$25 Sensory Essentials from a Dollar Store

If you are familiar with my blog at all, you know that I love a good sensory experience. There are just so many opportunities for learning through sensory play. I thought I would share a few items that I keep on hand from the dollar store so I am always prepared to set up a sensory bin.

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CLICK HERE for info on DIY Sensory Table pictured above.

How I spent my $25 on Sensory Essentials:

  1. Ice Cube Trays (pack of 2)

  2. Muffin Tin

  3. Funnels (Set of 3)

  4. Measuring Cups

  5. Measuring Spoons

  6. Colander

  7. Divided Bowls (Set of 2)

  8. Salad Tongs

  9. Ice Scoop

  10. Play Kitchen Utensils

  11. Rice

  12. Rice (Always grab more than one bag!)

  13. Beans

  14. Beans

  15. Beans (Always grab more!)

  16. Pasta

  17. Pasta

  18. Shaving Cream

  19. Shaving Cream

  20. Flour

  21. Baby Oil (Mix Flour and Baby Oil to make Moon Sand)

  22. Set of Shapes

  23. Set of Shapes (cannot have too many!!)

  24. Foam Letter Puzzle

  25. Shower Curtain Liner (protects your floors + helps with easy clean up!)

**Other things that are great for sensory play- playdough tools, plastic animals, bath toys, random party favors, pom poms, rocks, constuction trucks, cars**

Follow @stayathomemomming on Instagram to see how we use some of our dollar store supplies!

DIY Sensory Table


Sensory play is one of my favorite open-ended play activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Such a great way to have some fun learning time! From day 1, I have always just set one of those under the bed storage boxes on the ground for our sensory play time, and it has worked great. But, now that my preschooler is four years old (and quite frequently wanting to sit in the dreaded ‘W’ position), I wanted to offer her a way to stand and play.

I’ve been eyeing sensory tables on Amazon for a while, but just never felt like I should spend the money on them. So I decided to build my own. I am no professional builder…I have absolutely no idea what I am doing! I totally winged this, and it WORKED! So I thought I would share the process with you.

What you need:


What you do:

  1. Have Home Depot or Lowe’s cut your materials to size.

  2. Build a rectangle with your 1x6 pieces. Make sure to line these up to make a 90 degree angle.

  3. Add a 2x4 in each corner. I attached them 2 inches inside the 1x6 pieces. This still gave me 4 inches for my under the bed storage container to drop down from the top.

  4. Place storage container in table.

  5. Fill container with items for sensory play and ENJOY!


Maybe that makes sense if you are wanting to build a sensory table for your littles. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I look forward to all the possibilities this set up will provide!

Thanks for reading!!

5 Ideas for Sensory Fun

We are all about sensory bins in our family! Emma (age 3) likes to stay clean, so I realized early on I needed to offer lots of sensory fun.  At first, she had trouble exploring and playing...she could only think about the mess. BUT, she has learned to enjoy the mess, and now she begs to play with different sensory bins/do different sensory activities.

Shaving Cream


I normally just put shaving cream on a cookie sheet at the kitchen table and let her have free play. This one is loads of fun and great for my little princess that does not like getting messy! We also like to add in foam letters or numbers to search for.

Water Beads


We love water beads. I normally put them in a big cake pan.  We will play with water beads by themselves, but sometimes we add letters or toys in with the water beads.  For my nephew’s 3rd Birthday, we added lots of alligators and snakes.

Rice Bin


Our rice bin has given us countless hours of fun.  Almost every time we stay home for a ‘pj day’ Emma asks if I will get out the rice bin. I always keep foam letters, measuring cups, and ice trays in the bin.  We will add in different things when we think of them. When Emma was younger, she would love when I hid her little character figures in there. She would dig around till she found each one.


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Our love of playing in sand developed at the Rory Meyers Children’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum. Since baby #2 came along we don’t have countless hours to spend out and about, so I decided I needed to make a sand bin for her to enjoy at home...we will be conquering that soon.



We play with playdough on a cookie sheet. Playdough is such a fun, inexpensive activity. We like to use cookie cutters, kitchen utensils, and playdough toys. For a long time, this was my go to activity for Princess P when I was trying to cook dinner. Also, you can always make your own playdough on days you have the time.  This is the recipe we use. It lasts a long time.

These are my top five sensory activities.  We go back to these over and over and over! What’s your favorite sensory fun to offer your little ones?

PS- I really like this blog post from Busy Toddler on the importance of sensory play.

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