Sensory boxes are one of my new favorite things — especially because they are completely affordable and my children love them!

I live in the Midwest, and rainy days come and go ALL the time. If it’s sunny and warm outside, we relish in every moment because we know within possibly a few hours, everything can change. Last summer, rain combined with no preschool made me go a bit stir crazy. I wasn’t prepared. Both kids would look at me to provide entertainment, and I would stare back at them blank with ideas. This year, I decided to be proactive.

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While I was mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest one day, I came across the idea of creating sensory boxes.

Sensory boxes are a great way to give kids tactile experiences. They encourage fine motor skills, exploration, and pretend play! (The only con is that they can become pretty messy!)

So off to the Dollar Store we all went with $30 in hand. The rain was not going to win this season!

Running up and down the aisles, we grabbed all kinds of fun materials for our boxes. Keep in mind, the goal is for kids to enjoy the feel of the materials and also to learn through independent play. Here is what I included in my boxes, but there are many other options and ideas out there as well!

Box 1: Rice and large plastic coins

Box 2: Pinto beans and plastic bugs

Box 3: Macaroni, black beans, and mini balls

Box 4: Pom pom balls, pipe cleaners, and foam alphabet letters.

For an extra incentive, I purchased mini dinosaurs that they could use to dig through their boxes. I wasn’t sure how my kids would respond, but they played for over an hour! I had to pull them away for dinner as they wanted to “keep digging.” We played outside on the porch so this clean-freak mama wasn’t bothered by the mess. I simply swept off the porch so the birds could enjoy the rice and beans in the yard. There was a lot of learning and laughter that took place around these boxes — especially the box that my daughter called the “macaroni and cheese” box.

There was a lot of learning and laughter that took place around these boxes — especially the box that my daughter called the “macaroni and cheese” box. I’m excited to get them out again and try new ideas in the future!

Tell us in the comments YOUR ideas for sensory boxes!

**Remember, these boxes contain choking hazards, so don’t let children play unattended.

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sensory box sensory box sensory box

sensory box

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Amanda Foust
Amanda is a wife, mother, writer/editor, and certified life coach. Pen and paper make her spirit come alive. She spends her creative time reading, decorating, and handwriting fonts. Her world is better with an assortment of chocolate and a stack of books packed and ready for travel. She works each day to be a creative maker and a light bringer. You can find more of her writing at Downs, Ups & Teacups and TheDailyPositive.com.