Simple Water Sensory Bin for Toddlers

baby playing with sensory bin

Sensory bins are a perfect way for toddlers to learn and explore their interests in the world. This Simple Water Sensory Bin is the ultimate summer sensory bin, because your toddler can get as wet as he wants in the hot weather! 

Simple Water Sensory Bin for Toddlers

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Camden is just starting to be old enough to make sensory bins for playtime with him. I like the idea of sensory bins because they keep him entertained in a (sort-of) contained way, and they encourage his learning. Learning through play is so important, and I’m enjoying sensory bins as a way to cultivate that.

This Simple Water Sensory Bin is perfect for the (finally) warmer weather. We can take it outside to play and enjoy, and the mess doesn’t matter.

If you want to play with a Water Sensory Bin inside, just have your toddler play with it in the bathtub. That way, whatever spills out stays in the bathtub and you don’t have any cleanup. Plus, when you’re done, you can just pour the water down the drain and you’re done!

This Water Sensory Bin is part of our summer bucket list, and Camden loved it so much that he keeps asking to play with it every day! 


What IS a Sensory Bin, Anyway?

A sensory bin is just a bin or tub of items that all focus on one specific theme. They can be themed by bin filler, such as water, sand or foam. Or they can be themed by the items inside of them, like dry textures, wet textures, or things that scoop and pour! 

Sensory bins are great ways for your toddler to explore different materials and textures, and they’re a great learning experience. Plus, they’re usually relatively easy to set up, store and take apart. And they often are filled with normal items that you can find around your house! 


water sensory bin items to use

Putting Together a Simple Water Sensory Bin

Find a tub (such as a Rubbermaid clear plastic container) and fill it 2/3 of the way with water.

Then add things that your toddler can use to pour, scoop, splash and swirl the water with.

Some of the things I included were:

  • a measuring cup
  • a measuring spoon
  • a large kitchen spoon
  • gears
  • plastic eggs
  • small ball
  • cup
  • bowl
  • toy traffic cone
  • toy traffic barrier
  • baby spoon
  • toy gear

If you want, you can color the water to make it even more fun. But I’d make sure your kiddo is playing in just a diaper or even naked in the tub, because food coloring could stain clothes! You can use bath water coloring tabs, too!

baby playing with sensory bin

How To Use the Sensory Bin

We took our bin outside to use, so that Camden could splash and make a mess and it wouldn’t matter.

I also brought out a metal cookie sheet too, so he could use it as a splash pan.  Or, as you can see in the picture below, he could use it as a drinking pan. Haha!

Then I just sat back and watched him explore! His favorite things this time were anything he could scoop and pour water out of. He spent most of his time pouring water all over the porch, off the side of the porch, on me (I wasn’t paying close enough attention, haha!), and anywhere else he could think of to pour it.

baby playing with splash pan

The BEST Thing About Sensory Bins

To me, the best thing about sensory bins is that your child will play and learn new things every time they use it, even if you’ve changed nothing. Last time Camden loved all of the items that scooped and poured. But next time, he might love playing with all the things that stir, sink or float!

Sensory bins are fabulous because they provide your child with a chance to choose what interests them. They are great for child centered learning activities! 


Changing Up Your Bin

This is such an easy sensory bin to make, and it’s just as easy to change up.

Whatever items you put in it, just put different ones in the next time! You can even let your toddler go through some of the kitchen drawers and choose items to put in the bin!

Nature is another place to find items to put in the bin. Sticks are great for stirring and splashing the water, and rocks of different sizes are fun as well.



playing with water sensory bin

Have you made your toddler a sensory bin before? What are your favorite sensory bin themes? Is there one you’d like to see me create for you?

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  1. hnourished

    Such a great idea!! I feel like we are already out of things to do, so I will definitely by trying this. Thanks so much!

  2. D. Allyson Howlett

    My son LOVES water, so this seems like he would spend hours at just dipping his fingers in and getting all splashy. Super fun idea for toddlers, thanks for the idea! I don’t know why I never think of these things on my own.

  3. tamracater

    Great idea

  4. Mallie Miller

    Love a good sensory bin! I often lean to using more squishy objects for my little nieces and nephews like sponges, a bit of slime thrown in there, spiky rubber ball, etc. Perfect for summer !

  5. FitFamilyLifeBlog

    Sensory bins are my jam! When he’s a little older order Water beads they are so so so cool and a endless play hit here!

  6. Hillary

    I love these ideas! My little one is almost at the age where he would love an activity like this. Can’t wait to try the bin!

  7. Lorena |

    Sensory bins are the best, especially when water is included!

  8. locd2gether

    I need to do something like this for my toddler. My baby boy is a bit older, but loves water!

  9. Annie Moore

    I love the idea to play with it in the bathtub. We are going to try that! We practiced pouring today and she loved it. I know she will love this!

  10. locd2gether

    I just need to switch out a few pieces because my toddler is a bit older, but this is perfect for my little one. He loves water play.

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