Nothing screams summertime like a nice tall glass of lemonade! As a mom of three kids, I know to always have a cold pitcher of lemonade waiting in the refrigerator. I also know that when the weather gets too hot I need to be prepared with some fun indoor activities– and that is where this easy DIY Lemonade Sensory Bin for kids comes in handy.

– Life Over C's Photo collage of a pink lemonade themed sensory bin made with rice.

Recommended Grade Level:

Pink Lemonade Sensory Bin Materials:

  • 3 C dried rice
  • 1 C measuring cup
  • Pink and Yellow Acrylic Paint
  • 1 gallon zip-top bag
  • 1 sandwich zip-top bag
  • Wax paper
  • Cooking sheet
  • Sensory Bin
  • Scoops
  • Tongs
  • Cups
  • Spoons
  • Plastic lemon slices
  • Diamond “Ice”

Table of Contents

Pink Lemonade Sensory Bin

Some people say summer is a time to take a break from learning and have some fun. I say, why not learn and have fun at the same time?! The bright colors, intriguing textures, and cool tools will have your children begging for the chance to play with this sensory bin.

Sensory bins are great for sensory exploration and brain development (and we have a huge assortment of sensory bins here!), but they can also incorporate math and language skills. Kids are having so much fun playing they don’t even realize how much they are learning! If you’re looking for other summer activities (that are super fun, but also great for learning) then you have to check out our 50+ Sizzling Ideas For A Summer Themed Unit!

Create a full summer theme! Grab more lemonade activities here:

What is a sensory bin?

A sensory bin is, simply put, a bin full of materials meant to stimulate the senses! Bright colors, a variety of different textures, and an opportunity for open ended play all come together to create the perfect activity for kids!

Sensory bins promote open, creative play! They are also fantastic for developing fine motor skills. Little hands and fingers will get a workout as they use tools and manipulate the rice in this sensory bin. Check out this Web MD article on the benefits of sensory bins for more information!

How do I use this Lemonade Sensory Bin?

The real beauty of a sensory bin is that there is no right or wrong way to use it! I have watched my three children take a sensory bin and use it in three completely different ways. All you need to do is fill the bin with the lemonade theme materials below and watch as your children use their creativity to make their own fun and learning.

My daughter loves creating her own “potions” and “recipes” with sensory bins, while my son prefers to listen to the sounds of the rice being poured into different size cups. My youngest child always adds in one of his small dump trucks as an extra tool for moving the rice around. It is so fun to watch them put their own special twists on sensory bin play!

Materials You Will Need for the DIY Pink Lemonade Sensory Bin for Summer:

  • 3 C dried rice
  • 1 C measuring cup
  • Pink and Yellow Acrylic Paint
  • 1 gallon zip-top bag
  • 1 sandwich zip-top bag
  • Wax paper
  • Cooking sheet
  • Sensory Bin
  • Scoops
  • Tongs
  • Cups
  • Spoons
  • Plastic lemon slices
  • Diamond “Ice”
– Life Over C's Supplies for making a pink lemonade sensory bin with rice.

Step-by-Step Instructions for the Pink Lemonade Sensory Bin:

Step One:

After you have gathered all of your materials it is time to get started! Scoop one cup of rice into a sandwich bag and add a squirt of pink acrylic paint. Zip the bag shut and shake it to coat the rice. My kids LOVE helping with this part!

– Life Over C's Squirting pink paint into a Ziploc bag of rice.

Step Two:

Add two cups of rice into the gallon size baggie and squirt in some yellow acrylic paint. Close the bag and have your little helper shake it and coat the rice in the yellow paint.

– Life Over C's A Ziploc gag of pink rice and a Ziploc gag of yellow rice sitting on a counter.

Step Three:

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and carefully pour each baggie of paint coated rice onto it. Let the rice dry for at least 3-4 hours, or if possible over night.

Teacher Tip: Use a disposable plastic spoon to occasionally stir the rice. This will help it to dry more quickly and will also prevent clumps of rice from forming!

– Life Over C's Yellow painted rice and pink painted rice are dying on a cookie sheet.

Step Four:

Add the dried rice to a sensory bin and add in your lemonade accessories. Your bin is ready! Time for some super fun lemonade sensory bin fun!

– Life Over C's A completed pink lemonade sensory bin made with rice, scoops, and other accessories.

Step Five:

All done with your sensory bin for the day? Place a lid on your bin and it will be ready to go for tomorrow. Need to swap out your lemonade sensory bin rice for a different material? Store your colored rice in an air tight container or resealable zip top baggie until the next time you are ready for it.

Yay! You made your sensory bin! What’s next?

This is where the magic of the sensory bin really happens! Give your child the sensory bin (of course if you have a younger child who likes to put things in their mouth you will want to supervise them closely) and let them play!

Sensory bins are full of infinite possibilities! I can pretty much guarantee that no two children will play with them the exact same way. Watch your child explore and engage in some self directed learning.

Don’t be afraid to ask your child questions and talk to them about their play. This is a wonderful way to help with language development.

How else can I use this Lemonade sensory bin?

One of my favorite things about sensory bins is they are super versatile. They are wonderful for open ended play, but you can also make a few small changes to work on specific skills!

  • Add in foam or magnetic letters to practice letter identification or sounds.
  • Introduce the concept of measurement by adding measuring cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons.
  • Practice counting skills by counting out the number of scoops it takes to fill a cup or how many lemons and ice cubes they see in the bin.

Now, I don’t normally encourage taste-testing when using sensory bins, HOWEVER, you can use this lemonade sensory bin as the perfect introduction to learning about lemons. After playing in your sensory bin, get a real lemon. Cut it open, smell it, feel the texture, and let your child taste it! When you’re done with your lemon, don’t let it go to waste- use it to do our Process Art Lemon Printing Activity!

More Ways to Explore Sensory Play this Summer

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are frequently asked questions about sensory bins!

What is the best age to play with a sensory bin?

Sensory bins are normally geared towards preschoolers and kindergartners, but I have found they are loved by children of all ages. All children, no matter the age, can benefit from sensory play and fine motor skill development!

What is the best container to use for a sensory bin?

I have found that clear, shallow plastic containers tend to work best for sensory bins. However if you don’t have one you could use any shallow bin, tub, or container that you have laying around your house.

How should I store my Lemonade sensory bin materials?

It is best to store sensory bin filler (like the rice in this bin) in an airtight container or or zip top plastic baggie.

What if I don’t have rice to use as filler?

You can use any small, dry pasta as a filler for your lemonade sensory bin! Be sure to check out our “How to Dye Pasta” tutorial for an easy, alternative filler.

Time for lemonade sensory fun!

Now you are ready for hours of lemonade sensory bin fun! Be sure to check out all of our other amazing activities here at Life Over Cs to help you beat the summer heat!

Do you love this activity?

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– Life Over C's Overhead shot of a lemonade theme sensory bin made with pink and yellow rice.

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion.Β 

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