SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

Have you ever had visual supports and cheat sheets that you like to access for your sensory bins in your speech therapy sessions? But, you aren’t sure where to store them so you can access them easily? You are lucky because I have the ultimate SLP hack for sensory bin material storage to share with you today!

Top Tip for Staying Organized With Your Speech Therapy Materials

This SLP hack will help you keep all your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

One way you can stay efficient with keeping your materials organized is by having them together in one spot! With just some Velcro dots and page protectors (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience), you can keep your visual supports and cheat sheets in the bin.

If you need some more sensory bin organizational tips, check out this blog post. I use a similar method of organizing for my speech sound disorders by having a container where I store all my tools, data sheets, visuals, and materials so I can grab anything I need at the moment. Check out how to make your speech sound container on this blog post.

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

When running mixed groups or seeing students back to back, it’s nice to reference your cheat sheets during the session. But, if you aren’t careful, all your speech therapy materials can become scattered all over your room. Most times, we school-based SLPs don’t have tons of time to put visuals and sensory bin materials back neatly in their storage container or binder. So, when using a sensory bin, you want everything you need to be easily put back in the bin.

Once you slide your cheat sheet into a page protector, add Velcro dots to the lid of the container and the page protector. Then, stick the cheat sheet to the Velcro. Now, you can grab the visuals quickly during a session!

You can see this in action on Instagram

Need These Sensory Bin Visual Rules and Cheat Sheets?

Back when I started using sensory bins, I quickly realized that some of my students needed me to help them understand the expectations for how to interact with the bin activity. That’s why I have a visual poster to help remind students what to do! We want to keep germs away while using the bin, and this has been so helpful for my students. Since I used the visual support so often, I needed to have it handy at the drop of a hat! That’s why this SLP hack to put it on the top of the container’s lid has helped me have the tools I need now.

If you need this visual and the printables for a flower sensory bin, I want to invite you to attend a LIVE webinar to learn “How to Use Sensory Bins to Cover Speech and Language Goals.” Click the picture below to sign up! You get access to the webinar replay for two weeks.

Sign Up For the Sensory Bin Webinar and Get LOTS of Tips for Using Sensory Bins

Tickets are $9 and include:

-1 hour CMH units (Clinical Maintenance Hours)

-Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide – step-by-step instructions and recommendations to help you find the right bin, fillers, and materials to make your sensory bin with a visual rules poster, storage ideas, and printables to make bins

-$15 worth of sensory bin materials

-A fun learning environment that will answer all your questions about using sensory bins in speech therapy.

What Sensory Bin Hacks Do You Use?

This SLP hack will help you keep your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

Do you have an SLP hack for keeping your sensory bin materials together? Or, just tips for keeping students engaged while using a sensory bin? Let me know your hack or information in the comments!

If you need some more sensory bin ideas, here are a few of my faves:

I Spy Sensory Bin (Great for mixed groups)

Ocean Sensory Bin

Penguin Sensory Bin

Snow Sensory Bin with Plow Trucks

Epic Beach Sensory Bin For Speech Therapy

Epic Beach Sensory Bin For Speech Therapy

Making a beach sensory bin as an extension activity for your beach-themed books can be a great way to cover a lot of speech and language goals and keep your students engaged.

Typically, when I plan my sessions, I find books that fit the theme I want to teach and then plan some extension activities that include vocabulary and concepts about the theme.

Today, I will show you how you can make an epic beach sensory bin and save time hunting around for all the items. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience in the blog post. I get a small commission on items purchased at no additional cost to you. 

Sensory Bin Filler Ideas


When it comes to your sensory bin filler, you can add elements representing ocean water and a sandy shore. Kinetic sand can work great for the shore, and there are a variety of options for your ocean as listed below:

Blue Pom Pom balls

Blue plastic rocks

Blue shredded paper 

Cut up blue straws

Blue water beads

Blue glass beads

Blue dyed dry rice, pasta, or chickpeas

I used kinetic sand, blue plastic rocks, and shredded blue paper for my sensory bin.

Materials to Add to Your Sensory Bin

It can sometimes be hard to find mini figurines and elements related to your sensory bin, but I found some CUTE beach-themed items in a most unlikely place, cake toppers!

You can use these beach cake toppers to have umbrellas, recliners, palm trees, shells, and more! You can get mini buckets, shells, and mini paper umbrellas at Michael’s to add to your bin. Here is another beach cake topper set in case you want to compare which one has the elements you need for your bin.

I used the ocean animal TOOBS that I have, or here is another set that would work well for ocean animals. 

Use this epic beach sensory bin to cover speech and language goals

Beach Books to Pair with This Sensory Bin

Here are some beach-themed books that would pair nicely with your sensory bin:

Beach Day by Karen Roosa

Curious George Goes to the Beach by H.A. Rey

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer

When a Dragon Moves In by Jody Moore

Sun, Sun by Brad Gray

Do you use one of these books in therapy? Or, have a recommendation for a book to use with a beach theme? Let me know your recs in nteh comments of this blow post. 

Therapy Ideas for Using Your Beach Sensory Bin

In therapy, you can target noun functions with the beach items, verb actions, answering wh-questions, basic concepts, and social-pragmatic language. The easiest way to keep things streamlined with your mixed groups is to have a list of words by your students’ target sound. Having the word list makes it easier to remember what you can target with all the students in your group.

For example, you can say, “Who swam up to shore?” to work on ‘who’ questions. But, you can also work on /s-blends/ and /sh/ with that question. How would you use this beach sensory bin with your students? Let me know in the comments! Would love more ideas. 

Need more Summer-Themed Sensory Bin Ideas

If you are on the hunt for more summer-themed sensory bins, check out how you can make an ocean sensory bin. You can also check out how to make a “Can You Find It?” sensory bin with different seasonal vocabulary including summer! To make mixed groups easier, you can grab the summer-themed sensory bin companion that comes with printables and cheat sheets to help you target all the speech and language goals in your group. If you make this sensory bin, I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie

Make an Ocean Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Make an Ocean Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

When it starts to heat up outside, that’s a great time to pull out your summer sensory bins! Sensory bins pair well with books and can cover LOTS of goals, making for a great mixed group activity.

Today, after reading this blog post, you will be able to create your ocean sensory bin for your speech therapy sessions. You can make the sensory bin as grand or simple as you want!

Ocean Sensory Bin Fillers and Materials You Need

Use this ocean sensory bin for your mixed groups to cover a variety of speech and language goals.

You want to layer the container with filler items (textures) and materials as you build your ocean sensory bin. Here is a list of potential things you can add to your ocean sensory bin (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):


If you want to see how I set up an ocean sensory bin, you can check out it on Instagram. When using printables that you want to stand up, you need something sturdy like blue kinetic sand or something that has weight like blue dyed rice. 

How to Set Up Your Sensory Bin

How to setup your ocean sensory bin for speech therapy so you can cover your mixed groups with ease!

To set up your ocean sensory bin, you either want the bin to be all ocean water or a combination of shore and sea.

In the picture, I used kinetic sand for the shore and blue playdough for the ocean. I cut out green cardstock to use as seaweed and put ocean figurines throughout the bin.

You can add mini trinkets and discuss what you found on the beach shore or in the ocean. Using mini charms is a great way to work on speech sounds during the session. Or, you can play, does it belong at sea to work on yes/no questions and create sill sentences.

When planning out your sensory bin, pick the filler you want and select your materials. The most accessible sensory bin is just adding blue pom balls or cut-up blue straws and ocean animal figurines!

Where to Find Ocean Animal Printables

There are sensory bin printables in the ocean push-in language lesson plan guides if you need ocean animal printables. In May, the themed therapy SLP membership has an ocean animal unit, and there are printables and a cheat sheet for using the sensory bin. Get on the waitlist to become a Themed Therapy SLP Member in July 2022

Ways to Use the Ocean Sensory Bin for Language Skills

This ocean sensory bin can be used to target a variety of language goals. You can use the scuba divers to work on “who, what, where” questions. For example, you can ask, “What is the diver holding?” or “Who is he swimming by?”

Target basic concepts for through, under, over, around, near, far, up, down, in, out, etc.

You can work on describing the ocean animals by attributes and act out different prepositions and verbs with the ocean animals.

Use the ocean animals to retell or talk about what happened in the ocean-themed book you are using in therapy. Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck or Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae are two great books with early elementary.

Use this ocean sensory bin to cover your speech therapy goals and keep your students engaged during the session.

Need Ocean and Summer Language Activities for Your K-2 Students?

If you are working ESY speech services or just have to work all summer, why not have engaging summer-themed language activities done for you? When you don’t have to worry about lesson planning, you can focus on your student’s progress and leave work feeling stress-free! Click the pictures below to check out all the activities and grab them for summer therapy!

Speech Sound Ideas to Use with the Ocean Sensory Bin

Use this ocean sensory bin to cover your speech therapy goals and keep your students engaged during the session.

When targeting speech sounds with the sensory bin, use a cheat sheet of sound-loaded carrier phrases or words during the hands-on lesson.

For example, you can work on “catch the _____” for /k/ and /ch/ or “lookout, the ____ ran into the seaweed.” for targeting /r/, /l/, /k/ and /s/.

Here are some examples of words to use for a variety of sounds:

/f/ – fish, find, fast, fun, full,
/k/ – catch, knock,
/s-blends/ – swish, swim, splash, small, spray, spout
/l/ – look, low, whale, eel, sail,
/sh/ – shrimp, shallow, show, ship, ocean, swoosh, push

What ideas do you have for this sensory bin?

How would you target goals using this ocean sensory bin? Share in the comments your tips! Remember when making your ocean sensory bin, use what you already have on hand! You don’t need to make it expensive to have an effective sensory bin. For more sensory bin ideas, check my page with all the goods about sensory bins! If you are on the hunt for some ocean-themed crafts, this blog post shares tips for how to use them as therapy props!

How To Store Sensory Bins For the Year

How To Store Sensory Bins For the Year

You are probably reading this blog post because you LOVE using sensory bins so much that now you are running out of room to store them.

When I first started using sensory bins, I would shove the materials into a gallon-sized bag and toss them into a big container. The only problem was that when I wanted to use a particular sensory bin the following year, it took me twenty minutes to find it!

Does this sound familiar? Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you will have a system for organizing your sensory bins for the school year. Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post. 

Biggest Space-Saver Tip for Storing Sensory Bins

Check out these tips for how to store sensory bins for the school year, so that you know where your speech therapy materials are located when you need them. Streamline your sensory bin organization today!

Most of us have small therapy rooms; it’s an unfortunate reality. So, our therapy rooms can get pretty cluttered with stuff if we aren’t managing our organization of speech therapy materials.

To save space and money, invest in no more than three sensory bin containers. You can get a smaller pencil box, a shallow Sterilite bin, and then a quart-sized bin to hold your sensory bin materials.

Then, you can keep the sensory bins you aren’t using in larger containers and store them in your room or your garage. When working two days a week at two different schools, I kept my additional sensory bins in my garage and brought the one container between sites.

Materials Needed to Create Your Sensory Bin Organization System

Using zipper pouches is an excellent investment to keep the filler and material items together in one spot. You can get different sizes for storage. Depending on the number of things in your sensory bin, you may want more oversized bags sized 16 by 12 inches or 15 by 11 inches. You can then purchase smaller-sized zipper pouches to store mini items and printables for the bin.

Having labels to put on the pouches will also help you identify the materials you want to use.

Then, you can sort your sensory bin bags into categories for when you typically use them throughout the school year. When you label your larger containers by times of the year, you will know which bin to go to look for items.

Check out these tips for how to store sensory bins for the school year, so that you know where your speech therapy materials are located when you need them. Streamline your sensory bin organization today!

Check out how to organize the zipper pouches

Check out these tips for how to store sensory bins for the school year, so that you know where your speech therapy materials are located when you need them. Streamline your sensory bin organization today!

My organizational style likes everything in one spot if I can help it. So, when organizing my apple tree sensory bin, I stored the toilet paper rolls and fake apples in the larger pouch (16 by 12 inches) and then kept the filler Pom Pom balls in the slightly smaller folder (15 by 11 inches.) I put those in the smaller zipper pouch for the apple-themed verb and vocabulary printables. Then, I tossed them all into the bigger zipper pouch.

Suppose you are interested in getting themed sensory bin materials. In that case, you can check out companions in my TPT store or have themed sensory bin guides with the Themed Therapy SLP Membership (doors open in summer 2022, so get on the waitlist now.)

Sensory Bin Sticker Labels

Having a label on the zipper pouch is super helpful when you want to identify sensory bin sets in your larger bins. You can create labels for your different containers and print them out on a full-page Avery shipping label. Cut them out and stick them on the zipper pouch.

After adding all your materials to your zipper pouch with the label intact, you plop it into the more oversized organization container! Your sensory bin is now appropriately stored for the season, lol.

When you need the materials for a sensory bin, you grab them out of the tote and dump them in your main sensory bin container.

Sensory Bins Your Students Will LOVE

When it comes to making sensory bins, you definitely can use items from around your speech room. But if you are looking for themed sensory bins that have cheat sheets, visual supports, and printables ready to go, check out these sensory bin resources in my TPT store

What sensory bin organization tips do you have to share?

If you have any tremendous sensory bin organization tips, please share them! One of my favorite ways to use sensory bins is with a themed book. You can read the story and then pair a sensory bin that reinforces the concepts from the books in a hands-on way for your students.

For more sensory bin ideas on how you can make your bins, check out this blog post HERE

How to Make a Penguin Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

How to Make a Penguin Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

During the winter months, you can use a LOT of different themes to cover speech and language goals on your caseload. A penguin theme in January or February is a great way to incorporate arctic animals and the winter climate. To read about more penguin speech therapy activities, you can do with your students, head to this blog post. In this blog post, I will share all about one of the MOST engaging sensory bins you can do with your students. Today, you will get all the DEETS about making a penguin sensory bin to use with your caseload. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. I get a small commission when you purchase materials through the link (there is no charge on your end.)

Filler Options for Your Penguin Sensory Bin


The filler is typically something that provides a lot of tactile input. Commonly, with penguins, you know they live near the ocean water. So, you will want a filler that represents water and ice.

Here are some suggestions:

Ocean water beads 

Cut up White jumbo straws 

Blue Jello 

Fake snow 

Shredded white paper from Dollar Tree gift section or use shredded paper from your personal shredder.


Another filler that is probably in your pantry is using salt or sugar as your ocean or ice filler. Youc an also buy some sugar cubes to create icebergs with your penguins.

Sensory Bin Filler Considerations

When choosing a sensory bin filler, you want to be mindful of escaping the bin onto your floor or table. If you are okay with a bit of mess, using water beads or fake snow is very engaging for students. The feeling of the snow and water beads adds to the sensory experience. For SLPs that want a minimal mess to clean, use shredded white paper, cut up white straws, or

There are times when we are short on cash or don’t have time to go shopping. That’s when you can use water or freeze ice in containers to be the icebergs in your bin. You need to be near a fridge to store the ice between groups. Or, use a set of ice with back-to-back groups.


Materials for your Penguin Sensory Bin


Here are some suggestions for what types of materials you can have in your penguin sensory bin:


Wild Republic penguin figurines 

Styrofoam from packaging or can purchase at craft stores

Plastic ice cubes for icebergs 

Penguin printables from the penguin language lesson plan guides

Printables from my Penguin Sensory Bin Companion

If you own the game, “Don’t Break the Ice,” use the ice cubes from the game as a material in your bin.

Make using a penguin sensory bin easy with these companion printables for speech and language goals.

Ways to Use This Sensory Bin for Speech Sound Disorders

Whatever sound you are targeting in therapy, you can have the penguins slide across the icebergs to find their sound with mini trinkets. You can read more about dinky doodad trinkets HERE. There are sound sets available on their Etsy store.


You can also use the penguin companion to work on different sounds and patterns. Students have to help the penguins find their sound iceberg. With the target words, you can put half the penguins that have their sound and then half that don’t. This provides another embedded practice time to work on auditory discrimination. Grab it HERE in my TPT store

Therapy Ideas for Targeting Language Goals

Conversationally recasting unique verbs while playing with this penguin sensory bin can be highly effective in helping your students learn grammar markers. Check out this blog post to read more about conversational recasting. Here is a list of verbs to use in the picture. What other verbs could you target?

To have a cheat sheet with all these verbs, use the Penguin Language Lesson Plan Guide because one is included in the resource!

By adding icebergs to your bin, you open the door for targeting a LOT of basic concepts. For example, you can have the penguins jump “in and out” of the ocean water. Similarly, you can work on who went “first” and “last.” What other basic concepts could you target in therapy?

Social Pragmatic Skills to Target With This Penguin Sensory Bin

One of the BEST penguin-themed books you can pair with your sensory bin to work on social pragmatic language is “Tacky the Penguin” by Helen Lester. This story is great for targeting story elements, and character emotions. It is also great for working on perspective taking such as “What could the penguins be thinking when Tacky is singing?” Not only is this story filled with opportunities to discuss perspective taking, it ultimately has themes related to valuing differences in others. And, it brings to light that our uniqueness has a purpose in being a leader in times of need.


You can also use the sensory bin to work on story retell with an emphasis on dialog and tone of voice with the characters. And, when playing with the sensory bin, you can naturally target turn taking, initiation, commenting, and other functions of communication. 

How Would You Use this Penguin Sensory Bin?

When running mixed groups, it is great to have an activity to cover all the goals in the group. Use a penguin sensory bin to work on a variety of speech and language skills.

I would love to know how you would use this bin with the students on your caseload. How would you modify the activity to meet your student’s speech or language levels? Share in the comments your tips or strategies that would be helpful with this penguin sensory bin.

Snow Sensory Bin with Plow Trucks

Snow Sensory Bin with Plow Trucks

Raise your hand if you had some students on your caseload that LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cars and trucks!? Why not theme smash this winter to talk about winter weather and winter vehicles using this engaging snow sensory bin?

It’s really easy to setup and you can adapt it to target a LOT of different goals. Plus, your students will be so excited to ditch the worksheets and keep their hands busy while they plow the snow to reveal their speech or language target. Not only can you work on your students targets with the bin, you can also build language using verbs and vocabulary related to winter weather and transportation.

Items You Need For Your Sensory Bin

What I love about this snow sensory bin is that you may already have all of the items. If not, you can grab the list of items here or ask some of your families if they have extra toy trucks or want to donate white Pom Pom balls for speech.

-A container (any type will do, but for this bin, I like the shallow Sterlite containers from Target)

-White Pom Pom Balls (the balls in the pictures are .5 inches that I got on Amazon HERE, this is an Amazon affiliate link) HERE is the link to the 1 inch Pom Pom balls.

-Toy trucks for plowing the snow. You can get this set HERE on Amazon (affiliate link included) that are pull back, so you can reuse them for other fun activities for stop/go, races, etc.

-Picture targets to put on the bottom of the bin to have your students practice their speech or language targets. In the Themed Therapy SLP membership, there are themed verb and vocabulary cards featured in this bin. Get on the waitlist for when the membership opens up again in summer 2022 HERE.

-Put picture scenes or pages of pictures to have at the bottom of the bin. Switch out the pictures for your mixed groups by using the Any Craft Companion pictures.

Use this snow sensory bin to incorporate plow trucks and moving snow! They can push the snow away to reveal their speech and language targets.
Use this snow sensory bin to cover speech and language goals with your elementary students!

Sensory Bin Organization Tips

Use this snow sensory bin to cover a lot of speech therapy goals in your next session!

When I create sensory bins, I tend to keep 2 main container boxes and store the fillers and materials in bigger tubs. In the past, I was the queen of just shoving things in the bins or throwing them in a plastic gallon bag. Recently, I have started to use zipper pouches to keep the pieces organized. These 13 by 9-inch pouches (affiliate links included) are large enough to store printables and material pieces. 

Then, you can purchase smaller pouches to keep figurines, props, and manipulatives that you like to add to that bin. You can also store your filler to keep all the moving parts of the bin in one spot. Then, just toss it in your larger bin and switch out. For more ideas on how to make sensory bins, head to this BLOG POST. If you are looking for more ways to organize your theme-based materials, check out this post.

Use this snow sensory bin to have students plow the snow to reveal the pictures in your next speech therapy session!

How to Use the Snow Sensory Bin

Have students plow snow away with toy trucks to reveal their speech and language target using this snow sensory bin.

This bin is so versatile because you can interchange picture sheets to match your student’s targets. You can have students plow the snow away to reveal their target. Have them practice the word a certain number of times, use it in a sentence, describe it by attributes, or name other items in that category group.

Create sentence strips on a piece of paper such as, “The truck drove over ______” or “Push the snow off of ______.”

For students working on expanding communication functions, you can work on requesting more of an action, commenting, initiating, and answering wh-questions.

Target AAC CORE words for go, stop, look, all done, more, again, yes, no, here, there, turn, my

How would you use this sensory bin in therapy? Let me know in the comments!


Need More Winter Sensory Bin Ideas?

Having engaging sensory bins that go with your winter theme will help you plan extension activities for your mixed groups with ease! Here is a blog post with a sensory bin incorporating penguins! This BLOG POST shares different fillers that go well for a winter theme and ideas for working on winter vocabulary.

If you are looking for ready-to-go sensory bin printables, I recommend the Mitten Match-Up or the winter sensory bin companion in my TPT store. Just click the images below to grab these sets. 

Use this winter sensory bin to work on lots of different speech and language targets.
Use winter vocabulary to target a variety of speech and language concepts using this winter sensory bin for speech therapy