Sea Shells Sensory Bin

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This is a fun activity creating a beach scene with sand and different sizes and types of shells in a big container. Recommended for children age 18 months and over, subject to close supervision to ensure they don’t put things in their mouths. There are small objects involved, that poses chocking hazard.

Alex has been fascinated by shells and the beach lately. So I made this sensory bin with the beach and sea as a theme. As soon as he sees it, he put the hands into the sand (mind you that he didn’t want to touch the sand at all last year). Then he explored different surfaces of the shells and yelled, “Ouch..” touching the spiky ones. He continued, “Mummy! You touch it!” It is very valuable to see him expressing himself and talking about different textures. He uses his tactile sense exploring each object in the bin.  He also tries to group together matching shells (early math). “Hello, I’m Pam the Clam!” he said, reciting a sentence from one of his favourite book. The shark wasn’t part of the sensory bin at first, but I was so glad that he uses his imagination to extend the pretend play by getting his toy shark from his room. It was a simple activity with endless possibilities.


  • A 10 litre clear container
  • 2 cups of sand
  • 2 cups of blue pebbles
  • Small pot with lemon thyme (Pretend Sea Weed)
  • Various sizes and types of sea shells
  • Plastic sea creatures or figurines



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