Ultimate List of 100+ Sensory Bin Fillers From A to Z

I’m offering the ultimate list of sensory bin fillers — going from A to Z!

If you have a preschooler, infant or special needs kiddo in the house, you’re probably putting your own sensory bins together.

Sometimes we can get stuck for ideas and need inspiration. Or perhaps you’re not really sure where to start.

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Ultimate List of 100+ Sensory Bin Fillers | Mommy Evolution

Why Sensory Bins?

What are the Benefits of Sensory Bins? on Mommy Evolution

Sensory bins are an amazing outlet for kids on so many levels.

They provide fine motor practice.

They allow kids to pretend play.

They’re also an awesome way to teach kids about different subjects, from everyday objects like corn to places in the world such as farms.

In addition, sensory bins can be a terrific way to help a child’s language and vocabulary through sensory play.

Let’s not even forget that they engage five of the senses — sight, smell, touch, hear and (sometimes) taste.

Sensory bins also allow children to direct the play, giving them the ability to experience and exercise control over their environment.

Plus, sensory bins allow kiddos to feel like they’re getting in messy play while (usually) containing the mess for you.

For kids that are tactile defensive, sensory bins can be a safe way to experience a sensation that might otherwise be scary or overwhelming.

Sensory bins are a wonderful way to children to explore the world around them in a safe and contained environment!

Sensory Bin Tips


Be aware of choking hazards!

As with anything you do with preschoolers or babies, please keep in mind of any choking hazards.

You know your child best.

If they mouth everything, keep with things that are edible or safe to put in their mouths under your watch.

If they are a bit older, they can use the sensory bins with other objects under supervision.

Prepare for the mess.

Take your sensory bin outside, use a contained sensory table or use a tarp/mat when inside. 

It’s best to think ahead about how you can contain the mess rather than figuring out how to clean up afterward.

Some people even use a shower curtain liner. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective.


Be creative but don’t sweat it.

Sensory bins don’t have to be elaborate to be engaging.

Have you ever watched a kid play with a sensory bin of shaving cream?

The play can go on and on and on.

Just work off of a theme or idea. You can make it as elaborate as you (or the child) wants.

Don’t force it.

If your child doesn’t want to put their hand in to touch something, don’t force it.

Sensory bins are a way for a child to approach the world and experience it.

Find other ways the child can play (using wooden spoons for example) and let them approach the sensory bin on their own terms.

Join in.

Yes, it’s terrific for kids to experience sensory play on their own terms.

It doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of the fun!

Sensory bins can be a fun way for your child to direct the play.

While playing, ask them questions, engage their language skills and even expand on their vocabulary.

Have storage materials on hand.

Depending on the sensory bin filler you’re working with, you can put the materials back into large ziplock bags or plastic containers.

Just because it’s been used once doesn’t mean you can’t use it again and again.

Don’t miss out on the Ultimate List of Sensory Bin Tools with 70+ ideas to keep your toddler busy!

100+ Sensory Bin Fillers from A to Z

Letter A

Aquarium Gravel, Artificial grass, Aluminum foil

Letter B

Beads (wooden, perler, etc), Buttons, Beans (dried), Birdseed, Bubbles (from dish soap), Bread, Bubble wrap

Letter C

Cereal (Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, Cheerios, etc.), Corn (dried), Corn husks, Coins, Cotton balls, Confetti, Cornmeal, Chickpeas (dried), Cloud dough, Candy, Chocolate (melted), Coffee grounds, Construction paper, Cornstarch, Corks, Crepe paper streamers

Letter D

Dirt, Drinking straws

Letter E

Epsom salt, Egg Shells, Easter grass, Essential oils (for a touch of scent)

Letter F

Feathers, Fresh Flowers, Flour, Fabric, Foam, Frozen peas/carrots

Letter G

Grass, Grapes, Goop, Gems

Letter H

Hay, Hair gel, Herbs

Letter I

Ice (whole or crushed)

Letter J

Jello, Jigsaw puzzle pieces, Jelly beans, Jelly

Letter K

Kinetic sand

Letter L

Leaves (dried or fresh), Lentils, Loom bands, Loom bands

Letter M

Moon dough, Money, Mud, Marbles, Mardi Gras beads, Melon balls

Letter N

Nuts (food, metal)

Letter O


Letter P

Play dough, Pasta (dried, cooked or dyed), Paper (shredded or scraps), Pompoms, Packing Peanuts, Peas (dried), Popcorn, Pumpkin guts, Potato flakes, Pudding, Poly fil Plastic Pellets, Pebbles, Potpourri

Letter Q

Quinoa (dry or cooked)

Letter R

Rice (plain, scented or dyed), Rocks, Ribbon, Rock salt, Raisins, Rubberbands, Raffia

Letter S

Sand (craft or regular), Silk flowers, Shaving cream, Soil, Sticks, Slime, Snow (real or fake), Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, etc.), Stones, Seashells, Soap foam

Letter T

Tissue paper, Tapioca pearls, Tubes (cardboard), Toweling paper, Tinsel

Letter U

Uncooked pasta

Letter V

Veggies (raw and cut up)

Letter W

Water (even scented with Essential Oils), Water beads, Whipped Cream, Washers

Letter X

eXtra craft items you happen to have on hand

Letter Y

Yarn, Yogurt

Letter Z


More Sensory Activity Ideas

Sensory play is a powerful way for children to learn, develop and engage with their surroundings, and it’s also a whole lot of fun!

Take your child on a sensory adventure that sparks imagination, creativity and learning.

These ideas are designed to stimulate a child’s senses while encouraging exploration, experimentation and play.

Whew! Did I miss one? What’s your favorite sensory bin filler? 

Don’t miss out on the Ultimate List of Sensory Bin Tools with 70+ ideas to keep your toddler busy!

Alphabet Sensory Activities Facebook


  1. I recently did one with pinecones, leaves, some bean pods, and plastic woodland animals. They LOVED it 🙂 All I did was wander around the woods by my house and gathered things!

  2. Don’t forget about nuts & bolts!

  3. Shaving cream is a favorite for sensory! Even the gel that puffs up is something kids LOVE to smear around. Don’t forget to encourage writing or drawing with fingers into it once it’s spread and losing their attention. Great for spelling or drawing.

  4. Susan Cassidy says:

    Popsicle sticks and clothespins (the kind you pinch to open) together in a sensory bin were a hit in my classroom – they clipped the clothespins to a popsicle stick (seeing how many they could fit – math)and some connected popsicle sticks using a clothespin to hold them together making cool creations.

  5. Do you have a printer friendly copy?

  6. wow this is amazing blog I will never miss a single post in future!
    keep sharing..

  7. Janice West says:

    I love your lists and ideas. I bought clear hair gel at the local dollar store for sensory bags (zipper-type bags with a little blue paint and gel and small plastic sea creatures inside, closed and taped to the table in class) and discovery bottles with assorted beads inside. The viscosity of the gel changes based on how much you dilute it with water. The gel allows the items inside to move up and down with shaking, or stay suspended in the mixture. I then glue the tops of the bottles in place so little hands or teeth can’t open!

    1. Oh good! And yes… always always glue the tops of the bottles in place. I use a glue gun.

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