Sensory Play

Cranberry Sensory Bin

Here is a lovely seasonal sensory bin. I have done this multiple times and it is always a big hit. I think because those lovely little cranberries float instead of sink. The children always highly enjoy it!

Some tool ideas:

  • nets, tongs, whisk, noodle getter outer (yup thats its name), Handy Helper tool, baster, measuring cup


TIP: Don’t put all your goodies out at one time. As you notice a little wane of enjoyment in your little one switch out a few of the tools and throw out a suggestion or two.

  • Ex: Can you catch 5 cranberries with that net? What does that tool do?

Set up:

  • Fill your bin with a few inches of water
  • Add a bag or two of cranberries (2 bags pictured)
  • Add a few tools and a few containers (casserole dish and pie pan)


You really can’t go wrong on sensory bins. Just throw in a container or two. Then let your littles at it. If you notice their play would benefit from something different do some switching.

My girls liked this set up for a little bit but I had a rule that the pans were no to be picked up. I quickly realized then needed a container they could handle and dump. I added a small bowl and a few little containers I hold craft supplies in. That extended the play a lot!

TIP: Take a moment and watch your child. If they are not playing with the activity the way you intended it isn’t a failure! If they are not playing with the activity at all then YOU need to find a way to spark their interest. For preschool last year we had boats in with our cranberries and it was a HUGE hit! The boats carried the barrier all over for deliveries. Think about what your child is interested in and try to make it work in the activity!


I added a little Holiday Joy Essential Oil to the water and it was added another fun sensory experience to the play! Isn’t it pretty looking! Love those cranberries.

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My 2 year old LOVED wisking the water. Then she put her sweet little hands right in and transferred a lot of berries from container to container. Next she grabbed the scoopers and worked on getting that tricky tool to do what she wanted.

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My 5 year old loved the cooking tools, that I don’t get out as often! She was busy transferring water and pouring cupcake holders into bigger containers. She also loved grabbing the berries with the giant tongs and filling up her Cranberry Pie.

There was A LOT of great skills used in this activity

  • great fine motor strengthening as they used different tools
  •  worked on hand eye coordination while they grabbed and transferred water and berries
  • used their imagination while they made pies and soups
  • worked on their communication skills as we talked about what we felt, smelled and saw, also added some new vocal words

My girls had a lot of fun with their sensory bin and were ready to go play, first thing, the next morning! We highly recommend this lovely and easy sensory bin.




Sometimes you plan a fantastic activity for your sweet little love bag and….life happens. Maybe said little love bug doesn’t feel like participating…or maybe the bug feels like throwing a massive fit instead of enjoying you fun activity!

I made an amateur mistake and put all of the fun tools I thought the girls MIGHT want to use in eye sight of my 2 year old. She then decided she must have ALL the tools right then and there. When I wouldn’t supply her with all the tools she ran to the couch, burrowed into the blanket and proceeded to howl about the unfairness of it all. I rolled my eyes, rubbed her back and told her when she had calmed down she could come back and pick out her 3 FAVORITE tools to use. She continued to throw a fit for a while and then came running over yelling, “Happy, happy, happy!”

It is hard for me not to be angry when I plan a fun engaging activity and the 2 year olds attitude gets in the way a bit. But if I lose my cool the the activity quickly turns into torture. So I sometimes secretly roll my eyes and walk away…and go back to playing. HA!

Good Luck Mamas!


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