3 Garden-Themed Sensory Bins for Spring

3 Garden-Themed Sensory Bins for Spring

Spring has officially sprung, and we are here for it in my classroom! Is there anything that screams Spring more than a freshly planted garden? On the blog today, I am sharing 3 Garden-themed sensory bins you can set up for your little ones this Spring. 

pinterest preschool garden sensory bins

Plant a Garden Sensory Bin

The first sensory bin we are talking about is called Plant a Garden and I am sure you can guess what students will be doing :). My littles loved getting down and dirty in the soil like a real-life gardener, but I also have ideas for less messy options.

Setting Up a Garden Sensory Bin

preschool garden sensory bin

First choose a spot to set up, since this can get messy I would recommend heading outside if possible. Then gather your materials:

  • Dirt- you can use soil like me or other less messy ideas like black beans or brown rice
  • Seeds- depending on how many of these you are setting up you may want to use real seeds or a less expensive lookalike option like lentils (my favorite)
  • Gardening tools- watering cans, gloves, shovels etc. 
  • Small plant pots or buckets for their individual gardens

Next, print and laminate real-world gardening pictures to use as visuals for the littles as they play, these are available in my Garden Week Lesson Plans

Creating Gardens

We took turns choosing “Plant a Garden” cards and practiced identifying the numbers on the cards to count how many of each thing we needed for our garden. Once we had done a couple together, the littles were able to do this on their own. 

garden sensory bin preschool

They had so much fun making their own little gardens! I would recommend using water, even though it is messier because they had a blast with it. Not only was it fun, but picking up the small seeds and scooping soil was great for their fine motor skills. 

preschool garden planting

You can see my set up on TikTok too! 

@preschoolpackets Spring is finally here! Time to set up a garden sensoru bin for those toddlers! #sensorybinideas #ikeasensorytable #springsensoryplay ♬ Peaches - Jack Black

Build a Fairy Garden 

The next sensory activity was the Build-a-Fairy Garden station. Most preschoolers I know love the idea of little fairies flying around, so this was quite the hit. 

fairy garden preschool

Setting Up the Build-a-Fairy Garden 

The setup for this activity is very similar to the previous one, in fact, you can easily reuse the soil sensory bin you already have made up.

fairy garden preschool

Then I pulled out my sorting tray (have you noticed this guy gets a mention in almost every blog post?) and filled it with my fairy garden houses (you can find these at Dollar Tree or Amazon easily), rocks, flowers, toy bugs, and frogs. 

Build-a-Fairy Garden Play

There are two ways you can use this sensory bin- open-ended play or prompt with the counting cards. 

fairy garden preschool

My little ones loved creating their little worlds, naming their fairies, and making up stories about them. I am pretty sure they would have happily done this all afternoon too. 

fairy garden preschool

If you want to structure it a bit more and also work on number skills, the task cards (found in the Garden Week plans) are great for that! 

You can see this one in action on TIkTok too! 

@preschoolpackets Would your littles want to build a fairy gardeb? #sortingtray #homedaycare #toddleractivities ♬ Fantasy ・ fairy tale ・ celtic music of fairy - MIZUSATO Masaki

Fence Shapes 

Don’t throw out that soil sensory bin yet, I have one more idea for you. This one is hands-on shape practice for our little learners- garden style! 

garden sensory bin shapes

Setting Up Fence Shapes

Just like in the previous two activities, pull out the soil bin and get ready for some messy play. For this one, I also threw in some play carrots leftover from Easter and a few other gardening tools. 

preschool shapes garden

Then I printed and laminated the different Build-a-Fence shape cards. You can pick and choose which shape cards to use based on your class's needs. Then the most important part, the popsicle sticks! 

Building Shape Fences

Using the cards as models, littles counted the sides and recreated the fences around their gardens. This activity was a fun hands-on way to review both counting and shapes! 

shapes sensory bin

If you are looking for more sensory bin ideas, make sure to join our e-mail list (at the bottom of this page) where I send out tips and activities every Tuesday. 

And if you are planning your garden unit, make sure you check out my Garden Week lesson plans in my TPT shop. Each weekly unit has 5 days' worth of book recommendations, hands-on activities, crafts, and more! 

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