Our Five Ring Circus: Ocean Sensory Bin

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Ocean Sensory Bin

Ocean Sensory Bin

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Everybody seems to love Shark Week! Liam definitely loves sharks, so I put together this easy Ocean Sensory Bin for my littles to enjoy last week. It was a very busy week, so I didn't put as much detail into it as I usually do, but sometimes simple is plenty enough!

Liam happily scooped an poured for hours, and Lily even joined in! Baby Coen is starting to put everything in his mouth, so he had to skip this one. We put him in his UpSeat, sat him beside the bin, and gave him a baby-safe shark to teethe on!

The Ocean Sensory Bin was a big hit, and was so easy to prepare! (Spoiler Alert: I bought a kit on Amazon Prime for this one!) Although I will eventually have to throw away the water beads, we can keep the ocean animals for later use!

Ocean Sensory Bin

The Setup:

I used a plastic storage container with a lid for this sensory bin. We use this one the most because it's portable, it can easily be taken outdoors, and we can put the lid on for easy storage. I also create sensory bins in the sand and water table, or in the bathroom sink.

I discovered that if we put down a large mesh beach blanket under the bin, cleanup is super easy! I just lift up the blanket, and dump the contents back into the bin!

Sensory Play

Items Needed:

  • Sensory Bin
  • Water Beads
  • Ocean Animals (The water beads/animals kit is linked below.)
  • Sensory Bin Tools (Our set is linked below.)
  • Bath Toys like nets and boats


If you use a storage container with a lid, you can simply cover up the bin after play, and store it for later use. I store the bin in a cool, dry place, so I can keep the water beads in the bin for a few weeks!

Easy Sensory Bins

Setting Up The Bin:

  1. Measure your water beads, pour them into the bin, then add the water. Mix the beads through the water, and let them sit for 1-2 hours. A few teaspoons will end up filling a big bin, and they grow quickly!
  2. Add in the animals, sensory bin tools, and toys.
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Play Ideas:

  • The best thing about water beads as that they are fun to touch! Kids like to play with them, even if there is nothing else in the sensory bin. They are soft, cool, squishy, and bouncy!
  • Hold a handful of water beads up to a window and check out the pretty colors. 
  • Squeeze the water beads, and watch them pop out of your hands!
  • Scoop them up with a mini shovel and put them in a bowl, then lift the bowl up high, and dump them out. Watch the light reflect off of them as they fall through the air and bounce back into the container. 
  • Use a syringe to suck out any excess water, or suction to a water bead.
  • Use the tweezers to pick up a water bead - it's very tricky!
  • Use the scoop tweezers to scoop up water beads. 
  • Pour the water beads through a large funnel.
  • Scoop the ocean animals up with a net, and transfer them to another container. 
  • Fill a toy boat with water beads, and see how many you can add until it capsizes!
  • Pick up the ocean animals with tweezers or a scoop.
  • Do a mini scavenger hunt to learn animals. (Example: Find the red octopus!) Have the child pick up the animal with tweezers or a scoop, and place it in a bucket.
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Shop our look and gear:

These are NOT affiliate links - They're just items we love! Plus a few super cute pictures of Liam helping and holding his baby brother "Coey!"

Activities for babies and toddlers

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Coen's shark outfit - Target

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Liam's shark joggers - Trendy Bubs (Use the code liamff at checkout to save 20% on your order!)

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Coen's seat - UpSeat - It's a floor seat and booster seat that comes with a tray and safety straps for feeding and playtime. It was developed with the help of physical therapists, and encourages better posture. We love this seat! If you want to purchase one, you can use the code Stefanie10 to save 10%.


Floor Seat For Babies


My kids loved this simple ocean sensory bin! They have been playing with it for over a week, so I'll be storing away the ocean animals for later use. Sensory Play is a big part of our weekly routine, and it keeps things fun. I always encourage my kids to dig in and get messy!

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Pin It For Later:

Ocean Sensory Bin

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1 comment:

  1. Aw, this is too cute. Water beads really are fun to play with! I like that Coen was able to watch and "help out" if you will.



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