Winter is drawing to a close for us, but this winter sensory bin with Arctic animals will never go out of season! My kids have played with this bin daily for a solid month! Not only does it give them a chance to explore a land quite foreign to us — we barely get any snow at all — it smells amazing with it’s special coconut snow, too!
Winter Sensory Bin with Arctic Animals
I filled it with coconut pulp leftover from juicing a fresh coconut. You can see more about how we made it in my coconut writing tray post. If you don’t have a fresh coconut to use, I’m sure you can grind up dried coconut for similar results!
I didn’t have as much coconut snow as I would like to fill the tray, so I added a good bit of cheap, white salt to the tray as well. I love the way the two materials combined to create fun, textured play snow.
Because the coconut was dried and the salt is also dry, the snow material should last for months if not longer. We’ve been using ours for over a month now with no issues and it still has a faint but pleasant coconut aroma when stirred around.
After the snow material had been added, we added a Safari Ltd. Arctic Toob. It included an igloo, polar bear, killer whale, beluga whale, arctic fox, and more!
If your child likes to play pretend and you haven’t checked out Toobs yet, you should. We own more than I’d like to think about but my kids play with them all the time! The pieces are small, so these are only appropriate for children past the stage of putting things in their mouths. You can also check out an Antarctic play time we set up using a Penguins Toob!
My favorite part about using the blue tray was that we could sweep the snow away and have an instant ocean, sea, or frozen pond for the play scene! The blue container really lends itself well to pretend play in a winter setting! And it couldn’t be simpler to do!!
Luke and Lilah enjoy playing with the bin individually and together. One activity I’ve seen them do often is to bury the animals in the snow so that they are “frozen” in the ice and then having the other people and animals dig them out.
This is definitely a great sensory bin for pretend play at home or in the classroom, but also one that goes along great with a unit on the Arctic or winter to let kids have some hands-on interaction with animals and weather elements they may not get to see often in real life.
Have you made a winter sensory bin? I’d love to see!
This post may contain affiliate links.