Christmas Peppermint Sensory Bin

Inspired by Crystal from Growing a Jeweled Rose, I dyed some red and green rice and scented it with peppermint extract. Dying rice is really easy. Just pour some rice into a seal-able plastic bag, add splash of rubbing alcohol and a squirt of food dye. The more dye you use the darker the color of the rice will be. I also discovered that if you are using an alcohol based extract, like peppermint that you really don’t need to use the rubbing alcohol. When I made the first batch of red rice, the smell of the rubbing alcohol overpowered the peppermint scent.

  Then I went about creating a Christmas sensory bin for Caden. You can use any type of small Christmas-y items in this sensory bin. Ornaments, jingle bells, and pine cones are just a few ideas. I went to Michael’s craft store and wandered the aisles looking for items that I liked and thought Caden might enjoy. Don’t forget to check the dollar section. I found some cute figurines there!

I have many different decor and craft items in my bin, pompoms of varying sizes, color and texture; red and green pine cones, golden snowflake ornaments and Christmas cookie cutters.

I also included a measuring pitcher and some measuring spoons for scooping and pouring practice. The pitcher can also be used to drop other items into and hear the different sounds they make.

I found a cute little stocking that would be a perfect place to hide some trinkets. And Caden can practice putting objects in and taking them out.

I found this little reindeer push puppet in the dollar section at Michael’s. I thought it was very cute and it has the added benefit of working those fine motor muscles and coordination.

You don’t always think of the Nutcracker when you think about Christmas, so I am glad I found this little ornament and included him in my sensory bin. I think he adds a nice whimsical touch.

The golden snowflake ornaments add a different texture to the bin and a bit of shimmer and beauty. And the  jingle bells add an auditory element.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the Peppermint Christmas Sensory Bin I created and are inspired to have some sensory fun this holiday season. Caden hasn’t seen this bin yet, but I am sure he will love it! We haven’t had a rice sensory bin in a while. Be sure to check back throughout the month of December as  I have many Christmas-y activities planned for Caden and I.


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20 thoughts on “Christmas Peppermint Sensory Bin”

  1. Oh, I love this! Great suggestion to skip the alcohol! We will have to do that next time too – Crystal of Growing A Jeweled Rose

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks Crystal! I love all your ideas! You are so creative!

  2. Carla says:

    I love sensory bins…and making it scented sounds even better!! I hope you’ll share this at my Preschool Christmas Party linky ( too!

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks for the invite!

  3. Deb Chitwood says:

    I love the idea of a scented Christmas sensory bin! Great ideas, Samantha! In addition to featuring your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page, I pinned it to my Kids’ Christmas Activities Board at

    1. Samantha says:

      Thank you, as always!

  4. Thanks for linking up to Tuesday Tots! I am featuring your post this week on In Lieu of Preschool: Please feel free to stop by and grab a featured button! Off to pin. Thanks again!

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks so much!

  5. Dyan says:

    So I was googling jingle bells and sensory bins, saw this beautiful bin with a nutcracker in it (I am a sucker for nutcrackers), clicked the link and lo and behold I am on your blog! So funny that I ended up on your blog, which I read often, but had never seen this bin. Awesome! 🙂

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks! This was my first popular post!

  6. What a fun combination of materials! Thank you for sharing at Discover & Explore. I’m featuring your post this week.

    1. Samantha says:

      Thanks Shaunna! Can’t wait to check out what else you featured!

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