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Mini Sensory Bins for Speech Therapy on a Budget

Sensory bins are always a hit during preschool speech therapy and even with school aged students. They can be used to target articulation, phonology, following directions, describing, spatial concepts and more. Themed Sensory Bins can be daunting to think about creating - but they don’t have to be complicated or expensive.

I have laid out exactly how to create 32 Themed Mini Sensory Bins for less than 30 dollars - less than one dollar for each bin (you can see the list of themes I made if you scroll down).

Why mini bins? They’re smaller, easier to transport, cheaper to make, and just as fun. I was reluctant to use these but my students LOVE them. There’s something about a box of little treasures that kids go crazy for!

You can use these photo boxes to store your Sensory Bins for a super easy grab-and-go set up, but if you want to save some money, store the fillers in ziplock bags in a tote and use a single small clear container for your sensory bin. Simply replace the filer, as needed

You will want to go to a Dollar Store near or discount store near you and buy the following items (I paid $1.00 for each item). You very likely have a lot of these items laying around!


  • Bag of colourful pipecleaners

  • 2 bags of colorful pom poms (bonus if they are different sizes and textures)

  • A roll of blue and red ribbon

  • A box of coloured straws

  • 3 bags of coloured stones/rocks (usually found in the pet section as fish bowl filler) - blue, white and green.

  • 2 Bags of Colourful Craft Gems

  • 2 Bags of Colourful Beads - different sizes and shapes are ideal

  • 1 Bag of colourful buttons

  • 1 Bag of Pebbles

  • 1 Bag of Sticks (you can find them outside, too)


  • 1 Bag of Googly Eyes - for Monsters and Halloween

  • 1 Bag Black Beans - for a Space theme and Halloween theme

  • Bag of Cotton Balls - for Winter theme

  • Fish Gravel - for Mermaids, Ocean, and Beach Theme

  • Bag of Cotton Balls - for Winter theme and Arctic Themes

  • Shredded Green Paper - for Spring


  • Mini Tongs

  • Dixie cups

  • Cookie Cutters

  • Spoons

  • Toilet Paper Rolls

  • Small Bowls

  • Bowls

  • Shovels