Have a little person that absolutely loves to play?? And wants you to play with them?? Why not take some intentional date time to create a cabin in the woods sensory play idea that they will absolutely love!!
Hey Momma, Grab a cup of coffee or tea before you dive into this post because it might be a bit long!!
Got your drink and ready to go??
Okay, let’s get started!!
One of the things that we absolutely love doing in our house is building sensory bins!!
I first learned about sensory play while in university and saw wonderful stories and worlds unfold before my eyes in my classrooms.
A lot of our ideas have come from inspiration found on Pinterest. But one site we especially love to grab ideas off of for sensory play is The Nurture Store.
It was her lovely rose petal sensory bin that inspired us to create a sensory play world for Calico Critters (if you live in Australia or the UK, they are called Sylvanians)
And hence, a cabin in the woods sensory play idea was born…
Before we go into the details of our sensory play bin we came up with, are you wondering what exactly a sensory bin is??
Well look no further because we have you covered.
A sensory bin is a type of play usually created in a bin or tub that allows your child to engage their brain through their 5 senses.
Well not always taste…. but most definitely touch, smell, hear, and see.
As our senses are stimulated, our brain creates and builds new neural pathways for future learning.
A sensory bin is created by first filling it with some type of sensory filler such as,
- dried beans
- rose petals
- oats uncooked
- unpopped popcorn kernels
- cotton balls or pompoms
- hay or straw
- fake plants or fake flower petals
- cooked or uncooked pasta
- shredded paper
The list could go on and on and on… but we hope you get the idea!!
After your bin is filled, you add loose parts depending on the theme of your bin, which can range from:
- small toys ( Calico Critters, Lego people, Little People, Barbies, dinosaurs, Shopkins, etc…)
- measuring cups
- plastic tongs
- Little plastic houses or plastic containers
- small items that relate to your theme (mini bristol trees, little plastic carrots, clear gems, glitter or loose sparkle, etc…)
*If your child is younger and still places things in their mouth (aka my 4 year old) please take that into consideration while creating your small world play!!
Now that you know what a sensory bin is, how important it is for brain development, and the magic it creates… let’s talk about our Cabin in the Woods Sensory Bin!!
My friend’s family spends a lot of time at their cabin and at the lake and so it only seemed appropriate to recreate that for her to do with her daughter.
Some of their favorite cabin activities are sitting around the campfire making s’mores, and then going fishing with Daddy!! So that is the reason that your woods sensory bin has its own DIY fire pit and s’more sticks.
Also included is DIY mini fishing rods and little fish!!
What might seem a little strange or weird is the rice you will be dying and the aquarium rocks.
However just like in nature to create a cool and different sensory experience you will want to dye some rice green to make your grass for the woods, and then make your lake to place your mini fish for fishing!!
With your rice, you can even add an essential oil or use some peppermint flavoring to appeal to the olfactory senses.
Start this Cabin in the Woods Sensory Play idea with this cute invite!! And then read on to create magic at your house!!
Really this is a time to get creative and recreate a magical place that your child has been or envisions in his or her mind!!
So, here are all the instructions you’ll need to know!!
Let’s start off with our rice filler!!
One thing that I absolutely love is the idea of dying the rice in different greens and then mixing them once they have dried!!
It creates this really pretty effect and brings dimension and life to your small world of play!!
Rice Coloring Instructions
6 cups uncooked rice
3 tsp. water
40-60 drops food coloring
A reusable plastic container that you don’t mind gets stained
- Place uncooked rice into a large Ziploc bag
- Mix water + food coloring per color.
- Place into the baggie, zip-up completely, and then shake until the color has spread evenly.
- Place the rice out on a piece of parchment paper, aluminum foil, baking sheet, or paper towel and allow to dry
- Once completely dry, pour rice into the sensory play bin and use it as grass for your fun at the lake bin!!
If you are wanting to create your grass to look more dimension as pictured above, you will want to break the 3 parts. Each green shade of rice will use 2 cups of rice, 1 tsp of water, and 20 drops of food coloring.
Easy DIY Tissue Paper Camp Fire
All you need is:
Small piece of cardboard
How to do it:
Cut out a circle of cardboard as big or as small as you like.
Start by gluing a ring of twigs around the cardboard.
The ends of the sticks should overlap.
Then glue another layer of twigs on top and keep going until you have the size and height you want.
I went back and filled in gaps with smaller twigs.
Next, take a square piece of tissue paper and cut the edges to look like flames. Later the colors and then place your light in the center.
Lightly bunch the paper around the lights and place in the center of the twigs.
Directions and idea found at: celebratethebigandsmall.com
DIY Mini Fishing Rods
2 small black buttons
1 pony bead
Hot Glue Gun
2 colors of paint for your fishing rod
Brown and white thread
- Take toothpick and paint it halfway one color . This color will be your fishing rod
- Flip the toothpick over and paint the other half black. This will be your fishing rod’s handle
- Find two black buttons about the size of a dime. Take pony bead and hot glue it in the middle of the two buttons.
- Wrap white thread around the bead to make your fishing reel. Leave a tail of thread on your fishing reel
- Wrap brown thread around handle part of your toothpick to make the handle.
- Hot glue your fishing reel to the side of the toothpick on the handle part.
- Hot glue 2 jump rings spaced out at the top of your fishing rod
- Thread the white string through
- Using pliers open up a jump ring to create a hook
- Cut the tip off a feather and glue to hook and tip to end of fishing rod string
- Take those Calico Critters fishing!!
If you would like to follow video instructions you can search “MyFroggyStuff- How to Make a Doll Fishing Rod”
DIY Mini Fish To Catch
All You Need:
Paint in your choice for fish
Air Dry Clay
How to Do It:
- Take piece of air dry clay and shape it into a fish
- Before clay dries either use a toothpick or take the hook from your mini DIY fishing rod and poke holes into the mouths of your fish so they can hang off your fishing rod
- Let dry and paint your little fish
Easy DIY Lake
All you need is:
Blue Aquarium Rocks
A cup of pebbles
Blue tissue paper
How to do it:
- In your lake scene find a place where you want your lake
- Cut your tissue paper to the size and shape you want
- Tape it to the bottom of the sensory bin
- Place your rock pebbles around the lake
- Cover your blue tissue paper in the middle with aquarium rocks
Easy DIY Marshmallows on a stick
All you need is:
Air dry clay white
Small twigs or toothpicks
How to do it:
- If using toothpicks paint brown
- Take air dry clay and pinch off a small piece
- Roll clay into small balls and push onto twigs or toothpick
- Mold clay to look like marshmallows
- Let dry!!
- Enjoy your marshmallows on a stick
Cute DIY Mini Fir Tree
All You Need Is:
– Green felt
– Brown felt
– Star bead
– 30” embroidery floss
– Thick sharp needle
How To Do It:
Step 1. From green felt, cut out five 1½ ” squares, five 1¼” squares, five 1” squares, five ¾” squares, five ½” squares, and five ¼” squares. From brown felt, cut out five circles about ½” in diameter. Thread the needle with embroidery floss, bring the ends of the floss together and tie in a knot
Step 2. Poke the needle through the center of each circle and thread them onto the floss.
Step 3. Poke the needle through the centre of the 1½” squares and thread them onto the floss. Continue to thread squares onto the floss from largest to smallest in size.
Lastly, thread on the star bead. Cut off the needle and tie the two loose strands of floss together with a knot.
Inspiration and craft found at: hellowonderful.co
And just in case you didn’t have enough to create and make… Here is your snack a cabin in the woods sensory play idea-Easy Smore’s Dip
Bag of Chocolate Chips
Bag of Marshmallows
Graham Crackers, Cookies, and or fruit
How to make it:
- Take chocolate chips and cover the bottom of the skillet
- Cover chocolate chips with marshmallows
- Broil on low until the marshmallows are golden
- Pan will be hot, please watch little fingers
- Grab a graham cracker and dip it in and enjoy
Cabin In The Woods Sensory Play Idea Comments
As you may have notice with our sensory bin and how it done is that it doesn’t exactly match the instructions on what we have shared!!
And guess what!!!
We absolutely love it!!
Because the imagination of this sweet chick came out and she allowed the vision in her head to truly take over!!
Please take these suggestions and use them as a jumping off point rather than exactly what you have to do!!
Is there another sensory bin or small play world that your little mini wants to do?? Let us know in the comments below!!
We can’t wait to share our upcoming sensory bins with you!!