How to Create an Inexpensive Sensory Box

Everyone loves gifting children toys for the holidays but have you noticed that your children will literally play with them all week then all of a sudden, toss them aside?  Well, I think I found a better solution: A Sensory Box. Sensory Boxes are an alternate option and they are open ended and inexpensive to put together,  The themed objects spark creativity and have always kept our children occupied for a longer period of time than conventional toys plus they get played with the most. I was able to create 2 of the sensory bins above for both of our children for less than $15.  So about $7 each.

So how to you create a sensory box?  Here are some steps to help you out.

  1.  Choose a Theme   

Start with a theme.  It can be a holiday such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day or seasonal themed such as summer.  Or maybe ice cream party or ballet themed.

           2.  Choose a Box

There are many options for a box.  You can use this Plastic Shoe Box  or you can use a box with sections such as the GLIS Box from IKEA for under $4 or it can be purchased thru Amazon by clicking: here.

            3.  Choose a Sensory Base

The most popular base used in sensory boxes is Playdough but you can use Floof (this is great for snowman/winter theme), Kinetic Sand, rice, beans, or pasta.  

**If you are looking for a less toxic option to play dough, Eco-Dough is an alternate option.  You can even make home made play dough (there are many recipes found on Pinterest).

           4.  Choose Your Play Pieces

This is where you will need to get creative.  A great place to start is The Dollar Store or Target Dollar Spot.  You may even be able to spot some good finds at Party City.  Some ideas include: plastic cookie cutters, trinkets (rocks, gems, etc.), faux leaves, pom-poms, pipecleaners, and more.  The possibilities of play piece combinations are endless.

           5.  Optional: Choose a Scooping Utensil

If you choose to use a material base such as beans, pasta, or rice, you will want to add a scooping utinsel.  I recommend this Wooden Scooper Set and or this Wooden Spoon Set but you can also add what you already have at home.

Once your child gets into this, I promise you that you will now have some quiet time.