This bear sensory bin is perfect as part of your winter activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids! You can also include it in your next bear unit or hibernation theme. You might even consider pairing it with a bear-themed book. Of course, you can just set it up because it’s just plain fun!
The bear sensory play gives young children the chance to explore with multiple senses. And a bin like this one allows kids to practice their language skills along the way! It’s very simple to assemble the snowy sensory bin AND you can easily make tweaks as needed.
This bin is a small one, which is perfect if you like putting together individual sensory bins. If you want it to be available to more kids at once, you can grab some extra of each material and place everything in a larger tub, bin, or tray!
Bear Sensory Bin
Below, I’ve got materials and directions ready for you! But I want to reiterate that you don’t have to do everything the exact same way. Swap out the materials, add more sensory tools, etc. Whatever works best for you and your students!
Materials for the Bear-Themed Winter Sensory Play
Here are the supplies used for this bear sensory bin (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Small bin
- Bear toys
- Instant snow powder
- Plastic and foam snowflakes
- Fake trees
- Wooden pieces
- Plastic scoop
- Plastic cup
If you’re not a fan of instant snow powders, you can always use real snow! Or learn how to make fake snow with flour and use that instead. Or incorporate your favorite version of pretend snow! Once you have all of your supplies gathered, it’s time to move on to putting the bin together!
Assembling the Bear Sensory Bin
This sensory tub is pretty easy to put together. You can get everything set up on your own, or invite the children to help create the bear sensory fun!
Start off by making the pretend snow. If you’re using a form of instant snow, follow the directions that come with it. We used a cup of water and 4 scoops of powder for the bin pictured here. If you’re making your own pretend snow, now’s the time to do so. And if you’d rather use the real stuff, go out and gather some clean snow.
Once you have some kind of snowy material ready, place it into the bin, table, or tray of your choice. Spread the snow out a bit to get it as even as possible.
After that, it’s time to pop in the supporting actors. Place the fake trees in the snow to create a winter forest. Then add wooden pieces and snowflakes as you and the kids see fit. Toss in some sparkly pompoms, too.
Related: Snow Paint Sensory Bin
Next come the stars of the bear sensory bin . . . the bears! Add the bear toys you chose for this sensory experience. You want to ensure they’re waterproof if using instant snow or real snow!
Finally, top things off with some sensory tools. We just added a scoop and a cup since there are already so many other items in the bin. But if your students are interested in something else, then feel free to add more!
Playing and Learning with the Winter Sensory Bin
Now that the bear sensory bin is ready to go, it’s time for the kids to dive in! If they’re helping to set things up, I bet they jumped in right away. Otherwise, call some of the children over and let them explore the bin.
Related: Arctic Sensory Bin
One of the great things about sensory bins is that they’re open-ended. This means the children get to decide how they’re playing. There are no set ways the kids “have” to use the materials. Of course, there are some rules – those basic expectations you’ve established for sensory play (keep the materials in/near the bin, no eating the items, clean up after yourself, etc.).
Other than those guidelines, the children can play as they see fit. This means you’ll see your students playing with the bear sensory tub in so many ways! Here are a few possibilities:
- Scooping and pouring the snow
- Running their hands through the snow
- Using the bears to act out a story
- Measuring the snow
- Counting the trees and sticks
- Making patterns
- Filling cups up with snow and toys
- Transferring items between scoops and cups
- Taking everything out of the bin and resetting it
Of course, your students might do something completely different and that’s perfectly fine! I love sitting back and watching how children interact with sensory invitations, what about you? Would your students enjoy this bear sensory bin?
More Bear Activities
Here are more bear-themed ideas to try with the kids:
- Bear Patterns for Preschool
- Winter Dramatic Play Bear Cave
- Brown Bear Sensory Bottle
- Feed the Bear Alphabet Activity
- Make a Stuffed Bear Craft
I think they’d go along with the bear sensory bin really well, what do you think? Don’t forget to save this post for future reference. Check out my Bear Theme Pinterest board for even more ideas.
Bear-Themed Lesson Plans
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Click the images below to get the lesson plans perfect for kids interested in bears:
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