Noun-Function Sensory Bins with Seasonal Themes

Noun-Function Sensory Bins with Seasonal Themes

You know those days you’re scrambling for an engaging hands-on activity that goes along with your lesson? Rather than scouring your shelves or rushing to find a resource that requires lengthy assembly, check out my noun-function sensory bins.

Targeting noun-function is a great way to develop language skills. I like to use noun-function activities with my preschool and kindergarten students who need to build their functional vocabulary. Filling a sensory bin with your target vocabulary is a fun and engaging way to practice this skill with your students. Today, I am going to show you how to make a “Can you find it?” noun-function sensory bin to use in language therapy.

Materials You Need for the Sensory Bin

Make a noun function sensory bin to engage your students while working on language concepts in speech therapy. Check out how you can make this easy sensory bin and use for weeks!

Don’t forget to check out my previous blog post for ideas on how to add variety to your sensory bins. I talk about different sensory bin fillers, materials, etc.

How to Set Up The Sensory Bin

Once you’ve got your materials, setting up your sensory bins is quick and easy (great for those of you who have a large caseload). The first thing you want to do is select the filler that you’ll be using. I suggest saving any of the smaller objects (beans, rice) for you older students. If you’re planning a themed lesson, you’ll want to pick a filler that matches that theme. For example, for a Fall theme, using some fake leaves is always fun. Add your filler to the bin. Prepare your target noun cards by printing and cutting them out. I always like to laminate my cards or put them on cardstock to add some durability. Add a paperclip to each card if you want your students to use a magnetic wand to find the cards in your sensory bin. That’s it, your sensory bin is ready for your therapy session!

Targeting Noun-Functions With Seasonal Sensory Bins

Make a noun function sensory bin to engage your students while working on language concepts in speech therapy. Check out how you can make this easy sensory bin and use for weeks!

Targeting receptive vocabulary by having students identify pictures and categories will be quick and easy. You can have your students look for something to eat, wear, or play with. Once they go on the hunt, I like to have them label and create a sentence to explain the noun-function. This is always a great way for me to target receptive and expressive language all in one session. 

If a student is struggling with expressively explaining the function of the noun, you can provide a field of 2 or 3 pictures and have the student point to the one that you’re targeting. You can also target noun-function receptively by having your student answer yes/no questions.

I love to pair this activity with visual sentence strips. These help my students expressively share the noun-function in a complete sentence. If you need visual supports and sentence strips, grab the seasonal push-in lesson plans that have everything ready to go!

Make a noun function sensory bin to engage your students while working on language concepts in speech therapy. Check out how you can make this easy sensory bin and use for weeks!

More Language Skills to Target

These noun-function sensory bins can be used for a variety of language skills, making them a great option for mixed groups or multiple groups throughout your day. Here are some more ways you can use these bins:

  • You can easily adapt this sensory bin to also work on CORE vocabulary to make requests, comments, and the words “more,” “want,” “like,” “don’t like,” “where,” and “turn.”
  • Build depth of knowledge with nouns by having students describe them by semantic features after they find an item.
  • Use the nouns in sentences to work on grammar concepts such as plural noun markers, prepositional phrases, noun-verb agreement, or adding adjectives.
  • Create a story with some of the items to work on oral narration or articulation carryover.
Make a noun function sensory bin to engage your students while working on language concepts in speech therapy. Check out how you can make this easy sensory bin and use for weeks!

How Would You Use This Bin in Therapy?

If you’re looking for more ideas or inspiration, take a look at my Spring, Fall, and Winter themed sensory bins for language therapy.

I love using these sensory bins with my students. They’re super easy and fun! Share some ways that you like to incorporate sensory bins into your therapy in the comments!

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin Ideas

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin Ideas

During the month of February, creating some fun Valentine’s day sensory bin activities can make your speech therapy sessions more engaging. When coming up with a new sensory bin idea, you can look for inspiration from the books you are using, skills your students are working on or the vocabulary in the theme.

Today, I am going to show you some different Valentine’s Day sensory bins that you can use with your students. Many of the ideas can be adapted for different goals, which helps with lesson planning for mixed groups.

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin Fillers

Every sensory bin should have a filler item in the bin. The filler is using a tactile material that helps bring make the materials more engaging. You can read all about sensory bin ideas HERE

Here are a list of some types of sensory bin fillers (Amazon Affiliate links included for your convenience):

How to Choose Your Sensory Bin Filler

Picture your caseload and what they may like to touch or what is best for their sensory system. For example, a lot of my younger mod-severe students cannot handle small plastic items because they would try to eat them. Or, they may try to dump out the bin, so I want easy to clean up fillers.

Sticking with affordable fillers that are easy to clean like shredded paper, foam pieces and pom pom balls would be a good choice for my students. 

For friends that need the sensory input you may want to use rice or pasta. It’s all about what your friends can handle. I stick all of my sensory bin fillers in gallon sized plastic bags and rotate with one bin. That makes it easier to store. 

Use these Valentine’s Day sensory bin ideas to increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions with your K-2 students. #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #sensoryplay #preschool #kindergarten #valentinesday #speechlanguagepathology #sped #speechtherapy #slpeeps #schoolslp #vocabulary #eslteacher

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin Material Ideas

When choosing what materials you want to put in your bin, think about all the task cards you have in your therapy rooms. Those can be put in your bin. If you need some Valentine’s Day verb cards, grab this FREE set in my TPT store

You can put mini trinkets in the plastic heart containers and work on all sorts of vocabulary, speech, grammar or wh -question goals. Here are ways that I adapt mini trinkets in my sessions. 

Put story elements from the book you are reading in the sensory bin and work on story retell. What materials do you put in your Valentine’s Day sensory bins? Share in the comments!

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin Ideas

One of the most versatile sensory bins I have made simply had shredded paper, pom poms and foam hearts in the bin. I added visual stimulus pictures from my Any Craft Companion resource to the foam hearts with paper clips and had students use a magnetic wand to collect all the hearts. If you need more ways to use your magnetic wands with students, check out this blog post HERE

This went well with the book, “The Day it Rained Hearts” by Felicia Bond. Incorporating the magnetic wand made it extra engaging for students. You can switch out stimulus items on the foam hearts easily group after group. 

Use these Valentine’s Day sensory bin ideas to increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions with your K-2 students. #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #sensoryplay #preschool #kindergarten #valentinesday #speechlanguagepathology #sped #speechtherapy #slpeeps #schoolslp #vocabulary #eslteacher

Broken Hearts Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

Have your students find the broken hearts that are in the sensory bin. Use these word association match-ups in your sensory bin from my Valentine’s Day language lesson plan guides. You can use the pictures to compare/contrast, use in grammatically correct sentences, answer wh – questions and describe by attributes.

Verbs Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

Use the heart verb cards from my Valentine’s Day language lesson plan guides in a sensory bin. Have students pick the verb card and then use the sentence frames to discuss all the different ways you can use that verb. I also have “What is the person doing?” stimulus cards with visual answer choices. You can use them with my heart cutouts. Attach paperclips to the task cards. If the child gets a card that has a heart attached, they can keep it. Whoever has the most hearts wins. 

Use these Valentine’s Day sensory bin ideas to increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions with your K-2 students. #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #sensoryplay #preschool #kindergarten #valentinesday #speechlanguagepathology #sped #speechtherapy #slpeeps #schoolslp #vocabulary #eslteacher
Use these Valentine’s Day sensory bin ideas to increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions with your K-2 students. #slpsensorybin #sensorybin #sensoryplay #preschool #kindergarten #valentinesday #speechlanguagepathology #sped #speechtherapy #slpeeps #schoolslp #vocabulary #eslteacher

What Valentine’s Day Sensory Bins Do You Love

Share your favorite bin fillers and materials to use with a sensory bin. You can also grab some FREE printables for your next Valentine’s Day sensory bin by downloading my ultimate sensory bin guide. 

Monster Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Monster Sensory Bin for Speech Therapy

Do your students love talking about monsters? I know mine do! And there are so many books and activities you can use to cover lots of speech and language goals. Here are a couple of blog posts with ideas to use in your therapy sessions.

If you have been following my blog or social media accounts, you know I love sensory bins! They are the best way to engage your students. Today, I want to show you how to make this monster sensory bin using really affordable materials. This googly-eyed sensory bin is really fun to use during the Halloween season or any time of the year!

Grab your favorite monster themed book and use this bin as an extension activity! Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. For more sensory bin ideas, I have a whole page filled with ideas to give you inspiration for therapy!

Materials for Making the Monster Sensory Bin

Here are the materials you need to make your speech sensory bin:

-A bin or box of any size

-Monster Googly-Eyed ping pong balls (You can get at the Dollar Tree during Halloween season or grab them on Amazon)

Purple yarn cut up into spaghetti length pieces (Use your 40% off coupon from Joann’s for a great price on yarn)

Learning Resources scoopers or use a plastic spoon or soup ladle with your bin

Ways to Use Your Monster Sensory Bins

This sensory bin can work on functional communication. You can target “want”, “more”, “all done”, “my turn”, “wait”, “help” and “where” using this bin. Do you need a CORE board for some of your students? Head to this blog post to get a free one

Your students can learn the concepts of in/out using this bin. If your students are working on verbs, you can target “pick”, “find”, and  “look” while playing with this sensory bin.

Students can work on language concepts while using this bin. Write different conjunctions on the eyeballs. When a student picks up an eyeball, he/she has to create a sentence with the conjunction. You can do the same thing with prefixes or suffixes. What other goals could you target in your sessions? Let me know in the comments. 

Articulation Practice Using This Monster Sensory Bin

Want your students to increase their repetitions with their articulation sound or phonological process? Write numbers on the eyeballs using a sharpie. Then, have your students hunt for an eyeball. Whatever number is on the eyeball is how many repetitions they have to say. You can also use this as a generic mixed group game. The student with the most points at the end wins!

Are you struggling to get more repetitions with your articulation/phonology students? This blog post will keep your students motivated and working hard each session.

These ping pong balls are bouncy. So, the other way you can use this bin is to put all the eyeballs in a bucket or basket. The student has to say his/her sound so many trials before trying to bounce the eyeball into the sensory bin. Consider it a kid friendly game of monster pong!

Mixed Group Sensory Bin Reinforcer

Play a minute to win it challenge with your students once they complete their work for the session. Set the timer for one minute. Have your students use the scoopers to see how many eyeballs they can get out of the bin in a minute. The student who can get those most eyeballs out in a minute wins.  

How Will You Use This Sensory Bin in Therapy?

Are you going to make this bin for your students? I love storing my sensory bin fillers in gallon sized plastic bags. This way, I can have 1-2 bins and interchange the fillers for new themes. For more storage ideas, head to this blog post. If you need to change up your therapy plans, this sensory bin will definitely get your kids engaged in the session. Make sure to tag me on social media with your bin and therapy ideas @thedabblingspeechie

Spring Sensory Bins For Speech Therapy

Spring Sensory Bins For Speech Therapy

Some struggles that I have had in the therapy room are how to keep my students engaged and ways to target multiple goals in a session.

For my younger crowd sensory bins have helped solve this problem. If you are a sensory bin making SLP, then this post is for you! Today, I am going to share Spring Sensory Bins for speech therapy that will pair well with this season.

Just FYI…this post is a little longer because I think having the pictures of what your next Spring sensory bin can look like gives ya that inspiration to make it! I have an Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide for my newsletter subscribers that has insect printables and Easter egg themed printables that you can grab by going to my Sensory Bin page (The guide includes a LOT more printables). Now, let’s get inspired and see what kind of sensory bins you can make for Spring!


Spring Sensory Bins For Speech Therapy

#1. Make a sensory bin inspired by the In The Tall Tall Grass book. Use your plastic insects to create a fun bug bin. Toobs on Amazon are great (Amazon affiliate link included). You can read more about this bin on my blog post HERE.

I like using green shredded paper, dyed green pasta, cut up Easter grass or green tissue paper as my grass. What do you like to use?


You can also make an insect bin or a bin inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. You can read this blog post to see more ideas on how to use this book. Search through your play food to find the items that the caterpillar eats, throw it in a bin and you can work on story telling. 

Flower Sensory Bins For The Spring Season


For all those SLPs in the elementary setting trying to rock those mixed groups, this flower garden sensory bin companion will help you target goals for articulation and language.

Spring Sensory bin for speech therapyYou can also go to the Dollar Store and buy fake flowers and mini planting pots to create a flower planting sensory bin! SLPs can target sequencing for “How to plant a flower?”, and practice describing flowers and garden tools by attributes. This is a great pretend play activity to work on language and social pragmatics with your younger students.

Spring Sensory Bins for speech therapy

Can You Find it? Sensory Bin with Spring Vocabulary

Many of my students are working on describing nouns by attributes or learning to explain a noun’s function. I like to use themed vocabulary to work on those skills. You can add mini items that would go in a spring category or put in different spring vocabulary printable items. I love using green shredded present packaging paper for grass and use dried black beans as dirt. 

Then, I have students go on a “Can You Find It Hunt?” You can add in a magnifying glass to make it more engaging. Can you find something that you wear? Can you find something that you blow? Can you find something that you sit on? For some of my other students, we also work on the verbs “hide” and “found”. We can hide items in the grass and work on generating complete sentences with sentence frames. Want to learn more about sentence frames? Here is a blog post I wrote all about them. This sensory bin is part of my spring-themd push-in language lesson plan guides if you need activities for your small and whole class instruction.

Spring Sensory Bins To Teach Vocabulary & Grammar

I created a Spring Sensory Bin Companion that comes with printables to work on verbs, basic concepts, vocabulary and more! There are reinforcer sensory bin activities as well as an articulation themed bin. In my companion, I also include articulation and language cheat sheets to help you with implementing therapy without having to think of words in the spring season!

If you love doing seasonal therapy and using sensory bins, then you may want to invest in getting my seasonal sensory bin bundle HERE.

I love sharing other sensory bins from SLPs because it helps us with planning therapy. Better to have more inspiring therapy ideas to pull from, right!?

Need More Sensory Bin Inspiration?

For all of my SLPs out there that LOVE sensory bins, hop on over to my sensory bin pinterest board for more inspiration. On my Sensory Bin page, you can find lots of resources for making your next sensory bin, including my Sensory Bin Webinar that you can watch the replay on youtube.

Join My 5 Day Sensory Bin Email Series

If you are super busy and struggle with completing DIY therapy projects, then come join my 5 day Sensory bin email challenge! Each day, I give you a small “to do” to complete to get your next sensory bin up and running.

Fall Sensory Bin Ideas To Make Therapy Fun!

Fall Sensory Bin Ideas To Make Therapy Fun!

SLPs working with preschool through 2nd grade can use sensory bins with their students. I have noticed that even some older students really love using sensory bins. There are some students on my caseload that struggle with sustaining attention during therapy. Some have sensory needs and by using sensory bins with them, I have found an increased engagement with the speech or language activity. For some of my groups, I use sensory bins in a very structured way and with other groups, I try to use them with play based therapy.

Fall sensory bin ideas for speech therapy. Easy sensory bin ideas to use in speech therapy. #dabblingslp #preschoolslp #fallspeechtherapy #speechtherapy

Today, I wanted to share fall sensory bin ideas to help you with planning lessons for your preschool and kindergarten aged students. There are amazon affiliate links included in this post for your convenience.

Filler Material For Fall Sensory Bins

You can use anything for your sensory bin filler. Some fun festive fillers are fake leaves (I got mine from the Dollar Store), brown beans for dirt or popcorn kernels (I got some at Trader Joe’s). On pinterest, I have seen pumpkin scented moon sand as a filler too. I have also found fake hay from the dollar store. What Fall/Autumn sensory bin fillers have you used? Share in the comments because I would love to add those to my list of resources.

Using Fall Themed Vocabulary With Your Sensory Bins

One way to work on building vocabulary is working on understanding and expressing the noun’s attribute features. You can play a Can You Find It? Fall sensory bin activity.

Fall sensory bins for kids to use in speech therapy. #slpeeps #slpsensorybin #sensorybins #fallspeechtherapy #dabblingslp

You hide Fall/Autumn vocabulary cards in the sensory bin. Then, using a mini rake, student have to find an item. They can work on making more complex mean length of utterance, or describe the noun they found by attributes. You can make it a receptive category task by saying “Find something that you wear.” After they find the “scarf”, then you can have them name other clothes that you can wear. If you want to make this sensory bin for your therapy, you can access it in my Fall/Autumn Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides.

Fall Sensory Bin Ideas In Action

For this Fall sensory bin, you can use beans or popcorn kernels as the base filler. Then, you can find some fake Fall leaves (I got mine at the Dollar Tree) and a mini rake. I found a mini fairy rake on amazon that worked perfectly. Place articulation, vocabulary, action cards, emotion cards, etc. in the leaves. You can hide them in the leaf pile. Then, students have to rake up their sounds or the cards inside the bin. As they find a card, they have to say their sound 10 times, create a grammatically correct sentence or answer a wh-question about the card. In this Fall sensory bin, I used articulation cards from my Fall sensory bin companion.

Use with a CORE board and have students request “more”, “I want rake”, “hide”, “I found it”, “look”, “all done”, “my turn”, and “This is fun!”

Teach basic concepts “under”, by allowing the students to hide cards, mini erasers or trinkets in the leaves. Your main verb targets for the session can be “hide” and “find”. How would you use this Fall sensory bin? Share your Fall sensory bin ideas in the comments!

Use Fall themed verb action pictures in a sensory bin. Add mini pumpkins or any other type of Fall items that would add to the bin. Then, have students find “verb action” pictures, create a story with the people and vocabulary, answer “who” and “what” questions or create more complex sentences with the pictures such as “The blonder haired girl is picking up the large orange pumpkin.” These printables are in my Fall sensory bin companion.

5 Little Pumpkins Sensory Bin Idea

I don’t think Fall can go without talking about pumpkins. I saw this cute 5 Little Pumpkins Sensory Bin idea on parenting chaos’ blog and had to make one. When I was at the Dollar Tree, I saw some orange mini cup lights. You can also get orange mini cups on amazon (affiliate link) if you don’t have a Dollar Tree. Instead of using them as lights, I used them for my pumpkins.

Fall sensory bin ideas with 5 Little pumpkins

You just need seven thick popsicle sticks, green or brown pipe cleaners, permanent marker and small orange cups. The cup lights already had little holes in them, so I pulled out the lights and replaced them with twisty pipe cleaners for the stem. My daughter drew pumpkin faces and I stuck it all in my kinetic sand box (amazon affiliate). I got the purple box from Lakeshore.

We are going to work on the concepts on/off, the verb “sit”, “fall” and the vocabulary of pumpkins, fence. We might even make up a story about what the pumpkins are doing. How would you use this sensory bin?

Need More Fall Sensory Bin Ideas?

If you need more ideas or ways to use sensory bins in action, then watch the Facebook Live video I did last year. Check out your Dollar Tree for fake mini pumpkins, hay and other Fall themed objects. You can follow my Sensory Bin Pinterest Board for more inspiration and ideas to use in your therapy room.

Share Your Sensory Bin Idea

If you have made a sensory bin for your therapy room, I want to see it! I stay inspired when I see ideas from other SLPs and teachers. Feel free to tag me on instagram @thedabblingspeechie and use #slpsensorybin in your post. You can always email me pics at

Fall sensory bin ideas for speech therapy. Build themed vocabulary using a sensory bin. #dabblingslp #slpeeps #fallsensorybin #slpsensorybin #sensorybin

If you follow that hashtag on instagram you will be able to see ideas from other SLPs. Therapy always seems less overwhelming when I have access to more ideas for how I can plan and implement therapy. Let’s share and help each other be the rock star SLPs that we are striving to be!

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