Our Five Ring Circus: Glow In The Dark Space Sensory Bin

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Glow In The Dark Space Sensory Bin

Glow in the Dark SPACE Sensory Bin #sensoryplay #sensorybin #space #kidsactivities

We currently have a tough decision to make. Initially, we signed Liam up for Extended School Year so he doesn't regress between the end of this school year and the start of the next one. Now we're reconsidering, because we have a busy Summer ahead of us, and we think Liam deserves the chance to just be a kid and enjoy Summer Break. I think his once a week speech therapy session, baseball, lots of outdoor play, and sensory bins might be the path we take this Summer!

Our sensory bins, kids activities, and posts about Down syndrome bring this blog the most traffic, but I stopped sharing all of our ideas due to the busyness of life (more coming on life with five kids soon)! I'm getting back into creating weekly themed sensory bins, and pairing them with books, learning activities, crafts, and an occasional outing. This weekend, our town had a huge Mars New Year celebration and NASA attended, so I focused on a space themed sensory bin for the week!

Like the majority of our sensory bins, this space sensory bin is easy to put together. I reuse a lot of our fillers and just mix and match according to the theme, and everything I use is inexpensive! And this sensory bin is extra fun because it glows in the dark!

Sensory Bin Ideas

Glow In The Dark Space Sensory Bin

The Setup

Many containers can be used as a sensory bin! We alternate regularly between our water table, an activity table, our sink, and a long storage container with a lid. Most of the time I use the storage container because it's easily portable, and can be covered up with a lid!

Another inexpensive investment would be sensory tools. We have the Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set, which costs less than $10 on Amazon. It comes with two types of tweezers, a scooper, and a dropper.

Lastly, some type of bucket or bowl is handy for every sensory bin. Kids love filling them up, then pouring them out!

Glow in the Dark Sensory Bin

Items Needed

  • Dried Black Beans (I used 4 bags.)
  • Glow in the Dark Planets & Stars (Dollar Store!)
  • Foil (Rip it apart and roll it into balls to create moon rocks!)
Sensory Bin Fillers

sensory bin tools

sensory bin fillers

Space Activities for Kids


The great thing about using a sensory bin with a lid is that you can just cover it up and leave it go until the next time you use it. It can also be used indoors, outdoors, and even on the go! As for the fillers, storing them in plastic resealable storage bag is the easiest solution. I keep all the bags of fillers in a big storage box so they can easily be reused!

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Play Ideas:

  • Use the scoop to fill the bucket or bowl with beans.
  • Use the scoop tweezers to pick up the foil "moon rocks" and place them in the bucket.
  • Use the tweezers to pick up the stars and planets and place them in the bucket.
  • Bury the planets and stars and encourage your child to find them all.
  • Roll dice and pick up that many stars, and place in the bucket. 
  • Toss the moon rocks into the bucket.
  • Make a pattern using the stars/planets/moon rocks.
  • Take the bin to a dark room and play with the glow in the dark stars and planets!
sensory play

kids activities

Home Therapy Ideas

Glow In the Dark Play Ideas

Space Themed Books

I love to pair our themed sensory bins with books! Here are a few of our favorite space books for kids:

More ideas can be found on my READ Pinterest Board:

Space Themed Crafts

There are so many cute and easy space themed crafts for kids. Here are a few that we're trying:

Learning Activities & Motor Skill Ideas

Learning and therapy at home is always on our agenda! There are many fun ways to build those fine and gross motor skills, and sharpen the mind!


Themed foods make it even more fun! Bonus points for LEARNING with food!

Our Outing

Fun Fact - my husband, Grant, grew up in Mars, and now works 45 minutes away, in Moon! So he drives from Mars to Moon, and back, every weekday! And when a town is named Mars, they celebrate BIG during New Year on Mars. This year, it was so big that it included a 3 day Mars Exploration Celebration at the center of town and a drone lights show, and NASA showed up!

Mars Exploration Celebration

Pittsburgh Blog

Big Family Life

Big Family

Our kids are now mini martians! Lexie is our little nerd (I always tell her nerds rule the world), and loves STEAM/STEM activities, and NASA. She is very involved with her STEAM program at school, and was one of the students chosen to represent the school at an exhibit during the event. She loved telling everyone how she created a 3D model of the town's spaceship (Why, yes, there is a spaceship in the center of town) using a 3D printer. She was even more excited to talk to people who worked at NASA! 

STEAM / STEM activities

While she was working the booth, we strolled around town, checking out all the exhibits. All the exhibits NASA set up were awesome. We sent our names to Mars, and checked out a real 3D picture of the surface of Mars. And the drone light show on Friday night was amazing! (I posted a short clip on Instagram - slide to the last frame.)


Mars, Pennsylvania

Space really is a lot of fun to learn about! I hope you enjoy our Glow in the Dark Space Sensory Bin as much as we did, as well as all the resources we used. Happy Exploring!

Down syndrome

Pin It For Later!

Glow in the Dark Space Sensory Bin

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  1. What a fun idea. I think sensory bins are really cool, and I like matching them with other things like food, books, crafts, and even outings!



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