Play Hidden Animals – a perfectly simple, perfectly awesome sensory bin
I call this a “Mary Poppins” type activity: It’s practically perfect in every way. Hidden Animals is simple, easy, fun, and a fantastic sensory bin set up for toddlers and preschoolers. This activity just plain works.
RELATED: Interested in more sensory activities? I have a few (solid LOL). You can see them all here.
Why is this activity so good?
Sensory activities give the best return of investment.
In a sensory bin, a child is getting to interact with the materials and learning in a way no other activity can offer them. They get a chance to immerse themselves in learning and learn by doing, by playing, and by trial and error.
READ MORE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SENSORY PLAY HERE.
But how do you set up Hidden Animals with the pretty rice?
Ha! It’s all about that rainbow rice huh? Such a showstopper and here’s the secret: it’s the easiest thing to make.
I have a full post on it here but the basics are: you mix 1 cup dry rice with 1 Tablespoon vinegar + food coloring. Shake to combine in a bag or Tupperware. Lay to dry for a few hours.
IT IS GORGEOUS AND EASY.
So here’s how I put this together:
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- Rice or Rainbow rice
- Ice cube trays (these are a 2 pack from the Dollar Store)
- Sensory bin (I used my 28 qt Sterilite tub)
- Scoops (I used the scoops from this toy)
- Small animals
I grabbed my favorite sensory bin tub and put my ice cube trays in it. I filled the trays with tiny animals.
In between the two ice cube trays, I set a Tupperware full of rainbow rice with a few scoops.
I gave my son (26 months old) the goal: HIDE THE ANIMALS.
I love starting a sensory bin with an invitation to play
The work of childhood is play – we know this!
But sometimes it’s helpful to get the ball rolling. A simple set up like this – often called an “Invitation to Play” – can be a great catalyst for starting play.
With this activity, starting the sensory bin off with a “goal” or “mission”, gave my 2-year-old something to work on. Through that work, he transitioned it to his own independent play activity.
Don’t let sensory bins get complicated!
Sensory bins don’t need to be super fancy to be super awesome.
A simple set up for this activity was a big time win – Hidden Animals was an easy hit!
Will you make a Hidden Animals sensory bin?