Easy Valentines Day Sensory Bin For Toddlers

Easy Valentines Day Sensory Bin For Toddlers

I don’t know about you, but I always feel like Valentine’s Day sneaks up on me! So, if you are like me and waited until last minute to plan your Valentine’s day activities for your toddler classroom, then this sensory bin will be a life saver!

I will be honest, I did not carefully plan out this sensory bin. I threw it together last minute, but it has been one of our favorite sensory activities so far. Is it because it has candy in it? Maybe, but a win is a win in my books!

    Valentines Sensory Play Toddlers

    Materials Needed:

    • Colored Rice (Red)
    • Heart Candies
    • Heart Shapes
    • Spoons
    • Sorting Mat

    How To Dye Rice

    Dying rice is SUPER easy! Just add dry rice, white vinegar and food coloring to a mixer (or shake it in a Ziplock bag). Rule of thumb is about 1 teaspoon of vinegar to 1 cup of rice, but I just eyeball it. You do not want the rice to be wet with vinegar. Instead use just enough to help the food coloring spread.

    Once you have the rice the color you want leave it to dry on a baking pan or paper towels and wait until it ifsfully dry. This usually will only take a couple hours.

    Set Up The Valentines Sensory Bin

    Step 1: Dump your rice, heart candies and heart shapes into your sensory bin. I purchased my candy hearts and shapes at the Dollar Tree and just used whatever I had on hand.

    Step 2: Print and laminate a heart sorting mat. I am using the Heart Sorting activity found in my Valentines Day Week.

    Step 3: Add in extras like spoons, trays, cups, baking pans! Anything to help keep your littles mixing and playing in this sensory bin.

    How to set up a sensory bin with rice


    Want a closer look at this Valentine's Day Sensory Bin? I made a Tik Tok showing step by step of set up to play: 

    @preschoolpackets We are obsessed with this sensory bin for Valentines and it was so easy to make! #sensorybinideas #sensorybins #ikeasensorytable #toddlersensoryplay ♬ Beyond the Sea - Bobby Darin & Richard Wess And His Orchestra

    Time To Play


    Valentines Day Sensory Bin Preschool




    I try to encourage the kids to color sort and count the candy hearts onto the mat, but I don’t force it.

    The main reason they stayed and played for so long was because I let them add so many items from our play kitchen. As you can see the bin quickly went from clean and cute to lots of new items to play with!

    And thats ok! The whole point of a sensory bin is to let them explore. By them adding these items we worked on pouring, scooping, measuring and so much more than I originally hoped for! 


    Toddler Sensory Play


    And before you ask, YES, THEY ATE THE CANDY! I did give them a separate bowl of candy to eat, to try and avoid eating the sensory bin candy. But, if I put candy in front of a toddler then I fully expect them to eat it. Sometimes we have to pick our battles and I think we are happier with a little bit of candy.



    Heart Candy Color Sorting Mat



    If you are wanting to set up a sorting center like I did to help invite play and promote learning, you can find this Valentine's Day printable and tons more in my Valentines Day Activity Week HERE.


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