Numbered Sensory Bins: Tackling Tactile Difficulties

Sometimes your senses are over- or under-stimulated.  I love the idea of sensory bins, as they are such a fun option for children with and without special needs to experience and explore their sense of touch.

They are also a great way to overcome tacticle sensitivities and difficulties. What might these tactical sensitivities look like?

  • Child is bothered by the tag on his clothing and asks for it to be removed
  • Child refuses to wear Band-Aids
  • Child refuses to walk barefoot in sand or grass
  • Child won’t wear shoes (even sandals) without socks
  • Child screams when getting hair washed (it hurts!) or when getting hair cut
  • Child sleeps wedged into an adult/pushes hands and feet underneath another person

These are specific sensory processing issues my hyperlexic son has had.  Since we are aware of his sensory issues, we are always utilizing activities that help him to garner new responses to sensory stimuli.

And it works!  He has made huge advances in his sensory responses.  Over half of the items on the previous list are not an issue of his anymore, or are things he had learned to cope with appropriately.  He even let me use the trimmers to give him a big boy haircut!

Today we set up eight sensory bins to explore.  If you are looking for ideas for sensory bins, you can really use whatever you have around the house.  When using this many bins, I like to focus on different textures among the items.


Today we used:

  1. Colorful pom pom balls
  2. Beans
  3. Cotton balls
  4. Rice
  5. Wet sand
  6. Grass and flowers
  7. Soapy water
  8. Fabric stuffing

And of course a bin full of fun toys/scoopers/tools:

My toddler and preschooler had a blast with the sensory bins.  It was tough setting it up, because they were so excited to get started!

Besides just general exploration, the kids did quite a bit of pretend play, from feeding me sparkly candy (pom poms), to making an apple pie out of rice and beans.

The possibilities are endless!


After playing with the bins all morning, my toddler and preschooler decided to experience the bins with their feet.  What a great idea!  If you are worried about the mess, taking the bins outside like we did is a great idea for a warm day.  And make sure to have the kids help you clean up!


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