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Space Themed Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are a great way for kids to practice fine motor skills, you can limit the amount of mess produced and they are reusable – just pop a lid on your box and you are ready to go. For today’s Storybook Summer idea as part of our Space Week, we are sharing a simple to set up Space Themed Sensory Bin for your little ones to enjoy.

Space-theme play activity for toddlers and preschoolers

We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

Our space themed sensory bin was inspired by There Was an Old Martian who Swallowed the Moon. It’s a goofy, space-themed version of the “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” song. Our sensory bin is technically missing the cow and the dish and spoon from the story. The kids didn’t want to add those. My daughter, Lily, said a cow doesn’t belong in space.

More Space Books we Love to Read Aloud

We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

Why not check out some of our Book Themed Sensory Bins to encourage your toddler and preschooler with reading as well!

Space Sensory Bin for Toddlers and Preschoolers

There are many options for sensory bin fillers check out these ideas from and Next Comes L for Non-food Sensory Bin Fillers.

Make sure you choose something that is age appropriate and always supervise your child. Sensory bins can contain small parts that are not suitable for children who will put things in their mouths. You could place the sensory bin materials in a clear plastic jar with a lid and allow your child to experience the materials this way. It becomes a space themed sensory jar instead.

Why not try our Ocean Themed Sensory Bin which is Edible and using large toy ocean creatures

Materials Needed for the Space Themed Sensory Bin

I chose to use dried chickpeas for our space sensory bin. (The dried chickpeas are not edible.) I followed And Next Comes L’s directions for how to dye dried chickpeas with liquid watercolors. Super simple and super fast. I used shades of purple, blue, and green to create an outer space feel.

Easy to set up coloured dried chickpea sensory bin filler for a space theme

Once the chickpeas were dry, I added glow in the dark stars.

space sensory bin with glow in the dark stars

I also added planets and space vehicles.

space, stars, planets and rocket sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers

We played with our space sensory bin outside in the grass. Picking the chickpeas out of the grass was a bit of a pain. Sweeping them up from the kitchen floor would have been much easier. Or you can place a large blanket underneath your sensory bin. This will help contain the mess and make clean up easier.

siblings playing with simple sensory bin with a space theme

We used the sensory bin to retell the story of There Was an Old Martian who Swallowed the Moon. The kids also had fun burying and unburying the stars, planets, and space vehicles. They loved scooping the chickpeas and moving them around. The space vehicles went on missions around the chickpea solar system visiting different planets and moons.

out of this world space bin for sensory play

More Space Themed Ideas for Kids

A space themed cooking activity making space rock cakes. These are easy to make with your toddler and preschoolers and taste great.
Junk model Space Rocket
Create your own moon phase display with this simple tutorial on how to create a light up moon phase bunting for your room or home

Get cooking and make Space Rock’s or try out our moon rocks – two different delicious recipes

Make a Space Rocket out of your recycling

Explore the Phases of the Moon with these DIY Night Lights for Kids to Make

Space Themed Printables in Store Now!

More Sensory Bin Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Dig for dinosaurs whilst reading The Berenstain Bears' Dinosaur Dig a simple and easy to set up play for young kids
Quick and easy to set up sensory bin for preschoolers to explore, learn and use for retelling favourite ocean-themed storybooks.
Simple Bug themed sensory bin ideal for toddlers and preschoolers to work on fine motor skills as well as a little bug exploring at the same time.

Dinosaur Excavation Sensory Bin

Ocean Themed Sensory Bin

Bug Sensory Bin

Trisha Stanley

Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy and mom to Aiden, Lily, and Elon.

She’s the creator of Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play.


  1. This is great! What size bin would work?

    1. I have used a baking tray to a 12×12 plastic bin for storing scrapbooking papers. It’s just what ever I have around the house.

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