Here’s a fun sensory play idea! This Forest Sensory Bin for preschool is a fun way to let little ones explore nature.

This fun hands-on learning activity is perfect for little learners who are ready to explore a forest habitat. And of course, it’s a great addition to a forest theme unit!

I love that this forest sensory bin allows kids to be creative and enjoy imaginative play while exploring and using their natural curiosity to experience sensory materials.

Forest sensory bin with green split peas, pinecones, deer figurines, and wood slices.

There are so many benefits of sensory play, but the biggest for our family is that sensory bins engage my kids for long stretches of time.

We also find that during when life gets busy, sensory materials help kids regulate and reduce stress, which means less fits or meltdowns.

A Forest themed Sensory bin can be a great way to encourage little ones to use their fine motor skills and imaginations.

How to make a Forest Sensory Bin - Here's a fun sensory play activity for preschoolers!  Make a woodland sensory bin from green split peas, items from nature, and woodland creature figurines.

Alright! Let’s dive in to how to make this forest sensory bin!

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Materials needed for Forest Sensory Bin

You will need the following items:

  • Sensory Bin or Container, or sensory table
  • Forest Animals – we bought ours locally, but there’s some fun ones on Amazon
  • Pinecones
  • Acorns
  • Sticks
  • Rocks
  • Fake flowers
  • Glass pebbles (for pretend water)
  • Sensory Bin filler – I used Split Green Peas, but Dried Beans, Lentils, or dried oats would work well)
  • Wood slices,
  • You might also like to add wooden trees, wooden mushrooms, etc.

How to make a Forest Sensory Bin

First, fill your sensory box with your sensory bin filler of choice. We chose to use split green peas, but beans, oats or lentils might be nice as well for this woodland sensory bin.

Forest sensory bin with red mushrooms, pinecones, fake flowers and wood slices.

Next, place your rocks, sticks, acorns, pinecones, wood slices, fake flowers and mushrooms in the bin.

You might like to create a stream or pond with glass pebbles.

I love how this sensory bin uses a lot of materials from nature. I was able to find many of the items in my yard and our church parking lot.

Last, add your woodland creatures. We used some deer and moose figurines that we already had. You might like to add some rabbits, squirrels, birds, a fox, or other woodland friends.

Some other fun additions you might like to add: wooden trees or wooden mushrooms. You can definitely buy those, but if you are feeling creative, you can make your own!

Woodland Sensory bin for preschoolers including deer, pretend water, green split peas and more.

How to make Wooden Mushrooms

If you’d like to make some fun wooden mushrooms for your woodland sensory bin, all you need is some small wooden drawer pulls and some acrylic paint. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, but Amazon has options as well.

wooden drawer pulls, a paint brush and acrylic paint set
Wooden mushrooms being painted red

I painted each drawer pull red on the top.

Then I waited for it to dry before adding some white dots to the top.

Wooden mushrooms painted red with white dots on top for forest sensory play activity

Super simple and super cute! I love that it adds an element of fun and a splash of color!

And that’s it! Your forest sensory bin is done and you are ready to play!

Premade Woodland Sensory Bin

If you don’t have any of the materials to make a forest themed sensory bin, you might like to explore premade sensory bin options on Etsy.

There are times that it makes a lot of sense to buy a premade bin to save time and sometimes even money.

This first Woodland Sensory bin is by TableFour6 on Etsy. The kit includes 3 cups of dry mix of chick peas, field peas, green split peas, a tree, 2 deer, 4 bunnies, slices of real wood, pine cones, wool balls, acorns and more small parts.

What a fun forest themed sensory kit!

This next Woodland themed sensory kit is by Just Add Imagination Co on Etsy. This amazing sensory play kit includes 4 cups of bean filler base, a wood scoop, tongs, a gnome wooden peg doll, red mushroom girl peg doll, a wooden animal bear, a tree, and many other amazing sensory items.

You can also find adorable painted mushrooms, acorns, and more in this shop!

More Sensory Play Ideas

Looking for more sensory activities?

Kids of all ages will enjoy this adorable pie making sensory activity. Kids can mix the filling, roll the felt dough, and fill the pie pans. It’s so much fun!

There’s some amazing Premade Sensory Bins here. Find awesome fun activities in various themes for sensory exploration.

If you have a dinosaur loving kid, be sure to try out this Dinosaur sensory bin for some prehistoric fun!

Don’t miss this Insect sensory bin! It reuses a lot of the same materials from this forest bin.

Save this idea for later by pinning the image below!

How to make a forest sensory bin for preschoolers! Looking for a fun sensory activity?  This woodland sensory bin is so much fun for little ones and great for fine motor skill development!
How to make tiny wooden mushrooms for sensory play!