The Easiest Dollar Store St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin


st. patrick's day sensory bin

The Easy St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin

Looking for a fun but easy St. Patrick’s day ideas for sensory activities? Come along with us to make this awesome St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin! Get into the holiday spirit with the color green and fun St. Patrick’s Day activities. 

The perfect way to combine learning, fine motor skills, and fun is with a sensory bin! They’re very flexible because you can use all kinds of different materials to create different textures and sensory experiences. 

A Great Fine Motor Skills Activity

Sensory bins are one of our favorite activities to help with fine motor skills. Young children can get tons of practice using the small muscles of their wrists, hands, and fingers to scoop, pour, and mix. Even a simple sensory bin on just plain white rice can help build these skills. 

The scooping and pouring also helps build coordination in a fun way! Children don’t even notice the fine motor practice they are doing to build the skills they will one day need for everyday activities like writing. 

little boy pouring green rice into cups

Sensory Fun with Less Mess

While this sensory bin is so much fun, there’s always the possibility it turns into a mess. Sensory bins fall under messy play (a great way to learn and play!), but you can still minimize the mess. 

The key to less mess sensory bins is to prepare well and practice! We have tons of great tips and tricks here.

My son is now two-and-half and makes very little mess with his sensory bins. But that’s because we taught him how to use one and practiced! After implementing the tips over time, we have much less mess and easy cleanup. 

Building Your Themed Sensory Bin 

The key to our simple sensory bin for St. Patrick’s Day is the color green! And there’s tons of different versions of this sensory bin depending on how much you want to add (and spend on supplies).

And check out your local dollar store! They often have little festive items that make a great addition to sensory bins. We found most of our add-in items and rice are the Dollar Tree. 

Choosing a Green Filler

There’s tons of great bases for sensory bins like water, beads, or popcorn kernels, but for this particular sensory bin we used green rice. Here’s a simple way to dye rice.

little hands in green rice

We like using rice because it’s inexpensive, easy to clean up, and safe if it happens to end up in someone’s mouth. Another great option for St. Patrick’s Day base material is dried split peas! These are also relatively easy to find, inexpensive, and safe-not to mention already green!

Fun St. Patrick’s Day Items

Next, you’ll want to add some fun themed items! We found some cute items at Hobby Lobby including plastic gold coins, treasure chests, black pots, and four-leaf clovers. Or you can just look for green items.

Adding Utensils

Lastly, you’ll need to add the utensils they’ll use to scoop, pour, and fill. Most of these you can already find in your kitchen like measuring cups, spoons, bowls, and whisks. Whatever your child likes to use is great! 

TIP: Don’t add too many items to your bin. This makes it hard for your child to play in it, and they’ll end up getting frustrated. 

Choose a Fun Sensory Activity 

Now that you have assembled a sensory bin for this fun holiday, it’s time to pick a sensory play activities! And there’s so many different ways in the sensory tub you now have. 

The best ways to incorporate activities and sensory play is to keep in mind your child’s interests and development level. Your child might not like the same things as my child, and that’s okay. Try a few different options, and you’re sure to land on a fun activity that your child will enjoy.

The Green Sensory Bin Activity 

There’s really no ‘right way’ to play with a sensory bin, so follow your child’s lead. But you can encourage them to feel the different items for texture, trying pouring into different containers, or ask about the colors or shapes they see. 

little boy scooping rice into a little black pot

We decided to make an activity of filling up all the little black pots with rice using different utensils. 

St. Patrick’s Sensory Bin Games

One of the fun St. Patrick’s Day activities we like to do in our sensory bin is find the little leprechauns that love to hide. Have your child close their eyes or leave the room while you a number of gold coins or shamrocks in the bin for them to find. 

You can take this game one step further if your child is old enough by turning it into a counting game. Write numbers on each gold coin to encourage number recognition. 

plastic gold coins in green rice

Make Your Own Sensory Table

If you’re looking for a sensory table to use with your awesome sensory bins, check out an easy way to make your own. This was a huge hit with my son as he got older and wanted to move around while using his sensory bin. It’s also much cheaper than buying one. 

Try these St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plans

Looking for even more festive, fun activities for St. Patrick’s Day? We have a whole lesson plan with books, activities, and crafts to check out!

Repurpose the Green Rice

Once St. Patrick’s Day is over, store your green rice in a gallon ziplock bag for the next sensory bin. Our favorite option is in this farm sensory bin.

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