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Sensory bins are more than a fun way to stimulate your child’s senses, they are also great ways to work on a variety of language concepts! 

What is a Sensory Bin?
A sensory bin is a large container that has a filler and a variety of objects inside designed to stimulate the senses. It’s a hands on activity in which children can dig, scoop, and feel. Some of my favorite fillers to use in a sensory bin are sand, rice, or beans. Then, I add various objects like bouncy balls, small toy animals, or little figurines. Give your child some tools like tongs, measuring cups, or funnels. Also encourage them to use their hands to explore the different textures! 

Pre-K Pages has a wonderful post on sensory bins here:

Now that you know what a sensory bin is, here are 5 ways to use one to work on speech and language! 

1. Describing Words
Play in the bin with your child and model different words to describe the look and feel of the contents! Words like smooth, bumpy, slimy, rough, big, and small will likely come up. By providing your child with a hands-on way to experience what these words mean, he or she is more likely to add them to their vocabulary! 

2. Spatial Concepts
Talk about the objects going in and out of the container, while showing what those words mean. When a child’s senses are stimulated, he or she will be more interested and focused on the activity and the concepts being taught. 

3. Combining Words
Take turns using simple phrases with your child to describe what you are doing while interacting with the objects. For example, “I see _____” or “I feel _____”. Children will typically imitate more when they hear you say these phrases yourself as you play! 

4.  Answering WH Questions
Have conversations with older children about what objects are inside, where they are, why they feel a certain way, or who found the most things! 

5. Verbs
Sensory bins heighten the senses, and there are so many action words you can encourage your child to use while playing! Talk about what you feel, see, find, and hide.  

Enjoy this hands on activity that your child will surely love and learn from!

Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family