Corn and Straw Sensory Bin

Do your kids have a room full of toys that never get played with? Me too.

I try to toss, donate, and pack up for the attic on a regular basis but we somehow still wind up with SO.MUCH.STUFF. There’s birthdays, Christmas, Easter, party favors from friend’s birthday parties, cheap prizes for rewards, random gifts from the grandparents…the list goes on. Many times, the clutter can be overwhelming and things are often forgotten.

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My girls have always loved their Melissa and Doug barn and farm animals but it sometimes sits there and collects dust for a few weeks until they remember they have it. This is when I like to pull toys like this out every now and then and set it up in a way that is inviting or to grab their attention.

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One way that grabs their attention, and sometimes provides a lot more play time than the initial toy, is to create a sensory bin for play. I created this little “small world” tray filled with corn and straw and brought those farm animals back out for my two-year old.

It was a hit! She loved using her imagination and playing with the animals in this way. It was fun to see her bring back life to a favorite, but forgotten, toy.

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My five-year old even joined in and took it a step further with bins of acorns for food troughs! I think some princesses even made it’s way into the corn bin!

*Update: One year later, and my two girls both ask for this corn bin often! 

What invitations do you use to engage your little ones? Do you have any ways that you manage the clutter and excess??

Looking for more Sensory Play ideas? Check out our Milk Carton Bunny Habitat and Invitation to Play: Flower Station