Spring Sensory Bin Scavenger Hunt

This Spring Sensory Bin Scavenger Hunt is so easy to set up and has endless play options. With brightly colored sensory bin rice and intriguing objects to find, it’s the perfect learning activity for your toddler!

I love sensory bins. I truly don’t know how I survived the day before them. Aaliyah can easily sit and play for FORTY FIVE while interrupted minutes whenever she plays with her rice sensory bin. Do you know how rare and valuable that is??

We are still newbies in the sensory bin world. So coming up with new activities has been tons of fun. Aaliyah is really into identifying animals right now so I decided for her first bin to just hide some animals into the rice and let her sift through with a spoon to find them. If you read part one on dying sensory bin rice, you know that I hated the colors and there wasn’t enough to do a more elaborate activity.

After dying the rice in bright spring colors, I decided to do a themed activity. And so I created this super easy Sensory Bin Spring Scavenger Hunt. (Say that one 5 tines fast!)

Gathering Sensory Materials

I started to think about easy materials I could put into the bin. I wanted to add animals so we could work on identifying and animal sounds. So I went through her animals and found a bunny, lamb, calf, and chicks that I thought fit the them perfectly.

We’ve been gardening lately so I thought it would be fun to add in some outdoor elements too! I took empty paint containers (they have these at the dollar store as well) and put a fake flower, 2 rocks, 3 leaves, and 4 bean seeds inside. These were a great way to introduce vocabulary words we had been using while gardening and work on counting!

I had picked up a foam alphabet puzzle for our first bin, and wanted to incorporate into this sensory bin. I didn’t want to put all the letters in and overcrowd the objects, so I picked out the letters to spell “spring” and our bin was ready to go!

Prep Work

First you need to get a bin and a filler. This can be rice, oats, noodles, rocks, or dirt. Anything that will add texture and color to your bin! Remember the point of sensory bins is to learn through the 5 senses so try to incorporate as many as you can! As for the bin, you can use a large one or a table top one like we did. I picked this one up from the dollar store, it’s about 9 x 13 inches and 7 inches deep. It came with a lid so I can store it in the closet!

Because I was adding so many objects for her to find, I wanted to make sure to have a list for her to stay on track. Not only to make sure we found all of the objects, but also to make sure she was really slowing down and observing the objects she found. Since she can’t read yet, I decided to create her scavenger hunt as a shape identification. I took all the objects I put in the bin, and traced the shapes onto a piece of card stock. I grouped them together by type, and wrote the name under each just so she could see the words.

Scavenger Hunt Time

I won’t lie I was sooooo excited to mix up all the pretty and neat rows of rice I had poured into the sensory bin. I don’t know why but this was so calming watching the lines disappear and the colors mix together! We did this for at least 10 minutes just mixing and oooohing and saying the colors when we found a new solid patch at the bottom of the bin.

I then told her to close her eyes (she’s a peeker though lol) and I hid the objects in the sensory bin. I gave her two spoons to choose from, but she really likes the play doh spoon with the holes because she likes to sift through. She was so excited to find her first object and I was so happy she remembered the word “seed!”

I showed her the scavenger hunt list and she opened the container and took out the seeds. We counted together as she placed them on the paper. She kept going, finding all the sensory bin objects and I was amazed with how easily, even though my tracing wasn’t great, she was able to find the place for each object! She loved saying all the words and would clap for herself when she put them on the paper. When she was done she took the empty containers and filled them with the sensory bin rice, experimenting with layers and how they sounded when she shook them!

Doing this scavenger hunt was such a fun way for her to work on so many skills! She used her fine motor skills to sift the rice and open the small containers. Letter recognition was used finding and saying the letters in “spring.” We learned new animals and new vocabulary words and worked on counting!

Sensory bins are so easy to set up and can be played with in so many ways! There are so many skills your little one can learn while playing. What’s your favorite sensory bin?

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  1. This is so cute! I would love to do this when my son gets a little older!

    1. He will love it!

  2. That is beautiful and so fun! I’ve never dyed rice before but it looks so awesome especially in those pretty springtime pastels. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! The rice colors is definitely my favorite part!

  3. What a great idea. I had never really heard of sensory bins before. Would be a perfect rainy day activity as well.

    1. They are the best! And yes we have definitely been using them this last week!

  4. Wow! Dyeing rice ..what a great idea. What great ideas to use on a day when you need to stay indoors.

    1. Thank you! It’s perfect for rainy days!

  5. omg I love the creativity!!! Awesome ideas I need to try for my work!

    1. Thank you so much!! Let me know if you tried it out and enjoyed it!

  6. This is a fun screen-free activity. Great ideas for toddlers!

    1. Thank you!

  7. stellanadene says:

    Oh we luuuvv sensory bins!!! We’ve done the rice one and I also made one with dried beans, and one with noodles that we dyed with food coloring as well. I think they liked the rice one the best! I eventually bought a baby pool and made them sit in it with the bins to keep the rice from going all over the floor and in the carpet, lol! Love the spring toys!! đŸ™‚

    1. Aren’t they the best?? Beans sound great! I’ve only done rice and sand so far. But using a baby pool sounds like the best idea ever!! My vacuum will definitely be happy about that!

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