My Little Tots are obsessed with sensory bins with rice in at the moment. We’ve had green rice at Christmas, rainbow rice and blue rice leftover from a few year ago so far, so today I made them a Penguin Sensory Bin with uncoloured rice.

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This penguin sensory bin ties in with this weeks featured book for the Kids Virtual Book Club which is Penguin and the Pinecone by Salina Yoon. This beautiful story of friendship is about a little penguin who finds a pinecone but soon learns the pinecone must return to his home far away.

You will need:

I set this sensory bin up to look like a penguin small world using the felt and gems as the sea and pom poms as snow…..but of course it didn’t stay this way for long.


They dived straight into to explore the tray and within seconds it was destroyed. I know my 4 year old will enjoy some imaginative play with this when I set it up again after school for her.


To try and contain the mess I placed this Penguin Sensory Bin inside our tuff spot which always makes it easy to scoop back in the rice that inevitably ends up outside the tray.


I also added a few tubs for the Little Tots to enjoy pouring, scooping and transferring the rice. Some of them are starting to say random counting words so we practiced counting to 5 with the penguins and gems.

They also loved me hiding things under the rice for them to find and even though they knew where I’d put them they still squealed with excitement when they uncovered a penguin or gem.


….and of course to get a full sensory experience just sit in it!

We also made these cute cardboard tube penguins to accompany the book that my preschoolers had fun with.

Areas of Learning:

  • Maths
  • Sensory
  • Creativity
  • Understanding the World
  • Playing with others

More penguin fun from the Kids Virtual Book Club Co-Hosts:

Penguin Sensory Bin

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