DIY Frog Pond Sensory Bin

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Keeping my smalls busy is key in these later days of summer. Not enough interesting things to do leads to mayhem, so doing some themed homeschool preschool weeks has been a godsend.  Especially hands-on fun like my latest DIY Frog Pond Sensory Bin

I threw this bin together with a combination of toy & craft stuff we already had, plus a few additions that will get more use in other projects down the road.  Really easy, and, best of all, not messy.  That's a critical aspect for me when it comes to sensory bins.  My kids can go from zero to wreck-the-room in about 5 seconds, so durability and minimal clean up are critical features when I plan my bins.  

  Since we're learning about frogs, our "frog pond" themed bin has lots of textures and colors, plus all the key a lovely little pond complete with frogs in all stages of life, lily pads and dragonflies:

Some real wood logs for their frogs and salamanders to climb on:

And a large grassy area for all the creatures to crawl and hide in, plus magnifying glasses and tweezers from the kids to practice their fine motor skills with:

There are even some cut wood "stumps" for creatures to hide under and hop to and from:

I started with a piece of green felt as the base.  For the "water" I got these blue acrylic ice rocks from Amazon.  

A 3lb bag filled my pond area and I can see using it for more water-themed bins in the future, so it seemed like a good bin supply investment and much easier to clean up than water beads or rice.

I also found these foam lily pads there too that were perfectly sized:

Everything else was stuff I already had.  I'd bought some plastic grass squares from the craft store a long time ago to use as a background when I photograph small items for my shop.  Two of them was perfect for my section of land next to the pond:

We already had a bunch of little plastic frogs, insects and this lifecycle set to use in it:

We also still had a set of Tree Blocks from when my now teenage kids were small, so I pulled out some small logs and smooth wood circles to use (but you could easily find some free ones outside too):

I arranged the various areas and sprinkled the wildlife throughout and our sensory bin was now a nature nook:

Their eyes lit up when I took the lid off for the big reveal and they immediately got into inspecting the pond life:

And of course the magnifying glasses made my mini limnologists (people who study ponds) want to inspect all the details and feel more scientific:

It's been fairly easy to keep clean and I know most of the elements will get more use in other themed bins and preschool activities down the road.  But for now, we're loving our little indoor pond:)