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Make a Simple Sea Shell Sensory Bin

This simple kinetic sand seashell sensory bin makes a wonderful sensory play experience. It’s also great for exploring different shapes and textures.

This simple kinetic sand seashell sensory bin makes a wonderful sensory play experience. It's also great for exploring different shapes and textures. #vbcforkids #sensoryplay #summeractivitiesforkids #summerfun #sensorybin #seashells #kineticsand

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Summer is nearly here, and it’s the perfect time of year for a sea shell themed sensory bin! We created this simple sensory bin using kinetic sand. It pairs perfectly with this week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids pick, The Pout-Pout Fish.

How to Make a Simple Sea Shell Sensory Bin

Sea shell sensory bin

Kinetic sand is my favorite kind of play sand for kids. This regular sand is coated with silicone, giving it the stick to itself properties of wet sand without the stick to your skin properties of wet sand. I’m afraid this is a kind of sand where buying the brand name is worth the extra money, at least in my experience. The silicone coating also means that it’s not something you can truly imitate at home. I have tried some of the DIY recipes, and none of them come anywhere close to the real thing.

Thankfully, you don’t need a lot of this pricey sand to have a good time. We always keep our sand in a plastic Tupperware. We’ve had the same sand for four years now, and we’ve lost very little of it because it sticks to itself (and my kids are not sand throwers). We swap out all sorts of materials to play with it.

summer learning fun for kids - sea shell sensory bin

For this activity, I brought out our bin of sea shells. We have some very pretty ones gathered from a real beach years ago, but you can buy them pretty inexpensively. My kids enjoyed pressing shells in to form pretty patterns. Then they used the designs as a puzzle of sorts, figuring out which shell went where. This is a great way to develop stronger spatial reasoning skills, while also exploring shapes and textures.

Explore shapes and textures with a simple sea shell sensory bin

This weekend was our first time combining kinetic sand and sea shells. There are plenty of other fun ways to combine the two. Use the edges of the shells to make different designs in the sand, use clam shells as measuring cups, or build a house using the shells. The possibilities are endless!

More Ocean Themed Learning Activities for Kids

Today is the last day of this school year’s Virtual Book Club for Kids! Here are more fun beach themed activities to enjoy.

Visit my 2017-18 Virtual Book Club Page to see all of the books and activities we enjoyed this year. If you’re looking to create a preschool or early elementary homeschool curriculum, this is an amazing place to start.

What are your favorite ocean themed learning activities for kids? Have you ever made a sea shell sensory bin? Share your ideas on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

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