Winter Sensory Bin with Arctic Animals

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

winter sensory bin

To make this bin, I used a blue drawer from my craft cart.  We use our craft cart drawers for sensory bins and writing trays all the time!  I just love the bright colors!  

winter sensory bin

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!  

winter sensory bin

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.  

winter sensory bin

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.

winter sensory bin

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!

winter sensory bin

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!!

winter sensory bin

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.  

winter sensory bin

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.

winter sensory bin

Have you made a winter sensory bin?  I’d love to see!

 


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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book! http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com/ http://www.parentteachplay.com/

  • These are so great. Thank you for sharing such wonderful ideas. I get so much inspiration from your sensory bins for my little one. This one looks especially fun and ‘sensory.’

  • Renee says:

    Loving this idea, so much fun

  • […] Winter Sensory Bin with Arctic animals & coconut snow […]

  • My five year old would love this. She dreams of playing in snow, something that is very, very unlikely to happen any time soon as the part of Australia we live in is much too hot for snow!

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    I’ve been browsing round for some ideas to occupy kids since my best friend is always lamenting that she can’t keep her boyfriend’s little girl entertained, and I’ve never heard of a sensory bin before, but this is perfect! I know she’s going to love it, and I’ll probably end up playing with it myself :p

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