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Oatmeal Sensory Bin

 Posted by on March 14, 2012
Mar 142012


Sensory bins are great exploration fun.  I have a lot of leftover steel cut oatmeal that I bought when I was making my own baby food.  I didn’t like the steel cut oatmeal and ended up using quick oats instead.  I’ve been trying to find uses for the steel cut oatmeal ever since.    One time, I gave Aiden some of the oatmeal, a muffin tin, a bowl, and some utensils.  This was tons of fun but a HUGE mess.


This time I put the oatmeal in a tall box and asked Aiden to keep it in the box.  He absolutely loved this sensory bin.  It kept him busy for a long time.  I played with him dumping and filling cups, driving cars and trains through the bin, covering and uncovering things, and drawing letters and shapes.  Great activities for fine motor skills development.


Fill up the cups and dump them out.

Do you see the buried flower?


Steel cut oatmeal feels a lot like playing with tiny rocks or coarse sand.  If you don’t have steel cut oats, try filling a bin with quick oats, rice, or barley.  Make sure to watch your little one while they are playing {especially if they like to put things in the mouth}.

Playing in the oatmeal was a very calming experiencing for me.  There’s something about running it through your fingers and hands.  It actually reminds me of playing at the beach.  I can imagine the ocean breeze, the wave sounds, and the birds.  No wonder Aiden enjoys the oatmeal bin so much!

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  6 Responses to “Oatmeal Sensory Bin”

  1. Great sensory/motor idea. I used dried beans and pasta, but never oatmeal!

  2. We tried this but Rachel ate a LOT of the oatmeal (kinda glad we went with oats!). Then when I took her to change her nappy, the dogs swooped in and ate EVERY LAST GRAIN !!! They LOVE oatmeal and we’ve always fed it to them so, we couldn’t get very upset. At least nothing went to waste!!! LOL

    • Yes, it’s always good to go with edible materials if there’s a chance your little one might eat it. What fun for the dogs to get a special treat!

  3. Good idea! We have a pinto bean bin with plastic dinosaurs and cars, and then a bin with dried top soil for outdoor play with plastic garden tools. The top soil bin is much messier, but great for sitting outside in the evenings- and we can always add water to muddy it up a bit. I think the oatmeal bin would be great for indoors.

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