I am a big fan of sensory bins! With the winter season upon us, I had to come up with some winter sensory bins to share with you all. Sensory bins are tactile experiences that are contained in a container like a plastic bin, tray, or shoe box. Bringing in hands on interactive lessons is something that I love to do because you can adapt them in so many ways for your speech and language activities.
The winter season allows for so many different language themes. Today I wanted to share a round up of winter sensory bins that you can use in speech therapy. If you are needing more ideas for creating your own sensory bins in speech therapy, check out my blog post on sensory bins HERE. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience in this blog post.
Grab my Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide FREE Printable (which has some FREE winter printables)
Winter Sensory Bins To Increase Language & Fun
Penguins are a great theme to target during the winter months. All you need for this bin is a container, water beads or use REAL ice, Styrofoam for the glaciers/ice caps and these cute penguins! Of course you can keep it simple and use white sand too. Pair this winter sensory bin with the books Pierre The Penguin or Tacky The Penguin.
Skills to target with the penguin sensory bin:
- Basic concepts- in, out, under, over, behind, in front, on
- Verbs- waddle, jump, dive, eat, hunt
- Story retell- create a fun story with the penguins using a story graphic organizer
- Describing penguins by attributes
Snowball Fight Sensory Bin
Who doesn’t love a fun snowball fight? Fill your next winter sensory bin with cotton balls from the dollar store, my fun winter printables from my Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide and you got yourself a load of language skills to target!
Skills to target with the Snowball Fight sensory bin:
- Basic concepts- in, out, under, over, behind, in front, on, next to
- Verbs- throw, duck, hide, dodge, laugh
- Story retell- create a fun story with the children talking about the ultimate snowball fight
- Grammar & Vocabulary- Create sentences about what people are doing in the pictures and describe the nouns/people by attributes
- Social Skills- Work on turn taking and having a conversation with the people. Discuss the social rules for a snowball fight. Chart out some phrases to say during a snowball fight and how people could be feeling.
Mitten Match Up Sensory Bin
I found this white sand at the dollar store and bought about 5 packs to fill my mitten sensory bin. I love reading the book The Mitten every winter. On Fridays, I push into my Special Day K-2 classroom and we do a combination of whole group lessons and language stations. These mitten match up activities in my TPT store are perfect for stations because I include skills for speech and language targets.
Skills included in the mitten match up sensory bin:
- Articulation mittens
- Word associations
- Antonyms & Synonyms
- Tone of voice/conversation
This sensory bin idea comes from Speech2Me. I love how easy this one is to make! She got cotton balls (find them at the dollar store), foam mittens, and then the stimulus picture items are glued on the center of the foam mittens. She used clothespins and string to attach the mitten pairs. You can make categories, verb tenses, answering noun-functions and the list goes on!
Winter sensory bins can also be designed around some of your winter themed books! One of my readers, Tatiana Guile, school based SLP, sent me this idea for using a sensory bin with The Mitten. I loved all of her ideas. She had her students rip pieces of white paper for the snow (fine motor skill & her students loved doing it). Then they placed printable of the characters in the bin along with some yarn (the yarn was unraveled like at the end of the story when the mitten bursts and all the animals scatter). Then they had a snowstorm and snow fight. After the snow fight the students acted out the story and explored the sensory bin. This is waaaayyyyy more FUN than a worksheet!
Arctic Winter Sensory Bin
This winter sensory bin is using the same white sand that I used with my mitten match sensory bin. I added some cotton balls and some arctic figurines from my Arctice Toob Set. The blue glass beads are from the dollar store. These act as the ocean/water in the sensory bin.
Skills included in the Arctic sensory bin:
- Story telling with the animal/people figurines
- Describing the weather and background of a place in the arctic including how people would feel, what clothes should they wear
- Basic concepts- before/after, next to, behind, near, far, etc.
- Grammar & Vocabulary- Used winter themed vocabulary and verbs to describe what the animals/people are doing.
What types of winter sensory bins have you created this cold season? Email pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your latest therapy ideas!