Join the fun with 12 winter sensory bins for kids. Try snow & ice pop painting, frozen water beads, plus playdough, kinetic sand and lots of winter themed play ideas.
Updated November 2022
Sensory play is so much fun for kids AND an important part of brain development. We gathered together some amazing winter sensory bins that are great no matter what the weather is around you.
Most sensory play setups are simple to set up and keep kids engaged for a long time. Many of the ideas below include items you might already have in your pantry or back yard (think–snow!).
But if not, don’t hesitate to make substitutions. Let these ideas serve as a starting point to inspire your own family’s creative play this winter.
Winter Sensory Bins
1. Penguins in Frozen Eggs from Red Violet Studio
We love this combination of sensory play and science exploration for kids! Freeze penguins (or any wintry animal) in ice eggs and let your children use salt and water to try and free them.
2. Frozen Water Beads from Coffee and Spit Up
We love this sensory table set up! Frozen water beads are perfect for scooping, dumping, and creating little homes for arctic animals.
3. Ice Pop Painting from The Joyful Learner
Make your own paints by freezing water mixed with food coloring or liquid watercolors. Your child can paint while observing what happens to ice when it melts.
4. Snowflakes at the Light Table from Scissortales_Schoolhouse
Create a DIY Light table and view materials in a whole new way! Try this invitation to create snowflakes using glass beads, sea glass, popsicle sticks and toothpicks.
5. Arctic Animal Sensory Play from The Maternal Hobbyist
If you don’t have snow in your area, use kinetic sand in its place! We love this invitation to explore using arctic animals, glass gems, and wooden pieces.
6. Snow Painting from Little Mainer Art Studio
Try this super simple color mixing activity using fresh snow, liquid watercolors & pipettes. Then pull out any little figurines for a fun art play invitation.
7. Penguin Playdough Invitation from Fun in Cocoon
We love the sparkly blue playdoh that’s part of this inviting set up. Your child can create their own penguin habitat using all the different parts.
8. Winter Construction Sensory Bin from Little Hands Therapy
This is the perfect sensory bin if your child loves to watch the plows go by on a snowy day. Let them get in on the action with their own diggers and see how much fun snow removal can be!
9. Salt Ice Melting Experiment from the Artful Parent
If you have a budding scientist at home, this is an absolute must-try! Freeze water into different shapes, add salt and liquid watercolors and watch what happens!
10. Penguin Sensory Bin with Rice and Snow from Fun In Cocoon
Your child can play pretend in Antarctica with this fun set up. Combine real snow with some colored rice, a few scoops and other wintry objects, and of course some penguins!
11. Crinkle Paper Winter Sensory Bin from This Green Schoolhouse
Crinkly paper (the kind that comes as packing material) is the perfect stand in for snow! And bonus: your hands don’t get cold playing with it!
12. Let It Snow Sensory Bin from Moose and Friends
Coconut flakes are also a perfect stand in for snow! Little scoops and bowls provide some great sensory play and fine motor development.
More Sensory Bins for Kids
- Why Sensory Play is Important & 10 Sensory Bin Ideas for Kids
- 12 Christmas Sensory Play Ideas for Toddlers (+Big Kids Too!)
- How to Make Aquafaba (A Taste-Safe Sensory Play Material for Kids)
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