First, there was cooked spaghetti way back in April! We didn't have the bins yet, but this was an important experience for a kid who has texture issues (and is starting to overcome them...yay!).
Then, water, Ty's absolute favorite! He can't resist Mommy's cup of water, kitty's water bowl, the smallest puddles...you can imagine what a treat bath time is! We did this activity a lot over the summer, much to Tyler's pleasure.
Rice play. Ty was unsure about touching the rice at first, but after he saw me scooping and pouring into different containers, he got excited by the noise the rice could make and got into it. His favorite noise was the rice hitting the floor!
Dry pasta play. I got brave and have left this out on a shelf for Tyler to play with whenever he pleases. I've always provided different sized measuring cups and other containers with sensory bin play, but he's never been much into scooping and pouring...it's more about the noise that the different containers make when the sensory item thrown into or onto them for him at this stage! I figured leaving this out would mean rotini all over the kitchen floor all day, every day, but he's actually done well with containing it and is good about helping me pick-up.
Other touch/sensory things that we've done have included oatmeal in the bins, fingerpainting, his sand box (dry and wet), play doh, as well as opening up a pumpkin to let him pick out and touch the insides (we did the same with summer squash).
A few more things that I want to try in the bins soon are shredded paper, popcorn, Easter grass, cotton balls (plain or scented with flavoring extracts), snow or ice, mud, water mixed with mild dishwashing liquid to make bubbles, Oobleck (water and cornstarch), and shaving cream. I also remember dying pasta and rice with rubbing alcohol and food coloring in a baggie which I'll have to try again.
What sensory bin activities have you done? What materials and tools have you used inside the bins to further exploration and learning?