Sensory play is a favorite around here!
Both my kids (3 and 15 months) absolutely love it. In fact, as soon as I bring our sensory bin out, my 15 month old goes crazy with excitement. He could sit and play in a sensory bin for 30-40 minutes easily.
This sensory bin is really easy, low prep and inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills


  • Understand 3 of the 5 senses to make observations

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills


  • Use 5-senses to make observations

Required Materials

*Affiliate Link

*Wash Bin


*Food Coloring


*Play Food

*Ziplock Bag

Step #1
In a plastic bag add dry rice, a few drops of food coloring, and 2 tsp of vinegar. Seal the bag and shake it until all the rice is colored. You can leave it in the bag to dry for about 2-3 hours or you can lay it on a cookie sheet for faster drying.

If you saved the rice from our Candy Cane Patterns activity, feel free to use that.

Step #2
Pour the rice into your sensory tub.
Step #3
Add some play food to the bin.

I tried to use foods that were in the story, but use what you have.

Step #4
Invite your Lil’ to play.

I know this seems super simple and you are wondering what in the world your Lil’ is getting out of this, but sensory play allows your Lil’ to manipulate materials and work on fine motor skills/coordination while also growing their love of learning!

Teacher Tip

This can get messy quick, so if you are having some nice weather, take it outside. If not, be ready to end play time when rules can’t be followed, or do as I have done and embrace the mess knowing the vacuum is only 5 feet away.

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