Unicorn Sensory Bin

Since my girls are all about unicorns right now, we decided to do a unicorn sensory bin after we read some of our favorite unicorn books. I wanted it to be a magical bin where they could just extend their play of their plastic unicorns, but I also wanted some academic elements, too. To make this happen, I decided to add letters to the bin. With little sister (3) we worked on identifying letters.  With big sister (5) we worked on letter sounds.

Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.


This post may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. View our full disclosure policy HERE.


Supplies Needed:

Plastic Bin (41 qt under the bed storage)
Unicorns
Flour
Vegetable Oil
Glitter (we used silver)
Sidewalk Chalk
Kitchen Grater
Rhinestones
Rainbow Candy
Mini Letters (these are foam, you could also use felt or sticky backed letters, just leave the backing on)
Glass Stones
Fine Motor Tools

A note about the supplies:

  • I find it easier to use a larger bin when both girls are playing so that they can each have their own space. You can definitely do this in a smaller bin.
  • I wanted multiple colors so each color in my bin is a different batch of the cloud dough.  Make as much (or as little) dough as you want.
  • I tried coloring the dough a few different ways. I wanted pastel colors so I added a conservative amount of Kool Aid - no color change. Then, I tried some liquid food coloring - again no major color change. That's when I finally tried chalk and it worked great. To get a noticeable color change you need 1/2 a stick to a full stick of chalk depending on type/size/brand/color/etc.
  • Our unicorns came out of this busy book set. It includes a book and playmats plus the ponies and unicorns.  You could also use this set or this set instead.  
  • I tried coconut oil (melted) and vegetable oil in this recipe. Both worked about the same so it is your preference.
    Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.
Recipe for Cloud Dough
2 cups of flour
1/3 cup of oil

Mix together. Shave chalk into the dough and mix some more. Add in glitter to your liking. This will be a very soft dough.  It is the right consistency if it looks like sand but when you hold it in your hand you can form it into a ball and the dough sticks together. Add in the other decorative elements including the stones, rhinestones, letters, rainbows and unicorns.
Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.

Depending on your kiddos, I would suggest doing this outside or on an easy to clean surface.  My girls made minimal messes at first when they were just playing with their unicorns, but pretty soon they wanted to put their feet in it and pretend they were at the beach and suddenly our cloud dough was all over the floor.
Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.

To play, I decided to start with the academic piece first. For my 3 year old, I would call out a letter and she would search for it. When she found it, she would pick it up with a fine motor tool. I started with the letters of her name and then moved on to letters in our last name. For my 5 year old, I made sounds of letters and she would have to find the corresponding letter, pick it up with the tweezers and show it to me. We continued this until we had practiced all the letters and their sounds. This was a great way to work on fine motor skills and alphabet and literacy skills at the same time.
Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.

Once we finished letter practice, I let the girls have free play in the unicorn sensory bin. They quickly got involved playing make believe with the unicorns and their life "in the clouds." They would slide on the rainbows and bury the "treasure jewels" for the unicorns to find. This bin was a HUGE hit, especially with my 3 year old. She played with it for at least an hour once I finished doing letter practice with her. She loved all the different objects in it but especially the unicorns. Even once her big sister lost interest, she continued to play and have a blast by herself.
Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.
Unicorn sensory bin with colored cloud dough. Perfect for fine motor and alphabet practice for toddlers and preschoolers.

Are you loving all things unicorn right now?  Check out some of these awesome blog posts with tons of freebies and ideas all about unicorns.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Unicorn Number Mats // Mrs. Jones' Creation Station
Unicorn Felt Page // Teach Me Mommy
Unicorn Color Recognition // M is for Monster
Unicorn CVC Word Match // The Kindergarten Connection
Unicorn Color Clip Cards // Fairy Poppins
Unicorn Place Value Game // Pages of Grace
Unicorn Alphabet Puzzles // A Dab of Glue Will Do
Ulla Unicorn's Very Busy School Day! // Liz's Early Learning Spot
Unicorn Sight Word Matching Game // Letters of Literacy
Unicorn Minus One Coverall Game // Recipe for Teaching
Unicorn Sensory Bin // Sara J Creations
Editable Unicorn Sight Word Game // Playdough to Plato
Unicorn Spin and Graph Freebie // The Simplified Classroom

No comments

Back to Top