Black Bean Garden Sensory Bin

The month of May is all about getting outside and watching things grow. Outside isn’t ALWAYS an option. So here is a little garden of “dirt” she can play with inside without a huge mess! The Black Bean Garden Sensory bin is super simple to set up and we had most of the supplies at home already!

a title card for a black bean garden sensory bin showing a toddler pinching a bean

This is a great activity to practice pouring and transferring. Also, the beans are super simple to clean up if there is a spill!

 a collage title card with 6 pictures showing a black bean garden sensory bin
a toddler smiling holding a measuring spoon filled with black beans
a top down view of toddler playing in a black bean garden sensory bin containing red bowls, silver pots, fake flowers, and gardening tools

Garden Sensory Bin Tools

The Garden Sensory bin came together really nicely for us the only thing I had to buy were the beans! Be warned you will need more than you think. I originally picked up two bask from the store and they cover the bottom of the tray but it just wasn’t enough to ‘dig’ in so I added another 2. (You could probably get by with 3) If you can buy in bulk somewhere that would be the way to go I think! Especially if you are filling a bigger sensory bin.

a black bean garden sensory bin containing red bowls, silver pots, fake flowers, and gardening tools

Bitty received the shovel and rake for Easter and the little red bowls and silver pots we already had. I added a smaller spoon for another scooping option as well.

A toddler shoveling black beans garden sensory bin

The previous weekend we had planted our garden and true to form I saw treasure in the trash! The little plastic container that little flowers come in was red and from an actual garden, so before it hit the recycling I gave in another life in the garden sensory bin!

a toddler scooping beans with red measuring spoon in a garden sensory bin

Finally, I added some flowers and little plants to give her something to plant in her garden sensory bin and it was done!

A toddler in a blue shirt playing in a black bean garden sensory bin

New Sensory Bin Set Up

If you can recall from my other sensory bin posts you’ll notice that our set up is a little different this week.

a toddler playing at a play table with a sensory bin in a living room

I have been on the lookout for a sensory tray that was low walled, was easily cleanable (i.e. not wood) and had no open spaces in the walls. This was harder than you may think BUT thankfully its also spring time and that means lots of stores have their patio sections fully stocked and this serving tray fit the bill perfectly! It is very similar to the near famous K-mart play tray (at least it’s famous over in the Australia mom crowd, where they actually have K-marts lol)

I have had a hunch for a while that Bitty would enjoy and interact with her sensory bits a bit better if they weren’t on the floor. With the tray placed on her little play table it is right at her hight and she can easily move around the whole tray to access any part of it she likes. So far it has been a win! My only complaint is the tray is ever so slightly too big for her under the bed bin and now I don’t know where to store her tray when its time to put it away!

Top down view of a toddler playing in a black bean garden sensory bin

Bonus Bean Fun

close up of a toddler pinching a black bean inside of a garden sensory bin

This week’s bin has PERFECT timing, as just this week Bitty has learned the word ‘bean’! I mean when she says it, it sounds like ‘mean’…but it is without a doubt exactly what she is trying to say! This is so exciting, I feel like because she took so long to actually start using words that now we are adding new ones every day and I am LOVING it!

Toddler transferring a handful of black beans into a red plastic gardening container.

Gardening here there and everywhere

Title card for black bean garden sensory bin post. Showing toddler use play shovel and contents of bin

Do you have a garden this spring? this is our first year with more than a couple containers so we are excited! Here are a couple of pictures I put on up Instagram of Bitty helping in our real garden. If you’re not following me on Instagram you are missing out on Mama’May’an this month! I am posting once every day for the month of May! Make sure to follow for lots of behind the scenes, tot school activities and adorable toddler antics!

If you liked this post and want some more sensory bin inspiration, check out Rainbow Noodles, Easter Eggs, and Green Water Beads.

Share your Garden Sensory Bin!

If you give this a try tag me @mamameganallysa or share it on my Facebook page. I would love to see all the different kinds of gardens that could be made with this setup! If you could grow anything in your backyard what would it be? I think a money tree would be awesome 😉 or maybe just some watermelon!

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