Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Light Table, Literacy Activities, Motor Skills, Sensory Bins, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

My bugs love exploring new textures and materials, so I put together a Valentine’s Day sensory bin for them to investigate.


  • pink water beads
  • fabric petals (found at the dollar store)
  • measuring cups
  • plastic nets
  • easy-to-use chopsticks
  • foam hearts (with letters and pre-primer sight words printed on them)
  • silicon heart mold
  • light table (optional)

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

Have you ever played with water beads before? They have a unique bouncy, cool, wet, and slippery texture, making it nearly impossible to resist the urge to plunge your hands into a container full of them. I bought one package of tiny, pink beads and submerged them in water in the morning so they would be ready for us to play with in the afternoon. Although it takes around 6-8 hrs for them to fully absorb the water and to reach their maximum volume, the boys and I observed the beads swelling in size almost as soon as we added the water.

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin

Little B was pretty impressed with the ‘growing’ water beads!

When the water beads were ready, I cut out some foam hearts, printed letters and pre-primer sight words onto them with a Sharpie, and threw them into the sensory bin, along with the other materials, for M and B to discover.

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 2  Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 1

Then, we took the sensory bin into the basement to see what the beads would look like illuminated on our DIY light table. The result: lovely, pink, glowing jewels!

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 14  Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 11

The boys had a great time inspecting the contents of the sensory bin, and manipulating the water beads (little B especially loved making the beads wobble and dance). It was also a fun way for them to practise their letters and sight words!

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 12  Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 5

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 9  Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 8

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 7  Valentine's Day Sensory Bin 6

Click on the links for more Valentine’s Day activities, sensory bin ideas, and light table explorations!

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