Looking for an amazing sensory play idea? Try this Space Sensory Bin for Preschoolers!
This easy space sensory play idea is great for teaching little ones about astronauts, outer space, and rockets. It’s the perfect addition to your space themed preschool lesson plans!
My kids loved this space themed sensory bin. They enjoyed scooping the dried beans, exploring with the astronaut, and plenty of creativity and imaginative play.
If you are seeing sensory play for the first time you might like to know….
What is a Sensory Bin?
A sensory bin is a box, table or container that is filled with sensory items that promote curiosity and imaginative play, and activate the senses.
Most sensory kits have a theme like winter, construction, farm, etc. You can also create your own theme based on your child’s interests.
Sensory bins have a main filler that covers the base of the sensory trays for kids to scoop or pour. These sensory bin fillers could be dry beans, water, dry corn, sand, uncooked pasta, cereal, or rice. Of course, you can use other things too….just activate that creativity!
Looking for more inspiration: you can find plenty of ideas for creating easy sensory bins for your child here.
Benefits of Sensory Play
According to Good Start Learning, sensory play awesome for preschoolers because:
- It helps with the development of fine motor skills.
- Helps kids with language development and build communication skills.
- It builds brain connections and improves cognitive abilities.
- Promotes problem solving skills.
- Helps kids destress and regulate.
As you can see, there’s a lot of great reasons to do sensory play. And of course, sensory activities are lots of fun too!
Sensory bins can provide hours of imaginative play and open-ended exploration for children.
Supplies to make a Space Sensory Bin
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You will need the following items to make this Outer Space Sensory Bin:
- Sensory bin or box – I like to use a large under the bed storage plastic container
- Dry Lima beans
- Rocks – We grabbed some from our driveway – Wow, instant space rocks!
- Wooden Rocket – We found our rocket, perfect for this space theme, from Just Add Imagination Co. on Etsy.
- Wooden Astronaut from Just Add Imagination Co. on Etsy.
- Foam Stars – Mine are stickers (without the back taken off) from Hobby Lobby. Alternately, you could peel the back off and let the sticky backside dry. You can find some Star Foam Stickers on Amazon here.
- Tongs for Kids – We used the Learning Resources Tongs for Kids
- Buttons – We got our colorful buttons from Walmart
- Scoop – We used a colorful kitchen Measuring Cup
How to make a Outer Space Sensory Bin
Let’s get starting making our space sensory play idea!
First, take your sensory bin and fill the base with large dry lima beans. We used lima beans because they have a fun texture. They are just a bit bigger than most beans making them extra fun and unique!
Alternately, you could use dry black beans or pinto beans. I’m a big fan of using what you already have for sensory play!
Then, I added a few foam stars. We found our foam stickers locally at Hobby Lobby. I didn’t remove the backing to keep it from being sticky. You could definitely pull of the backing and let it dry out before adding it to your sensory bin.
Next add a pile of rocks. We just used a few rocks from our driveway. I like to use rocks with different textures to add to the sensory experience.
Then I included a few colorful buttons. It’s neat to add different sizes and textures to add to the fun of this sensory activity. My thought was that kids might like to use these as planets, the sun, asteroids, the moon, etc. Of course, they are always fun to hide in the beans as well.
Last, I added some fun wooden toys from Just Add Imagination Co. on Etsy. I bought a fun wooden rocket and a cute little wooden peg astronaut.
My little ones enjoyed tons of imaginative play. They loved putting the astronaut in the rocket, scooping the beans, arranging the stars and buttons and more.
The astronaut was quite busy on this space mission making discoveries. My kids also enjoyed plenty of star collecting and hiding.
More Ideas for Space Exploration Fun
This space exploration sensory bin was a huge hit! I love that it can easily be changed to make it a little different and new.
You can add different kinds of beans (like black beans or a mix of fun colored beans), kinetic sand, or moon sand. You might like to add some more toys for your intergalactic mission like a fun squishy alien, a space rover, or space vehicles.
To add to the learning fun of your space theme, I recommend this solar system puzzle by Melissa and Doug. It’s perfect for teaching your little explorer about the planets. Plus, the large floor size makes it a super fun space puzzle!
If you are looking for a good book for little ones, be sure to check out My First Book of Planets. It’s full of great basic information about space and the solar system.
More Sensory Activities for Kids
Looking for more sensory play ideas? Here’s some of our favorite hands-on play ideas that inspire imaginative play!
My kids love this Construction Sensory Bin. Little ones can build, scoop, dig, and pour on the mini construction site!
Don’t miss this Car Wash Sensory bin! It’s absolutely the easiest sensory play idea ever! It’s perfect for toddlers and older kids as well.
Have an animal lover? There’s an adorable Farm Sensory Bin here that is sure to engage your child. It’s full of small toys to entertain younger kids with some fun on the farm.
There’s a Hot Chocolate Sensory Bin here. My kids always love creating and serving up hot cocoa topped with marshmallow pom poms. It’s definitely a favorite around here!
Lastly, if you have little one who loves fairies, check out this Fairy Sensory Bin. Little ones will love this small world filled with magical wonder. It’s so much fun!
Want to save this space sensory play idea for later? Pin the image below to your preschool activities board on Pinterest.