The Best Sensory Boxes For Kids On The Autism Spectrum
Posted April 11, 2022 by Shannon Ratliff
For children on the autism spectrum, sensory play is shown to be a valuable method for kids to discover, examine, and understand the world in their own way. The Cratejoy Marketplace includes several educational monthly subscription boxes that are tailor-made for children on the autism spectrum.
Christina Kozlowski, occupational therapist and founder of Sensory TheraPLAY Box, says she uses sensory toys and tools with the children she works with and frequently recommends them to parents. The items inside Sensory TheraPLAY Box can be calming, help children self-regulate or manage anxiety, she says. Hand fidgets and textured toys to squeeze and manipulate can help children focus and provide needed sensory stimulation.
How To Make A Sensory Box
In this post, learn how to make an individualized Sensory Box to help your child support their sensory needs throughout remote learning, hybrid school, virtual classes, or in-person school.
Using sensory boxes gives kids the natural break they need as they work through their school day. They can easily and quickly become a calming diversion that is safe, clean, and fun!
Subscription Box For Earlyvention
From $39.95 The Subscription Box for EarlyVention is designed especially for children with autism and different abilities. Each box comes right to your doorstep. It includes activities which are hands on, stress free, and most importantly, based on evidence-based approaches to helping a child with autism learn to interact and communicate. The subscription box can be tailored to your wants and needs. For $39.95 per month, youll receive a themed sensory box. For $80.59, you will receive the full activity box, which includes the sensory box plus six additional activities. You can even add on interactive story activities for an additional $22.00.
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Box For Sensory Theraplay
$39.95 / month Children on the Autism Spectrum thrive with sensory play. Not only are sensory-based activities fun, but they can be extremely beneficial. The Box for Sensory TheraPlay is a monthly box that has been carefully curated by a pediatric occupational therapist. Each box contains 5-6 sensory items chosen to stimulate the senses and to help develop important sensory motor skills.
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Heres What Children Can Learn From Sensory Bins:
- Practical Life Skills ~ Sensory bins let a child explore, discover and create play using practical life skills and learn valuable play skills.
- Play Skills ~ Great for both social play and independent play, sensory bins allow children to play cooperatively or side by side. My son has had many positive experiences over a bin of rice with other children!
- Language Development ~ Sensory bins increase language development from experiencing with their hands all there is to see and do which leads to great conversations and opportunities to model language.
- Understanding 5 Senses ~ Many sensory play bins include a few of the senses! Touch, sight, sounds, taste and smell are the 5 senses. Children can experience several at a time with a sensory bin. Imagine a bin of brightly colored rainbow rice: touch the loose grains against the skin, see the vivid colors as they mix together, hear the sound of sprinkling over a plastic container or shaken in a plastic egg! Did you add a scent like vanilla or lavender? Please do not taste uncooked rice, but there are plenty of sensory play options that you use edible ingredients like our pigs in mud pudding play.
Sensory Play Messy Bin
$40 per month Each month, Messy Play produces a fresh Sensory Bin to distribute to subscribers. The bins have themes, and a few examples of previous themes are as follows:
- excavation of dinosaurs
- Insects and Butterflies
The bins are made for kids aged three and older, and everything within is non-toxic and machine-washable. Additionally, each sensory container is reusable, allowing kids endless playtime.
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Sensory Activities For Kids With Autism
Sensory activities for kids with autism are important to help regulate the sensory system. Sensory activities for autism include fine motor and gross motor activities.They are also fun and can promote increase learning, communication and interaction. Read about the 21 benefits of sensory play for autism in this post. For the best autism activities for parents, teachers and therapists, get my autism activities workbook bundle.
How To Make Sensory Bins At Home
Sensory bins are growing in popularityand for good reason! Parents are realizing sensory play is crucial toward enhancing child development. Sensory play is great for neurotypical children and children with sensory processing disorder and autism. Getting started with sensory bins may seem overwhelming, but it is actually easy to start sensory play with your child today!
Sensory bins are containers of a base item, such as rice, sand, water, bubbles, etc, and items that you can manipulate the base item with, like scoops and toys.
Sensory bins are all about stimulating a childs senses, which include sight, taste, smell, touch, and hearing. While one sensory bin may not stimulate all a childs senses, it can combine a few senses to create a new sensory experience. Bins are another form of sensory play similar to sensory bottles. But with sensory bins, there is an increased likelihood of your child making a mess .
Sensory play enhances a childs brain development by making nerve connections, helping with information retention, and memory. Sensory bins can help a child:
- Learn new words through the discovery of new items
- Provide a sense of calm or relaxation
- Help with fine motor skills
Everything You Need For Sensory Bins
While it may seem overwhelming, sensory bins are really easy to create!
Start with a storage bin
Here is a list of fillers to help get you started with sensory bins:
Common tools to use in sensory bins include:
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Awesome Sensory Bin Ideas For Kids
Looking for sensory bin activities and ideas for kids? Then look no further than this huge collection of fun sensory bin ideas for toddlers and preschoolers.sensory bin ideasThis post contains affiliate links. Basically, I make a small commission when you use these links, at no additional cost to you.
Ideas To Create A Sensory Box For Kids With Autism
A sensory box or bin is nothing but a large box where necessary sensory materials are filled according to the childs need or to put in simple words, the sensory box is a container where your kids favorite items are stocked inside. Children will use them to play, learn and also to relax at times of stress. This box will indeed provide stimulation for the following senses
This is uncomplicated to make and it can be easily accessible for the kid, at times when he/she needs it, as this box does not contain any harmful items. Most of all, it will not cost too much for the making process and for the filling materials as well. Therefore, this sensory box will be effective and productive for your kid.
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Sensory Bin Activities For Autism
Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.
Firstly, sensory input is a very crucial part of every childs development. In other words, sensory play and the ability to feel the input from the five senses help in brain development. Furthermore, the five senses, including touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste, help us understand the world.
Similarly, children gain vast cognitive experiences from sensory activities. Further, sensory bins are used in therapy as reinforcers and also to calm down Autistic children. In this blog, we will discuss some fun sensory bin activities for Autism to do at home.
Sensory Bin With Ice:
Ice cubes are a great way to offer enriching tactile and auditory stimulation to your child. Freeze ice cubes by adding different colors to them. Once frozen, take the ice cubes and help your child stack them into building blocks or float them in water. Allow your child to feel the cold sensation of the ice. You can also fill the sensory bin with ice cubes and rattle the bin to give auditory stimulation.
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These Are Some Of My Favorite Materials That I Use In Sensory Boxes In My Learning Center Le Chemin Aba In Paris :
14. Small toys 15. Cotton balls
17. Dried couscous18. Shaving cream19. Cut pieces of yarn 20. Cardboard squares
24. Dried corn25. Dried pasta
Make sure that your child is always surpervised while using sensory boxes, especially if he or she has a tendancy to put small items in his or her mouth.
Learn more about the benefits of sensory play for autism here.
How To Clean Sensory Boxes
First, wash your childs sensory toys and box with soap and water to reduce germs and dirt. Next, sanitize the toys and box in a bleach solution consisting of 1/3 cup of unscented bleach and 1 gallon of water. Materials such as Play-Doh and kinetic sand should be discarded if they cannot be cleaned.
I always remind my kids to wash their hands with soap and water before playing with sensory materialsits a good habit to get into and will help prolong the life of materials that cant be cleaned. This school year, I tucked a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the sensory box for my child to use before play.
Visit this site for more details on cleaning and sanitizing toys, and always follow along with guidelines from your local health department.
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Sensory Bin With Ocean Animals:
This is a fun activity to play. Fill the sensory bin with some sand. You can add a bowel with water and play along with your child to put in the ocean animals one by one. You may also add some beach toys, seashells, and toy people playing at the beach. This is a great sensory activity for your child.
For more sensory play ideas click on
The 7 Benefits Of Using Sensory Bins For Children With Autism
Has your family been introduced to sensory bins yet? They are all the rage at our house, and sometimes they keep us busy for hours! If you have not heard of sensory bins, or have not started using them yet, you may want to jump on the bandwagon, and I will tell you why!
Sensory bins can be extremely beneficial for children with autism. These bins provide sensory input as a calming activity, and they also provide many opportunities for learning and exploring. They are great for practicing fine motor skills, exploring new textures, improving imaginative play, providing opportunities for dialogue, or even working on those imitation skills.
Sensory Bin Fillers
First, lets talk sensory bin fillers! Did you know that the sense of touch is the first sense to fully develop in children? Some great options for edible fillers are cereal, pasta, and rice. We even like to make rainbow rice with food coloring for enhanced visual stimulation. I have seen many children with autism enjoy paper shreds, pom poms, beans, sand, or water. The opportunities to be creative here are endless.
So, what is it that makes these bins so great?
Here are 7 major benefits of using sensory bins:
- Fine Motor Development
Fine motor refers to small muscle development which enables a child to hold a pencil or button a shirt. It includes eye-hand coordination and eye-finger coordination, finger strength and control, as well as the development of muscles such as the toes, tongue and eyes.
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Best Sensory Activities For Autism
You may notice that your child has multiple food sensitivites, refuses to wear certain types of clothing, avoids getting his or her hands dirty or general hyperactivity and irritability. All of these symptoms can be caused by sensory dysfunction.
If you are looking for a comprehensive overview of sensory processing disorder, as well as specific and effective strategies to help you deal with it in your home or classroom, I highly recommend you take a look at Sensory 101 the most complete resource I know of to help you deal with these challenges.
At my center, I include a lot of sensory activities in the childrens programs because they tend to be very motivational for the kids and give us the opportunity to work on so many skills : communication, interaction, following steps, independent activities and more, depending on the organization of the activity.
Sensory Box Ideas For Your Child With Autism
Why use sensory boxes in your childs home and/or school program? Sensory boxes can help children with autism relax, calm down and concentrate better on a given task. They are also a fantastic DIY tool to increase learning opportunities . Make sure you print out your free printable sensory box ideas checklist to get the most out of this post!
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Our Best Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are a wonderful tool for use not only with special needs children, but also with toddlers, preschoolers and school aged kids. They can be used at home, in daycares, preschools, camps, homeschools, and classrooms. They can even be created to be portable and taken on trips.
Sensory bins need not be expensive or time consuming to make. So much learning, discovery and excitement can take place as a result of allowing your child or student to explore them.
Sensory bins are a big part of things for us around here. I thought it might be helpful for you if I put all of our most successful sensory bins in one place so that its easy to access. I will continue to add the kids new favourites as we make them.
For instructions on how to create a sensory bin, information about why they are so beneficial for children, relevant recipes, printable idea lists and more, get your copy of my ebook Sensory Bins: the What, the How & the Why.
You can click on any of the pictures or titles to go to each specific post and get details on what is in each bin and how I put them together.
Sensory Bin With Playdough:
To begin this activity, take an empty box or bin. Now use edible playdough or you may also make homemade play dough with all-purpose flour, salt, and water. Add the contents together with some food coloring, glitter, and scented oils. Hold your childs hand and help him/her kneed the dough. This activity is a great way to offer maximum tactile and olfactory stimulation to your child.
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What Is In Our Sensory Box
You dont need to have lots of fancy expensive sensory items. You can easily fill your box with party bag fillers from the supermarket and the pound shop. There might be days the box isnt touched and others every item comes out.
If you have a sensory child in the house I really recommend having at least one sensory box. I have found our boxes very popular with all kids who have been in the house so may be worth a try even if you dont have as sensory seeker.
There is a wide range of items in our boxes but below are a few items to give you some ideas.
Toys that are good for fiddling like spinners, snap bands and textured balls.
My kids really like these Magicube magnetic blocs .
Toys that light up are great fun we have lots of light up balls.
A recent addition has been Mr Stretch who is great for sensory feedback as you pull him. We also have lots of rubber stretch strings which the kids really like. The pulling sensation is great tension relief.
The boys love having squeezy toys and other bits around the house. Another favourite is our sequin owl who is great to sit with and run fingers over back and forth very relaxing.
- squeezy dinosaur
If you want some more ideas you can include see my posts on 101 Sensory Supports, motivating toys, Sensory Submarine and sensory toys.
If you want to learn more about why sensory feedback is important see my post on the sensory side of autism.
What sensory toys are popular with your kids?
Messy Play Sensory Bin
$40.00 / monthlyMessy Play creates a new Sensory Bin each month to send out to subscribers. The bins are themed, and just a few past themes have included:
- Dinosaur Excavation
- Butterflies and Bugs
Everything in the bins, which are designed for children ages three and up, are non-toxic and washable. Plus, each sensory bin is reusable to allow for hours of play.
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How To Use A Sensory Bin
There is no wrong way to present a sensory bin! I usually put something together and leave it out for my son as an invitation to explore. Some kids may be especially curious and ready to explore so stand back and enjoy watching! Its ok to join the fun but dont direct the play!
A sensory bin is also a great opportunity for independent play. Some kids may be reluctant to start or dont know how to start and need your help modeling play ideas. Dig in with them to show them how fun it can be to explore. Scoop, dump, fill, and pour yourself!
Talk about what you are doing, seeing and feeling. Ask them questions too! Play cooperatively or individually with your child. You know your child best!