keeping the items in the sensory bin.
Have you guessed the two ingredients? Here’s another close up. I’ll give you another hint. It’s aromatic as well!
Our ocean-themed sensory bin has two main ingredients.
- Coffee grounds
How to make a :
This is super easy I promise! Mix 1 part coffee grounds with 2 parts flour. Stir them together, and you will be hooked!
My flour was from the bottom of a bag that was sitting around…which had expired almost two years ago. The coffee grinds were from the coffee we had made. I just let them air dry completely, then mixed it all together.
Then of course we added some of our favorite beach crawling creatures from a Toob ocean set similar to the one below.
Perhaps the children can pretend they are from the Galapagos Islands or any island.
Or they could be creatures who are native to the desert. Sand play is also perfect for a construction site.
Since ours was an ocean, we put a bowl of water next to the sensory bin for the creatures to get clean. You’ll see what I mean. The flour tends to coat the creatures really well.
And here is what our small world play area looks like at a distance. We just used a small kitchen container, which was perfect for one to two to play.
If you are looking to bring the beach to your children or even just to set up an ultra soft and inviting sensory bin, I think you will love this!
Please keep in mind that it is not in the best interest of every class or setting to use food for sensory play or play in general. I recommend carefully deciding if it’s a good fit for you or the families in your program. To read more about how I decide about using food for each individual class, you can read my post about using food for play.
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Cathy Blankenship says
Do you have to use used coffee grinds or can you use them from the package?
Katie T. Christiansen says
Hi Cathy! Using them from the package definitely works :).