Telling Stories Through Sensory Play For Toddlers

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If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know, we are HUGE fans of sensory play for toddlers. So much so, that I’ve been on the hunt for a large sensory play bin. I needed something didn’t look tacky and would fit large scenes, so that we can start combining sensory play with storytelling.

Today, I found the perfect “bin”, and the best part? I didn’t have to spend any money, at all! We still had our daughters old changing table in the attic. It is PERFECT! So, if you have one laying around, that you just don’t know what to do with, definitely consider using it for sensory play! If you’re not sure what sensory play is and you’d like to learn more about it, you can check out my post here.

Our first large scene experience was so much fun. We didn’t set out with a story in mind for this one, our main focus was just introducing the idea of a true scene rather than just sensory play objects and materials. Even though we didn’t set out to create a story, it happened organically. Which is absolutely amazing!

If you want to recreate this sensory play scene you’ll need:

  • Homemade snow: Mix together 4 cups of baking soda and 1 cup of white conditioner.
  • White beans (Any kind will work, but we used Great Northern Beans!)
  • Oats
  • Rice: Put rice in a ziploc bag with some blue liquid food coloring and shake it up until all rice is coated, it’ll be ready for use immediately.
  • A large bin. (This is what I used Evolur Fully Assembled Changing Tray, Silver Mist)
  • Pine Cones (we got ours from our neighborhood, if you don’t have any pinecones around you can also get them here: Natural Pinecones)
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Pom Poms
  • Walking path (we used dehydrated apple slices that were left over from a previous project, but these Unfinished Natural Wood Slices would be a perfect substitute!)
  • Li’l Woodzeez or Juvale Wood Peg Dolls
  • I also lined the bottom of the bin in Hallmark Tissue Paper that matched the color of the materials we used, to help give the illusion of depth. This isn’t necessary. (If you do choose to use tissue paper make sure to use the Hallmark brand. Not all tissue paper is created equally, and Hallmark brand does not bleed when wet.)

If you try out this sensory play scene, tag me on Instagram @new.moon.academia or on Facebook! I’d love to see your versions and hear your stories!

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9 thoughts on “Telling Stories Through Sensory Play For Toddlers

  1. I am so excited to try this with my kids. I’m a new homeschooler and have just figured out my way around the core subject curriculums. Now I want to integrate more creativity and sensory play for both my kids. This is a perfect idea! And I actually have a change table laying around. Super excited to try the rice and blue food colouring thing. How brilliant! Never thought of that!

  2. I totally LOVE this idea! I admit, I never got brave enough to try sensory bins when my kids were in preschool (their teachers always made such fab ones, and we never seemed to have a good space to do it in at home) – BUT – I could totally see my girls getting into this even now, at 8 and 10! This is more or less what they do with their Legos (create sets and tell stories) but I like the sensory-bin idea, too!

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