When planning therapy, SLPs want the lessons to be relevant to their students, aligned with best practices, and engaging! That can be tricky with our younger students. Over the years, I discovered that sensory bins are an effective therapy material that covers a lot of goals and keeps hands busy. Today, I am sharing all my winter sensory bin ideas you can use with your students in speech therapy.

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Pair Your Winter Books with Your Sensory Bin

Sensory bins using winter vocabulary to work on speech and language skills. #slpeeps #schoolslp #slps #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #sensoryplay #preschool #preschoollanguage #languageactivities

You can create sensory bins with favorite winter-themed books such as The Mitten or The Snowy Day. By adding in the elements from the story, you can work on story retelling and other speech or language goals.

Because many students with language impairments need to work on syntax and vocabulary, making a bin to work on winter verbs or nouns can be an engaging way to work on describing and sentence structures.

If you are entirely new to using sensory bins, head to my sensory bin page to see what they are all about! To see some of the winter sensory bins I have used in previous years, head to this BLOG POST.

Winter Sensory Bin Idea Fillers

Your sensory bin filler is the textures that add a tactile experience for your students. For winter, it is fun to have fillers that resemble snow. Here are some filler materials you can use (amazon affiliate links included):

-cotton balls

fabric stuffing for pillows

water beads

baking soda 

– instasnow

-white playdoh

-salt/sugar

-Styrofoam for icebergs or use Styrofoam balls

-Glass beads to make a frozen lake

Marshmallows

-Shredded white paper

What other winter-themed fillers would you put in your bin?

Winter Sensory Bin Ideas for SLPs

Work on identifying winter vocabulary by attributes. You can do this activity receptively or expressively with students. Print out winter vocabulary words and place them in your bin. Then, have your students look for “something you can ride.” Students can then add more details about the word using category groups, parts, locations, textures, etc. You can also work on building MLU and grammar markers with this bin. If you need a winter vocabulary sensory bin, this one comes in my Winter PUSH-IN Language Lesson Plan Guides.

Students love when you can feed cards into a character! I made this feed the snowman sensory bin to work on learning about hot/cold food items. I also included other food items to work on different food categories. You can simultaneously work on past tense verbs and building MLU. This sensory bin is in my Snowman PUSH-IN Language Lesson Plan Guide.

Work on Superlatives  Adjectives

Use winter vocabulary to make a sensory bin that works on superlative adjectives. You can work on big, bigger, and biggest. You can also describe the items and work on basic concepts. For example, you could say, “Put the green hat behind the medium fireplace.”

Articulation Snowball Sensory Bin

For your articulation students, make a snowball sensory bin! Your students can build their stash of snowballs each time they pick a snowball from the bin. If you have language students in your group, have them describe the item they chose, answer wh-questions, create a sentence with the vocabulary word, or explain where and when you would use it. Do you want these winter sensory bins for your caseload? All three of these bins are in my winter sensory bin companion that comes with lesson plans, a cheat sheet guide, printables for your bins, and visual supports to help your students learn new skills. Everything is ready for you, so you can go into therapy prepared to work on your goals!

Mixed Group Snow Sensory Bin

When I use a sensory bin, I like to make a cheat sheet of all the words and skills I can target. You can navigate mixed groups much easier!! Print up kids doing different winter activities and place them in a snow sensory bin. Use your cheat sheet guide to target verbs, speech sounds, vocabulary, story retell, answer wh-questions, and sequencing steps to do an activity such as sledding!

Share your winter-themed speech therapy sensory bin

Do you have a sensory bin idea? I love seeing SLP’s creations. The next time you make a sensory bin, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie with the #slpsensorybin hashtag. Let’s inspire each other with new therapy material ideas! You can always email me a pic at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

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