Play with a purpose

Place selected bin in front of client and encourage them to put their hands into the bin; demonstrate: reach, touch, grasp, manipulate, sift, etc…

Describe the bin contents ~ texture, color, scent, etc… Small items may be added to the bin such as: mini balls, figurines, colored string, measure spoons/cups. Encourage client to find and/or identify items placed in the bin.

If client does not self initiate interaction, provide hand over hand guidance into the bin.


Encourage client to choose a content option. Provide at least 2 bin choices. (these can be actual bins filled with contents or baggies with small amount of content choices or picture representing the bin choices).

Put at least 3 inches of chosen contents into bin. Client can participate by scooping contents (rice, beans, etc…) into the bin. Or, the bins may be pre-made and displayed on an activity shelf for accessibility and choice making.


• Utilize various shapes & colors of noodles, beans, cotton balls. Sort by colors
• Add water to sand, add powder paints, explore “Moon Sand” or “Wonder Sand”
(from local Target stores – the sand that stays dry!)
• Use strainer, Water wheels, measure cups/spoons, small bowls, etc – scoop & pour.

Activity Goal Ideas:

• Sensory stimulation
• Eye/hand coordination
• Choice making
• Sorting

Tactile Bins

Length of time: 5-25 minutes

Location of Activity: Table top area

Supplies: Clear storage box/bin or dish pan

Content Options: Sand, water, cotton balls,

dry noodles, dry beans, or dry rice