Rainbow Bean Sensory Bin

The best sensory bins can be made from simple household ingredients, and this one is no exception. My daughter and I picked up a big bag of beans at Bulk Barn and dyed them in all the colours of the rainbow, because everything is prettier in rainbow colours. Right!?

Here’s what you need:

  • beans of your choice (we used small white beans)
  • white vinegar
  • food colouring or liquid watercolour (we used Wilton gel)
  • sealable container(s)
  • small dish
  • large backing tray
  • parchment paper

Here’s what to do:

  • In a small dish, mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with dye colour of your choice (if using gel, mix until all clumps dissolve
  • Measure 1 cup of beans and place in sealable container, then add coloured vinegar, seal and shake and all the beans are well coated
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper on baking sheet and lay coloured beans flat to dry (for a minimum of 30-60 minutes)
  • Repeat for each colour (because we have limited counter space, I like to layer each colour onto one baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper between each layer


The play possibilities for a rainbow bin are endless. My daughter loves when I set them up with a theme or scene using her toys, but for this one I let the beautiful colours inspire her and she has spent the last week pretending the bin is a zoo; she sets up her Playmobil animals and pretends that each colour is a different habitat. After hours of playing with her colour coded habitats, the colours are now all mixed up, and it’s taking on a whole new beauty that will lead to a whole new imaginative game.


When the novelty wears off all together, I’ll pack these beauties up in an airtight container and store them until she forgets about them, and then we’ll bust them out and rediscover all the rainbow-y fun they have to offer. 😻

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