valentine’s sensory bin


I did it. After nearly a year of longingly pouring over blogs and tutorials on dyeing rice and making super cute sensory bins for kids, I really did it. I feel like I have to pinch myself. If you follow me on pinterest, you’ll see that I pin these ideas like crazy. I have been wanting to do this for oh-so-long. But I’ve been intimidated.



Why I was intimidated, I don’t know. I used to be a high school art teacher for goodness sake. But still, sometimes, stepping out of my comfort zone intimidates me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this journey is to allow myself to feel afraid, but to do it anyway.



So away I went. I dyed the rice. I bought some red and pink doodads and noonads at the craft store. And the result was threefold:

a) It wasn’t as hard or intimidating as I thought it would be

b) He loved it

c) Watching him play made it all worth it.

That’s one of the greatest lessons I’m getting from parenting. Allowing my comfort zone to be pushed. I go out on a limb and then I receive million times my return of joy in watching the little one experience life.



I don’t usually do DIY posts here. But since this blog is always evolving, I figured, that if I’m ever going to post here, I’ve gotta just post what my life is. And these days, this is what I’m up to. So here goes…

You’ll need:

Big clear bin (I used a Sterlite bin that is 23 x 16 1/4 x 6 that I found at target)

Toddler height table (ours is from Ikea)


Food coloring and/or watercolors in red and pink

Ziploc bags


Small toys and pebbles or stones

Scoops and buckets ( I got these red ones at a local party store)


  1. Fill a ziploc bag with a huge squeeze of food coloring or liquid watercolor, add 1T of vinegar, then approx 4-6 cups of rice. *
  2. Shake.Shake. Shake till the rice is coated.
  3. Lay the rice flat in a thin layer on cardboard or paper in the sun to dry. I cut up paper grocery bags for this.
  4. Once it’s dry, store in a ziploc bag
  5. Lay out the rice in three stripes of color.
  6. Arrange the toys on top of rice.
  7. Provide scoops and buckets

*To make the light pink I had to create a waterey pink with water color and white gouache paint. The food coloring one didn’t work. So I mixed tube watercolor of red with white gouache paint and added water then did the same process as with the food coloring to dye the rice

Arrange all in your bin and create this fun sensory invitation to play.


After he had fun scooping and pouring, we played hide & seek with the little ducks and stones. He would close his eyes and I’d hide a few of each and then he had to find them under the rice. Fun!

Like everything with this little one, I think I learned more than he did.

Many thanks to Anna at The Imagination Tree and Jen at Mama Papa Bubba for your awesome inspiration on your blogs.


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