Bug Sensory Bin

Looking for some fun and educational sensory play ideas for your kiddos? Why not try out this bug sensory bin

This bin is perfect for little bug lovers and makes a great addition to a bug unit study for preschoolers. 

By implementing this sensory bin, your child will be able to work on identifying different bugs, spotting out insects, as well as work on counting and fine motor skills, such as scooping, pouring, and grasping. Plus, it’s just a ton of fun.

In this post, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide for recreating our bug sensory bin, as well as give you some tips and tricks for making it educational.

*Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links. And as an affiliate and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclosure here.

Bugs and Insects Sensory Bin

Here’s how to recreate and implement this bug sensory bin for your child(ren). 

Materials Needed

  • Large container or sensory table
  • Bug/insect figurines (we scored an insect toob at the Target Dollar Spot, but the Safari Ltd. Insect Toob would be perfect as well) 
  • White long grain rice
  • Green food coloring
  • White vinegar
  • Rocks 
  • Kinetic Sand (sand or black color)
  • Tools (shovels, tweezers, nets, etc.)
  • Containers (bug jars, boxes, etc.)

Pro Tip: I’ve found that plant-based food coloring tends to dry quicker and not stain little fingers and objects, as synthetic is known to do. 

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How to Make Your Bug Sensory Bin

  1. Gather your supplies: To begin, start collecting all of the materials listed above. Check your local Dollar Tree for containers, bug nets, rocks, and rice. 
  2. Dye your rice: We used 3 cups of dyed rice for this sensory bin. For each cup of rice, you will need 1 tsp of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of green food coloring. Feel free to put more or less food coloring in to obtain a desired tone. Mix together in a bag or container and let dry for at least 2-3 hours. 
  3. Add your bases: After your rice has dried, pour it into one side of your storage tub. Then line your rocks up next to the rice and place your kinetic sand on the other side of the rocks. 
  4. Prop your tools and figurines: Once you have your bases in the bottom of the bin, go ahead and play around with the positioning of your tools and bug figures until you find a setup that you like. 
  5. Ready to go: Your bug sensory bin should now be ready to go! Be sure to have any extra tools and/or containers handy for when you present the bin to your kids.

Time to Dig for Bugs

I loved the way this bug sensory bin turned out, and I think the kids really did as well. They started to dig in as soon as I handed it over to them.

The kids used their shovels and nets for scooping up bugs, sand, rocks, and “grass.”

My preschooler identified the different bugs as she found them and counted their legs to see if they were insects or not. There were a few new bugs she learned about, such as the scorpion and cockroach. 

The kids also enjoyed collecting bugs to put in the bug jar, as well as filling the bug jar up with “grass.” They spent a good amount of time filling up their shovels, nets, and containers, and pouring the rice back into the bin. 

I also ended up pulling out a large butterfly container that I got at the Dollar Tree for our spring unit, since my preschooler really enjoys using this container to make her own sensory bin with the materials.  

Things did get a little messy, but we needed to vacuum anyways. 😉  

My toddler played with the bin for about 45 minutes, and my preschooler played with it for two straight hours. She also asked to play with it again for the past two days. 

Overall, I think it was a great way to stimulate the senses, learn how to identify various insects, work on counting and fine motor skills, and just have some fun with bugs

Enjoy This Post?

Are you thinking about creating this bug sensory bin for your child(ren)? Comment below and let us know how your experience went. And please don’t hesitate to share this post with other toddler and preschool parents. 


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