This post brought to you in partnership with WildBrain.
My daughter is 3 years old and this is SUCH a fun age! Everything is a new adventure for her and she just LOVES learning and exploring! I’ve been using video content from WildBrain on YouTube to strengthen what we learn and curate offline activities like our Wetlands & Water Play Water Sensory bins. It’s a great way to learn on multiple platforms and levels! WildBrain has thousands of free kid-friendly (and educational!) videos with some of our favorite characters like Ellie Explorer, the Mother Goose Club, Caillou, Billy Bricks, Teletubbies, Larva and SO much more! That means TONS of content at your disposable at no cost! (If you have older kids my boys really enjoy the Crafty Kids channel and Billy Bricks!)
My daughter just LOVES animals so she’s really been into Ellie Explorer lately! Not only does Ellie Explorer talk about different animals and their habitats but she also incorporates learning numbers, colors and letters too! Here’s the episode I used to pair with our water play time:
Water Play Sensory Bin Material Suggestions:
dirt / sand
craft foam (for lily pads)
The great thing about water play is that you can absolutely do it indoors and outdoors – no matter what the weather is like! Since it’s still winter and quite cold here we decided to feature indoor water play bins. I stopped in at the dollar store and picked up a bunch of supplies and ordered the rest (like faux grass and water beads) on Amazon. The same container for water play can be changed to different habitats and animals OR you can pick up different containers dedicated to each habitat! (rainforest, ocean, etc.)
I had been saving a good sized bag of water beads to fill my daughter’s sand & water table with when the weather warmed up but I grabbed a handful to use with our sensory bins! She went CRAZY over these water beads! If your kids are older you can use water beads to represent algae, tadpoles, or anything else you’re studying!
We made several different habitat bins. The first was our river sensory bin! I used green craft foam and cut out a circle, then cut a small pie shaped wedge out to create lily pads. On the bottom of the lily pads I write numbers on to incorporate counting and math games.
The awesome thing about the craft foam is that is floats on water and the Sharpie marker on the bottom doesn’t rub off when it gets wet! We started out playing with just the water, rocks, lily pads and frogs. This sensory bin above (minus the lily pads) was great play with an otter and/or a seal! You can add some sand too to make it more realistic!
When my daughter seemed to be tiring of it then I added the water beads! That provided hours more fun and she has been constantly going back to her water play bin every single day to play.
Once we get a bigger container (or use her sand & water table) I picked up these larger ocean animals to play with!
Next we decided to move on to the rainforest! This Rainforest Sensory bin is super fun because it provides an additional sensory experience – moss! The moss is squishy and weird feeling for little kids and provides a great exploration for older kids. I used the poison dart from our TOOB and added a few smooth river stones too.
TIP: Take a plastic cup and poke small holes in the bottom. Then fill it with water and you have created rain as the water pours out of the bottom!
Other Water Play Sensory Bin Ideas:
Penguins – water, container, penguins, blue food dye & ice!
Ocean – water, container, seashells, salt, sand, animals, boat, blue food dye
Swamp – water, container, moss, alligator, fish, sticks, water beads, green food dye
Cranberry Bog – water, container, moss, cranberries, turkey baster (for adding and removing water)
Pond/Lake – water, container, fish, sand/dirt, boat, lily pads, sticks, water beads
After watching Ellie the Explorer on the Wild Brain YouTube channel and learning about wetlands we decided to make some wetlands of our own!! This fun water play sensory bin was made with a container and toys from the dollar store, water beads, and water of course! #ad #ontheblog #ellietheexplorer #wildbrain #sensory #sensoryplay #preschool #totschool #water #waterplay #educational #education #handson #learning #sensorybin #animals #nature #momlife #teach #edutainment #play #fun #kids
Another FUN WildBrain Video we Love:
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