Valentine's Sensory Bin



with a Valentine’s theme


What you will need:

  • Rice (we coloured ours with gel food colouring and vinegar but this is optional!)

  • Pom poms (pinks, purples, reds etc)

  • Pipe cleaners (colours as above)

  • Bowls with same colours as above for them to match them

  • Paperclips (coloured or otherwise)

  • Magnet fishing rod or similar

  • Paper in the same colours, cut into hearts

  • Tweezers, pinchers etc

  • Scissors

  • Sensory bin/ plastic container/ shoe box / we used a planter tray

  • Heart chocolates (optional!)


  1. First off if you are going to colour your rice you will need sandwich bags, gel food colouring and vinegar. Separate the rice into the sandwich bags and choose your gel food colours. Add the different colours into each of the separate bags. Then pop in two cap fulls of vinegar, this will help lubricate the gel to move about all the rice. Secure the sandwich bag so no rice spills out and with your hands spread the colour from outside the bag. When the colour has spread completely empty on to a surface and allow to dry. Put it on something that you don’t mind the gel transferring too as some may come off the rice when in contact with the surface as it dries.

  2. Pour out your rice on whatever container you have decided to do. On top of it arrange your pom poms, pipe cleaners (we curled ours around a pencil) and if you are using chocolates those too. With your cut out hearts of different colours place a paperclip on them to make them magnetic and then pop those in too.

  3. In your bowls, place the same coloured paper of your hearts and pom pots in each bowl so your preschooler knows which to match them into.

  4. Lay everything out and demonstrate how to use the tweezers, pinches and magnets to pick up the pom poms, pipe cleaners and hearts. Now step back and watch them have some fun with it!


Little Feet B absolutely loved this activity. When we stopped for lunch she told me very firmly not to put it away and true to her word she went back straight after eating and kept on playing for a good 30 minutes more - which is a long time for a toddler as you all well know! I will take that as a success.

Little Feet B was very taken with the pincher tool and not so much interested in the magnets today. Im going to set it all out again later so Little Feet A can play with the magnets after school as I know she’ll love fishing all the hearts and pipe cleaners out. This is an activity that can be used again and again over the course of the month. We love it!