By Lisa Mulliken

Individual play bins can be created using different types of containers filled with a variety of materials. These bins can be used in various spaces in the classroom to encourage individual, open ended play. Re-purpose an old silverware tray or use an open photo frame to create an individual workspace. Muffin tins, ice cube trays and other small containers with compartments can also be used. 

Food prep containers with compartments can be used to create small sensory playdough or sand and water play bins. Create a flower themed playdough kit using your favorite homemade playdough recipe or a mermaid themed sand and water bin.

A dinosaur themed sand bin will engage children who are fascinated with dinosaurs and encourage dramatic play. 

Create a math kit by placing various items, such as number tiles, buttons, dice, river stones, links and/or themed counters (bugs, fruit, dinosaurs) in a muffin tin or ice cube tray. 

Encourage individual art by placing collage and 3-D materials in a container along with glue and tape. 

Additional Ideas:

 *Please note that small objects should not be accessible to children under the age of three. Preschool children should be supervised during use.