Sun Sensory Bin for Kids - Taming Little Monsters (2024)

Categories Sensory Activities, Summer

Explore a variety of different textures in this Sun Sensory Bin for kids. Toddlers and preschoolers will have so much fun playing with the different materials inside this summer themed sensory activity.

If you want to make your Summer themed lessons a breeze, then check out the Summer Activity Pack. It’s filled with math and literacy centers, fine motor activities and arts and crafts templates. All of which are aligned with preschool learning standards. Check it out today.

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Disclosure: Adult supervision is required for all activities at all times. Some of the links provided in this blog are affiliate links. I will be paid a commission if you use this link to make a purchase.

More Summer Themed Sensory Activities to try

My kids have always loved sensory activities, ever since they were babies. If you want to give more sensory activities a try this summer, check out these fun summer themed sensory activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

  1. Ocean Small World and Sensory Bin
  2. Ice Cream Sensory Bag
  3. Ice Cream Sensory Bin
  4. Mini Ice Aquariums
  5. Moana Sensory Bin

For more ideas, take a look at these 25 Summer sensory activities.

Materials Needed

  1. A large tray or tub
  2. Sky blue paper
  3. Yellow Rainbow Rice
  4. Small bowl
  5. Yellow and orange craft sticks
  6. Yellow and orange loose parts (e.g. buttons, beads, pom poms, pipe cleaners and feathers)
  7. Hot glue and a hot glue gun
  8. Sensory bin tools (e.g. cup, spoons, bowls etc.)

How to make a Sun Sensory Bin

Make the Suns Center

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1. Line a large tray with light blue paper.

This is completely optional, but it did add a nice visual contrast to the yellow and orange elements in the sensory bin.

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2. Place your yellow rainbow rice in a small circular bowl, in the center of the tray.

If you don’t know how to make rainbow rice, check out this taste-safe rainbow rice recipe. It’s so easy to make and makes a fantastic filler for sensory bins.

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3. Glue some small items onto your craft sticks.

I used my hot glue gun to stick buttons, beans and pom poms to my craft sticks, since I wanted the craft sticks to contain different objects that had a variety of textures.

I also wanted to glue these small items down, instead of having them loose, because it would make this sensory bin suitable for babies. The babies can still explore the small items, but you don’t have to worry about your children choking on them. (Please remember adult supervision is required at all times.)

So you can use this idea with whatever small objects that you already have at home. You can also try other ideas for your sensory sun rays, things to try include:

  1. Furry materials
  2. Sequins or glitter glue.
  3. Sand
  4. Jingle bells
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4. Arrange the craft sticks around the circumference of the sun center.

Since my tray was rectangular, some of the rays were too long to fit in the sides of my sun. This is where I placed the shorter items, such as the feathers and the pipe cleaners.

Another option is to place the circle of your sun in one corner, and then have rays going out from that corner. This would only cover a 90 degree angle instead of the entire 360.

5. Enjoy playing.

Different ways to play

Scoop and Pour

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Scoop up the rainbow rice using cups or spoons, then pour it into a bowl or back into the tray. Listen to how the sound of the falling rainbow rice changes as it gets poured into different sized containers or from different heights.

Making Shapes

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Use the craft sticks to make basic 2D shapes. You can make any number of shapes or even try making a picture out of the sun’s rays.

Making Patterns

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Use the different colored craft sticks to make a pattern. You can practice both AB or AAB color patterns, depending on what your young children are capable of.

Writing Tray

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Pour the bowl of rainbow rice into the tray and draw in it. This is one reason why I love having the sky blue paper to line the bottom of the tray. It makes drawing in the rice really obvious because the color shows through.

You can practice letter formation, drawing shapes or just play around with how the rice moves around your fingers.


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Excavating is something my son came up with while we were playing. He would hide the craft sticks underneath the rainbow rice, then use a paintbrush to dig them up “like dinosaur fossils”.

This is a great example of how kids can take simple materials, and use them in new and imaginative ways.

What you’re learning


Experience the different textures inside this sensory. The rainbow rice, pom poms, feathers and buttons will all have a different feel to them.

This sensory input is a great way to engage kids in learning, or as part of a sensory integration exercise for children with special needs.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills refer to the small muscles in the hand and fingers. Developing these skills are important in being able to write when the kids go to school, as well as being able to complete tasks independently. (For example, dressing and feeding themselves)

Picking up the craft sticks, scooping and pouring the rainbow rice are all going to help young kids develop:

  1. Pincer grip
  2. Palmar grasp
  3. Hand-eye coordination
  4. Hand strength
  5. Dexterity.


Math – As previously mentioned, you kids can learn all about colors, shapes and making patterns, which are all early math concepts.

When your kids are pouring and scooping the rainbow rice, they are also doing some informal measuring. For example, they will learn that it takes 2 small cups filled with rice to fill up the large bowl.

There are so many different ways to count with this fun sensory activity. Count how many craft sticks you have, how many buttons are on a craft stick or how many spoonfuls of rainbow rice it takes to fill up the cup.

Technology – Cups and spoons are also an example of technology, we use them to hold and transfer liquids. If you have a measuring cup available for your kids to play with, the kind with the numbers written on the side, this is even better. Because it shows your kids how we use this cup to measure a precise volume.

Science – Talk to your kids about the sun and any interesting science facts you know about it. You can discus things like:

  1. What is the sun?
  2. Why is the sun important for our planet?
  3. Where does it go at night?
  4. Where is the sun in relation to the other planets?

Sun Safety

Playing with this sun sensory activity is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about sun safety. Discuss sunscreen, hats and the other things we do to make sure that we are protected from the sun’s rays.

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Summer Activity Pack

Get over 80+ pages of Summer themed play based learning activities and craft templates. Perfect for preschool and kindergarten.

Are you going to make this Sun Sensory Bin for your kids?
Don’t forget to pin the idea for later.

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More Play Based Learning for Kids

60 Summer Activities for Kids

60 Sensory Activities for Kids

Sun Sensory Bin for Kids - Taming Little Monsters (2024)
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