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Seashells Sensory Bin

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Seashells in the sensory bin provide awesome sensory play for your toddler. This simple activity is perfect for a beach theme, indoors or outdoors. It’s also perfect for summer days when it’s too hot to play outside.seashells sensory bin sensory play for toddlers and preschoolers

Seashells Sensory Bin for Toddlers

Sometimes access to the beach in summer is limited, especially with a toddler in tow. You can still enjoy the sand and seashells and digging tools with this simple sensory bin activity.

The activity is easy to set up inside or outside, but when playing with sand inside, you’ll want to protect the play area with drop cloths (I recommend one like this

We would love to see some pics of your seashells sensory bin setup - share them in our Facebook Group or over on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler so we can all see!). 

Supplies for a seashell sensory bin activity

Supplies needed for a seashell sensory bin 

If you don’t have play sand, or prefer not to use sand, you can always add another filler such as beans or rice to the sensory bin.

Sand isn’t necessary to enjoy the activity but it provides a unique sensory experience and helps extend the beach theme.

Seashells with colorful dots for a sorting activity with toddlers

How to set up your seashells sensory bin 

  1. Place a self-adhesive dot inside each seashell.
  2. Add the seashells to the sensory bin along with the sand tools and a strainer or tray.
  3. If possible, place the sensory bin on a blue drop cloth or plastic table cover to resemble the ocean.

If you don’t have the colorful dots you can draw circles inside the shells with different colored markers.

You could also add letters or numbers, or other shapes, to the seashells to provide different learning activities.

Digging for seashells in the sensory bin

Support your child’s play with language and gestures as you play together.

  • Dig up the seashells and name the colors of the circles inside.
  • Match the colored dots in a tray.
  • Count the number of shells with blue dots/green dots/red dots.
  • Bury the shells and play again!

Sandbox sensory bin toddler fine motor activity for summer

This simple activity is perfect for summer - or any time of year! Seashells have wonderful textures for kids to discover, rough on the outside and smooth on the inside.

Sand and seashells in the sensory bin provide hands-on, fine motor play for toddlers. There’s always lots of digging and scooping going on, with small shovels, rakes and spoons.

Kids also love to get their hands into the sensory bin. Play sand has a wonderful texture for kids to experience.

Indoors or outdoors, a seashell sensory bin will provide hours of fun for your toddler!

We would love to see some pics of your seashells sensory bin setup - share them in our Facebook Group or over on Instagram (follow @myboredtoddler and use #myboredtoddler so we can all see!). 

Some more great toddler activity ideas that you might enjoy are: 

Alphabet sensory bin 

Rice Sensory Bins 

Sensory bins based on plain and colored rice for toddlers and preschoolers

About the Author 

Heather is a former preschool teacher and founder of, a website providing early learning resources for teachers and parents. She focuses on creating fun crafts and activities that engage developmental skills while promoting hands-on learning through play. Follow her on FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram and Google+