christmas-sensory-binPlay is a child’s work. We all know that this is true, but sometimes we feel like we need to add ‘educational’ activities, even with toddlers and preschoolers. Thankfully, open-ended educational play can be fun and easy to set up. Adding books is a great way to incorporate literacy into play time.

Sensory play provides an opportunity for young children to explore ideas such as volume, gravity, and measurement. This fun activity is actually laying the framework in the brain for the mathematical concepts taught later.

Grinch Sensory Bin

Creating a Grinch sensory bin is easy.

First, You Need a Bin.

I like to use large food storage containers because they have lids and are stackable. Containers from the Dollar store are perfect for this activity.

Next, You Need Rice.

Dying rice is really easy and does not require much hands on time. I dyed all of the rice for this bin in less than 10 minutes. Simply add 1 cup of dry rice, a big squirt of food coloring, and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to a lidded container. Shake until the color is evenly distributed. Now, dump the colored rice on to a paper towel to dry. It takes 12-18 hours to dry.

To create a Grinch sensory bin, use green and red food coloring. I used 3 cups of green rice, 2 cups of red rice, and 2 cups of white rice.

Add a Few Sensory Props

Try to add items with a variety of textures. In this Grinch sensory bin I added:

  • A bumpy plastic candy cane
  • 3 plastic heart cookie cutters (the Grinch’s small heart grew 3x its size)
  • 2 sparkly jingle bell ornaments – These bells make a joyful noise, but are enclosed inside of a sparkly spring, so the choking risk is reduced.
  • A small plastic Christmas tree
  • 2 scoops of varying sizes
  • A small wooden dog bone (a nod to Max, the dog in the story)

We don’t want to add to many items to one small bin because it can limit the amount of space to play.

Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This classic Dr. Seuss book compliments this sensory bin perfectly. You can read it before sensory play or even while your children are playing. Often times, children who won’t sit still for a story will happily listen if they have something quiet to do with their hands.

A Grinch themed sensory bin would be a fun Advent activity for young children. When my children were small I created an Advent calendar to help us count the days until Christmas. I fill each pocket with a fun family friendly Advent activity.

Another educational prop to add to preschool sensory bins are letters and simple sight words. My kindergarten rice table always contained our weekly sight words and alphabet magnets. Join my mailing list to receive a free checklist of all dolch sight words and a completion certificate.

Jennifer is a former public school kindergarten teacher, turned homeschool mom. She has been teaching her two children for the past 7 years. She offers fun educational activities and homeschool organization strategies at Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.