Dinosaur Sensory Bin {Poppins Book Nook}

This month’s theme for the Poppins Book Nook is dinosaurs and other prehistoric life. Earlier this month I shared some amazing dinosaur small worlds and sensory bins that inspired us to create our own dinosaur sensory bin to go along with all of the great dinosaur books we were reading this month.

Dinosaur Sensory Bin

We used our Step2 Water Table to house this bin. It worked out well that there are three main areas. Each area was filled with a different sensory material that the kids could explore in different ways.

Dinosaur Sensory Tub for Kids

Sensory Bin Contents

  • Sand
  • Dry pinto beans
  • Glass beads: blue, tan, and gold
  • Small pebbles, rocks, and a handful of shells
  • Reindeer moss from the floral section in the craft store
  • Safari LTD Dino Babies Toob
  • Larger dinosaur figures (added after picture above)
  • Safari LTD Trees Toob
  • Small eggs


Dinosaur Play

This was a fun bin for all of the kids. The big kids liked acting out different play scenes, and the toddlers had a lot of fun playing with the sand, beans, and glass beads.

Dinosaur Sensory Play

One of my favorite things about using sensory bins and small worlds to go along with our reading themes is the opportunity for the kids to use new vocabulary. As we read new stories and learned new words related to dinosaurs, I was able to hear a lot of the words being used by the children in their pretend play.

Dinosaur Activities for Kids

This collage includes some of the kids’ favorites activities with this dinosaur bin.

Top Left: All of the kids were fascinated by the “dinosaur” eggs.

Top Right: After we found some larger dinosaurs to add to our bin, I was a little alarmed to see this scene. But after listening for a minute, I realized that the big dinosaurs were the mommies carrying their babies around (not eating them like I first assumed).

Bottom Left: Little Buddy spent most of his playtime using the shell to scoop and pour the beans and sand.

Bottom Right: After we learned about dinosaurs being extinct and buried under the Earth’s surface, the kids kept burying all of the dinosaurs and taking turns excavating them.

Overall we had a lot of fun with this small world, and we were a bit sad to put it away in order to make room for our new ocean sensory bin.

Book Ideas

For your convenience this section contains Amazon affiliate links.

There are so many great dinosaur books to read that I couldn’t help but include many book ideas for this theme. We had a lot of fun reading about dinosaurs throughout the month.  Our dinosaur sensory bin was a wonderful way to encourage the kids to use some of the new vocabulary we were learning and act out some of the elements of the stories.

One of Lovey’s favorite books was definitely Brontorina. This is a book we will soon be adding to our personal collection. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you know I love stories with a good message. This is certainly one of those stories! Brontorina is a dinosaur who longs to be a ballerina. She’s faced with so many challenges, but she knows deep in her heart she was meant to dance. Throughout the story kids learn that a little determination, hard work, and creative thinking can help you reach your dreams. Love this book!


Dinosaur Pet is another book we enjoyed this month. It’s inspired by the song “Calendar Girl,” and the CD is included with the book. The song takes us through the months of the year as we learn about a little boy’s dinosaur pet. The silly illustrations had the kids laughing as they danced along to the song every time.

Here’s are some of the other dinosaur books we enjoyed reading this month.

Now it’s your turn to share! Link up your dinosaur and prehistoric life posts.  

  You can learn more about the Poppins Book Nook and see more of the posts shared this month on our Facebook page.   Upcoming themes-Plan ahead, and join in the fun! June-Travel/Transportation July-Beach/Ocean August-Fairy Tales September-School October-Seasons Previous themes-Take a look at all of the great book activities shared! Knights, Princesses, & Castles Wizards Below is a list of the bloggers participating in the Poppins Book Nook. Stop by and see what they are sharing this month.


Dinosaur Small World

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  1. I love your dinosaur sensory bin. Where did you get the “eggs” from?

  2. Hi, my 3 year old has been talking nonstop about this ever since I asked her if she wanted a dinosaur table! I’m still working on getting everything together… what did you use for dinosaur eggs?

    • Oh how fun! They are from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. I usually find them near the floral section with the miniature bird figures and such. Technically they are bird eggs. I hope your daughter loves her dinosaur table!

  3. what is it that the items are in?

  4. Shaunna this is amazing! I love each and every detail you included. What a fabulous sensory bin. I’m featuring this on The Sunday Showcase this weekend.

    • Shaunna says:

      Thanks, Allison! I always love seeing sensory bins come together, and this one was a lot of fun. Thanks for the feature!

  5. What a beautiful and inviting sensory bin! I do not know what child would not love playing with this small world you have created, or adult for that matter 🙂

  6. Such lovely pics and a very inviting small world. Thanks for linking this to Tuesday Tots. I’ve featured it this week on Learn with Play at Home 🙂

  7. How did I miss this last week?! GREAT sensory bin, and I love the idea of using the water table so you had different layers as well.

  8. This is brilliant and it is great that you’ve made such good use of the water table. I’m going to pin this onto my dinosaur board.

  9. This is such a cool sensory bin–it’s like the dinosaurs have their own little world!! I would be sad to put it away too!! I’m so glad you shared it at Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!

  10. What an awesome sensory table!

  11. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful looking sensory bin. Does your water table always look that clean? I need to polish mine up. Love all of your photos.

    • Shaunna says:

      I think I might have just gotten a few lucky shots. There are a few spots here and there, but overall the table does stay pretty clean. The kids love washing it after our messiest play activities. 🙂

  12. What a great sensory bin! That table you have is just perfect for it.

  13. What an awesome sensory bin…thanks for sharing the details. I can not wait to try my own.

  14. This is so fun! I love all of the different sensory materials in there.

  15. Your sensory bin is fantastic!! Very creative and looks like so much fun!!

  16. I do love a good small world and this one is fabulous! I want to play with it myself!

    • Shaunna says:

      Thanks! I’m glad I used the big table for this one! All the kids were able to play at the same time.

  17. Great sensory bin! I love how you added moss to it so it looks more realistic. 🙂

    • Shaunna says:

      Thank you! The moss also had a great scent that added another sensory element to the bin. Loved it!

  18. That is a GORGEOUS sensory bin! I can see why the kids were sad to put it away! Great job!

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