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To put this sensory bin together, I filled our bin with some blue water beads and popped it into the freezer for a little bit, just long enough to add a chill to the water beads. Once out of the freezer, I added some foam snowflakes from the dollar store. They were dark blue, light blue, and white, and came in a variety of shapes and sizes. I included some plastic cups from our recycling stash as well. I could have stopped there, but, of course, I didn't.
I also added some alphabet learning to this sensory bin. Ah, I'm so sneaky! Anyway, I found these amazing little acrylic mirror snowflakes at the dollar store, wrote the uppercase letters of the alphabet on each snowflake using a permanent marker, and tossed them in too. You can see some of the mirrored snowflakes below. And I love how they add little hints of reflections here and there in the sensory bin.
This sensory bin was so inviting that little hands just couldn't wait to dive in!
And there's just something about water beads. They are so relaxing. I honestly love swishing my hands through water beads because I find it so calming. Even my crazy toddler K slows down and plays quietly and contently whenever the water beads come out for playtime.
Both boys loved this sensory bin, spending hours (no exaggeration either!) scooping and pouring the water beads from various cups, pointing to and identifying letters, and so much more. They happily and quietly played side by side. It was both wonderful and kind of eerie to watch.
J also spent some time counting individual water beads and placing them into a small cup.
I am so in love with how this sensory bin turned out. The water beads looked stunning on our light table and encouraged lots of quiet, focused play and exploration.
Looking for more sensory bin ideas? You could also try out our Arctic small world sensory bin or browse my Sensory Bins Board on Pinterest.