Ocean Sensory Bin

Get your toddler or preschooler ready to have lots of fun exploring this adorable Ocean Sensory Bin! This sensory bin would be great to set up as part of and ocean theme or summer theme. 

Ocean sensory bin

Sensory bins are always popular with young children and they are just so easy and inexpensive to put together!  You can grab things from around your home and throw one together in no time.

In a couple of simple steps, you can create an incredible mini world for your toddler or preschooler based on a theme of your choice, in this case an ocean theme. 

Toddlers and preschoolers will be able to explore and engage all their senses for hours on end while developing their fine motor skills and cognitive abilities.

Now, let's cut to the chase, and let's start making this adorable ocean-themed sensory bin. 

If you want more fun sensory bin ideas, check some of our faves. After all, you can never have too many sensory bins in your activity toolbox!

If you are looking for more ocean activities check out our Ocean Playdough MatOcean Sensory Bottle and our Under the Sea Shape Craft.

You could try making a sand tray for writing using an ocean theme too. 

We also have toddler activity plans available on the theme of under the sea. These under the sea lesson plans for toddlers have been written by early years educators and are filled with fun, hands-on activities that are perfect for children aged 18-35 months. We also have a preschool version

under the sea toddler activities

Ocean Sensory Bin

Ocean Sensory Bin - Supplies:

  • Blue Rocks (gravel)
  • Play Sand
  • Mini Plastic Ocean Animals
  • Seashells
  • Mini Plastic Sea Plants
  • Plastic Art Activity Tray

Ocean Sensory Bin - Directions:

Under the sea sensory bin

STEP 1 - Gather your sensory bin supplies:

Make sure to grab all the supplies you'll need for this ocean-themed sensory bin before you start. Be creative with the supplies that you have at home and feel free to switch supplies for similar items. 

I would suggest using a small, shallow tray for this ocean sensory bin, but again use what you have available at home. Ideally your tray will have low edges, but they will be high enough to contain all the sensory materials.

STEP 2 - Set up your ocean sensory bin:

Create the base for your ocean sensory bin by adding blue gravel to one side of your tray. Then  take the play sand and add it to the other side of your tray. The sand and gravel should meet in the middle. 

Put some seashells and mini plastic sea plants into the sand. Finally add mini plastic ocean animals to the blue rock ocean.

sensory bin ocean and sand

STEP 3 - Start exploring your sensory bin!

In this step, invite your little ones to start exploring their mini ocean and beach sensory bin! Encourage them to move the animals around the ocean. They might want to make their ocean animals talk, swim or bump in to each other! Toddlers and preschoolers have such great imaginations which really come through in open ended activities like this.  

Ocean sensory play

Some children will enjoy playing with the base materials as much as with the ocean animals. They might like the feel of the sand or letting the blue gravel fall through their fingers. Give it a try, it is actually quite therapeutic! 

If the gravel and sand get mixed together don't worry, some children will love combining the different materials.

Alternative Ocean Sensory Bins

Whilst the directions above create a really fun ocean sensory bin there are many other ways you can put a under the sea sensory bin together. 

To add an extra dose of fun, you could add water to your sensory bin like we did for our dinosaur sensory bin! This will make the sand wet, and little ones will have another sensory experience as they explore the damp sand.

Alternatively if you want a less messy version of this ocean sensory bin then instead of using blue gravel as the sea why not use small pieces of blue fabric. 

Ocean sensory bin

Silk scarfs work really well for this as they are easy to bend into place and you can see the sand below. 

Ocean sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers

We hope that you have a lot of fun creating and exploring your ocean sensory bin with your toddlers and preschoolers. If you have older children get them involved in helping to make the sensory bin for any younger siblings! Enjoy!

Ocean sensory bin. Ocean activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

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