The shredded paper sensory bin for the messy win.
The shredded paper sensory bin will always the messiest sensory bin I do. People expect it to be Jello or mud but no, tiny shreds of paper is the messiest… but it’s also one of the best(est).
I know sensory bins get a messy bad reputation – and this one deserves it (it’s still the best and hopefully you’ll stick around).
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Messy, yes. Awesome, double yes.
Let’s get the record straight on the shredded paper sensory bin. It is 100% the messiest sensory bin I do with my kids…
But it also holds the Busy Toddler Record for LONGEST sustained sensory play at nearly 2 straight hours.
So yes, it’s a mess.
But it’s a mess with purpose, learning, and play and that is a mess that I am FINE WITH.
The shredded paper sensory bin is also the cleanest mess...
There is 100% a difference between a sticky Jello sensory bin mess, that can stain and ruin my carpet VS a “clean mess” like the shredded paper bin… which is just a vacuum away from clean.
All it takes is a quick run of my Dyson through this mess (or using my Shop Van) to take care of this mess.
I’m not worried the paper is going to ruin my carpet.
I’m not worried about how to get it off my kids’ clothing.
It’s a clean mess.
Here’s how this shredded paper bin looked at my house
I brought inside our blue plastic kiddie pool – we rarely use that thing for water anyways. It’s more of a giant sensory bin.
I drug it into the living room and filled it full of the paper from our paper shredded.
Epic and awesome. Right in our house.
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I added in some toys for fun
To get this party started, I tossed in our Paw Patrols pups and vehicles.
Nothing says “Let’s party” like their favorite pups.
You can add just about anything into your shredding paper sensory bin – dinosaurs and construction trucks have been our previous jam.
The truth is: anything goes here.
The shredded paper bin is one of those epic, anything goes, type activities.
Let the kids have free range. Let them take the lead.
One tip for maintaining some balance – set boundaries
Use this activity as a chance to practice setting boundaries.
For my kids, I said:
- No throwing the paper
- Stay in this one room
AND THEY DID.
Why? Because they know I’m serious, they know they’ll lose the chance to play, they know I don’t play around.
The paper can’t be thrown and it has to stay somewhat contained.
RELATED: Read more about how sensory bins promote self-control skills in kids.
Look past the mess and see the fun
Yes, this is going to be messy. Yes, it’s going to look a bit crazy.
But it is a memory. It is fun. It is moments of giggles to carry you through the days when the house isn’t as loud any more.
And that my friends is always worth a vacuum up for me.