I had thought of this idea for a neat winter sensory bin for my kids quite a while ago. But in my mind, I knew it would be messy, which is why I think I waited so long to give it a go. But the mess really wasn’t that bad at all… and it was TOTALLY worth it!
It only uses ONE ingredient and was surprisingly easy to clean up! And no, I’m not talking about our snow in a bathtub sensory bin, though that one is also one ingredient and also (not so surprisingly) easy to clean up!
Before I show you, grab your FREE Sensory Bins 101 Guide. This resource is filled with tips and tricks for using sensory bins in your home or classroom, and has some wonderful sensory bin ideas for inspiration as well.
The Easiest One-Ingredient Sensory Bin!
This slippery sledding sensory bin was a blast for my boys and full of learning too!
Back when we first tried this winter sensory bin, my Sam was a bit particular about getting his hands messy. In order for him to really take part in any sensory activities, the activities had to be very engaging. And this one—with the slipping and the sledding and the face-plants from the top of the snow hill? Well, it certainly got his attention!
The neatest thing about this winter sensory bin is that the sleds really do slide down the hill. I have to say, watching those little people in the little sleds slowly slide all the way down the hill was rather amusing …um—for the boys, of course.
How to Make the Sensory Bin
To make this winter sensory bin, you will need:
- cookie sheet
- tin foil
- round glass bowls of different sizes
- plastic and/or metal lids
- little toy people
- …and shaving cream!
Creating this bin was super easy! I began by taking a big cookie sheet and covering it with tin foil.
Next, I found two round glass bowls, one big and one small, and placed them upside down on the cookie sheet.
After that, I covered everything with shaving cream!
For the sleds, we used little round lids—specifically a metal apple sauce lid and a plastic vitamin lid—though I don’t think it really matters which food source your lids come from…
Finally, I gathered up a few little plastic people that looked as though they might like to go sledding.
I chose two lids of different sizes and materials, as well as different sizes of people to give my little ones some things to experiment with.
This was also why I chose two different sized bowls.
I wanted my little ones to have a chance to play with the effect weight, size, and texture have on sliding down big and small hills.
Like most things we do, I didn’t go into too much detail with my boys, explaining the details of their learning. They were very young when we did this activity. I began by letting them simply play. Though, of course, their play was anything but simple—they were experimenting and exploring all on their own.
After a while, I suggested the little people have a race. Sam, 4 years old at the time, of course chose the fastest sled with the heaviest person. He generously offered his 2-year-old brother Ben the slower sled with the lightest person—since that person was Ben’s “favourite.” Right… Oh, my competitive boy.
Throughout their play, they also discovered that the little people would slide down the hill faster if there was already a track to follow. And that they went down the steep hill much faster than the gently sloping one, even though it was much longer.
They also discovered they could make the little people faceplant into the ‘snow’ from the top of the hill. You know, all your typical, important scientific discoveries.
I love that this sensory activity had my Sam diving right into the messy play (with a towel close by, of course). And the clean-up was actually a breeze—we just wiped up any dropped shaving cream with a towel.
Loads of fun, tons of learning, and plenty of faceplants. A good day, I would say!
I hope you give this one a go with your own little ones!