Sensory Play Ideas for Extending Stories

Sensory play is a wonderful way for children to interact with the world around them.  It is also a natural fit with reading and writing development!  Today I have rounded up some wonderful sensory play bins that have been designed around children’s books. Each sensory bin experience invites children to interact with the characters and symbols of the story.  They are perfect stages for retellings of stories!

Extending Stories Through Sensory Play

Sensory play ideas for extending stories compiled by 1.  The Three Billy Goats Gruff from Growing Book by Book

2.  Books & Bins Sensory Bin Play:  Apples and Pumpkins from Little Bins for Little Hands

Spend some time exploring Little Bins for Little Hands blog for lots of great sensory play ideas!

3.  Sensory Story Box- Katy and the Big Snow from The Golden Gleam

4.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Storytelling Tub from The Imagination Tree

5.  The Snail and the Whale from Growing Book by Book

6.  Move, Eat, Draw & Learn with Hit the Ball Duck by Jez Alborough from the Good Long Road

7.  Little Pea Sensory Bin from Mama Miss

8.  Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf- Sensory Bin from Stir the Wonder

9.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Alphabet Bin from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

10.  Gruffalo Inspired Sensory Bin from And Next Comes L

11.  Planting a Rainbow Sensory Bin from Play Learn Love

12.  My Garden:  Sensory Activities from Blog Me Mom

13.  Old Bear:  Four Seasons Sensory Bin from No Twiddle Twaddle

14.  Ten Red Apples:  Apple Orchard Sensory Bin by I Heart Crafty Things

15.  Jump Frog Jump:  Pond Sensory Bin from 3 Dinosaurs

16.  Little Granny Quarterback:  Football Sensory Bin from Fantastic Fun and Learning

And if you are looking for a quick and inexpensive simple sensory bin stand, you have to check out this one from mama.papa.bubba.  It will make all the above projects very organized!

Check out more sensory play ideas based on books on my Sensory Bins to Extend Stories Pinterest Board.

Have you read a book that you loved to see turned into a sensory bin?  Please leave the title in the comments and we may showcase the book with a sensory play bin!

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. What great ideas! I am really trying to encourage more sensory play at my house. Pairing the sensory play with great books is wonderful!

  2. What great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a lovely list! I love sensory play. Thank you :-)

  4. We love making sensory bins or sensory crafts to go along with books that we’ve read! We have done sensory bins for the book “Jump”,
    “The Secret Garden” and “Zoo Day” and a sensory craft for “Today I Feel Silly”. We just finished reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and are working on a sensory bin for that.
    Pinning your list to remind me where to find these other sensory play ideas!

  5. Thanks for linking to 3 Dinosaurs!

  6. Great list! Thanks for including our post!