Using sensory bins in speech therapy is something I try to incorporate in my themed therapy plans. Some of my favorite sensory bins are made around the seasons. Sensory bins are a great way to increase engagement and interactions with your students. This page has links to resources that I use to make sensory bins for my therapy sessions. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.
Using Sensory Bins in speech therapy
Materials needed for making a Sensory Bin
- Plastic bin– I found very affordable bins at Target. They have clasps and different sizes. This is a six pack from amazon. You can find this 15 quart latch box on amazon as well.
- Old shoe box or packaging box
- Basket or container of any kind
- Disposable metal tin tray– You can find them at the dollar store and/or a grocery store
Ideas for Sensory Bin Fillers
After you find the container you want to use, the next step is finding fillers to add to your sensory bin. These are just ideas to help you with planning your next sensory bin activity. You can keep your sensory bin simple by only having black or brown beans. This way you always have a consistent filler that can be stored in your plastic bin. You would just add the desired materials you want and can easily change out materials for your students.
- Black/brown beans– You can find these at the dollar store and Target
- Rice– You can dye your rice different colors and store in gallon sized plastic bags. Here is a tutorial for how to dye your rice.
- Insta Snow– You can make your own DIY snow or grab this insta snow on amazon that you use add water.
- Kinetic sand, moon dough or playdoh- You can find these on amazon, at Target or you make your own. Pinterest has recipes that you can find.
- Water and ice- Using water can be a fun and free filler for your sensory bin. Ice is a great filler to teach cold and how water freezes and melts.
- Water beads– These are wet gel beads. I was able to find some at the dollar store in small jars.
- Shredded Paper- Use the paper from your paper shredder or the gift packaging paper that you can find at the dollar store or Target.
- Foam letters-These can be great for adding texture to your filler as well as have students search for their articulation sound letters.
- Bean bag fillers– These are small pellets that would be good for acting as snow
- Dirt- I found white sand (perfect for snow) at The Dollar Store or you can grab sand on amazon.
- DIY slime, salt, shaving cream, playdoh
- rocks, sticks, hay, dirt and leaves (a nature bin)
- Popcorn kernels and dried pasta
- Cottonballs, tissue paper, fake leaves, cut up straws, plastic bottle tops, pom poms bring in different textures to the sensory bin.
- Legos & blocks
- Small trinkets for an “I Spy” sensory bin from Dinkydoodads on Etsy
Grab my Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide FREE Printable
Materials To Use With The Sensory Bin
There is a wide variety of materials to use with sensory bins in speech therapy. You can create bins around books, seasonal themes, categories (i.e. transportation, food, clothes, etc.) and vocabulary concepts.
Card Sets From Commercial Companies– Super Duper, Linguisystems, and Educational Insights have some good sets that can be adapted into your sensory bins.
Story Retell Cards and Resources- I love putting story sequencing cards in my sensory bins and the students finding the picture card that happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story. I have some book companions in my TPT store that have story sequencing cards. I also love Let’s Talk With Whitney SLP and Crazy Speech World’s book companions.
Small Items– Dice, small erasers, legos, marbles, magnetic chips, dominoes, etc.
Cards From TeachersPayTeachers resources– I will often use my stimulus cards from my TPT resources and the ones that I have bought! My Flower Garden Sensory Bin For Speech & Language and Mitten Match Up Winter Sensory Bin that helps me cover a lot of goals with one sensory bin activity!
Small Toys & Figurines– I have found small toys at The Dollar Store, Target and Amazon. I usually will think of the themed sensory bin that I want and then will search for small materials I would need to go with that theme. For example, if I want to do an insect sensory bin, I would go searching for a small net, bug catcher container, magnifying glass and small insect toys. Squinkies and Shopkins are cute, small toys that kids love. Legos and other toy sets would be perfect!
Disney Figurine Sets– These are great for story creation, following directions with basic concepts, and describing by attributes. We have the Finding Dory Set and the Frozen Set in our house. (I may have “borrowed” them from my children at certain times out of the year). You can sometimes find these types of toys at the Dollar Store. I found some Minion toys at a thrift store that are perfect for sensory bin play!
Find things around the house– Cups, kitchen utensils, letter magnets, fine motor tools small themed erasers, plastic easter eggs, bath toys, pencil toppers, pipe cleaners, and play food are also great accessories to include in the sensory bin.
Free Printables To Use With Your Sensory Bins In Speech Therapy
Flower Sensory Bin (with real or plastic flowers) Guest Post on Creative Speech Lab
Blog Posts I have Found With Fun Sensory Bin Ideas
Grab my Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide FREE Printable
Watch My Sensory Bin Webinar Replay Video
Follow My Sensory Bin Board on Pinterest
For more inspirational ideas for creating sensory bins in your speech room, follow my sensory bin board on pinterest HERE.