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Activity of the week: Hot Cocoa Sensory Bin


We’re in full swing Christmas mode this past week, so that calls for our annual Hot Cocoa Sensory Bin activity. This is Isla’s all time favorite because, well it’s mostly sugar? This will be our third year doing it because she asks for it constantly and it’s such a festive and fun one to create. 


This is a pretty easy and straightforward sensory bin to set up. All you need is, chocolate cereal, marshmallows, candy canes, and different cups and scoops. I like to use organic and dye free ingredients in ours which I’ll link below but the options are endless! 




Our sensory bin is from Kingdom Playroom. We’ve had it for a few years and love how versatile it is! It’s completely portable and compact which makes set up and take down a breeze. You can use code "TAYLORMALSCH" to save 10%.


Sensory bins are a fantastic way to engage and stimulate your little one's senses. Here's why they're a hit with most toddlers:





1. Senses: Sensory bins engage toddlers’ tactile senses, letting them dive into bins filled with rice, beans, sand, or cereal and marshmallows in this case. All of these different textures and smells promotes sensory exploration.


2. Fine Motor Skills: As your little one scoop, pour, and sift through the materials, they’re honing those fine motor skills. It’s hands-on learning disguised as play!


3. Imagination: Create themed bins based on their favorite animals, seasons, or even characters. Watch as their imaginations take flight, turning the bin into a magical world of their own. This hot cocoa bin is the perfect addition to the holiday season. 


4. Language Development Boost: Engaging in sensory play encourages conversation. Describe the textures, talk about colors, and share in their discoveries, fostering language development.


5. Easy DIY Fun: Creating sensory bins is a breeze! Grab a bin, fill it with your chosen sensory materials, and add a few toys or tools for extra excitement. The possibilities are endless!


7. Mess, Mess, and More Mess (in a Good Way!): Yes, there’ll be a mess, but it’s all part of the fun! Sensory play encourages messy exploration, and a bit of cleanup is a small price to pay for the joy it brings. Opt for a large plastic tablecloth or mat underneath the sensory bin to simplify cleanup. It contains the mess and makes for an easy post-playtime cleanup. If your children are anything like mine, you’ll definitely have some type of mess!


8. Customizable for Every Toddler: Every toddler is unique. Customize sensory bins based on your child’s interests and preferences, ensuring a personalized and engaging experience. Isla is big on taste and smell, this is one of the reasons this sensory bin is such a hit with her. Elliot on the other hand loves noises and textures.


12. Capture the Moments: Don’t forget to capture those precious moments! Whether it’s their first exploration or a joyful reaction, sensory play creates lasting memories. These photos are from Isla’s first time doing this sensory bin, they’re some of my favorites I’ve ever taken. 


Sensory bins are not just play—they’re a pathway to discovery, creativity, and early learning. Don’t forget to supervise this activity since the cereal and marshmallows can pose as choking hazards. 


If you end up doing this activity, tag me in the photos on instagram (@taylormalsch) so I can feature them on this post! 


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