Soccer Sensory Bin for Pretend Play

Soccer has been the sport of choice for my oldest, and he’ll soon be starting his third season!  Time flies, doesn’t it?  For some sensory and pretend play fun, the kids and I created a soccer sensory bin!  We made our own colored and scented rice to look like grass for the bin and added plastic people and soccer goals.  The results were pretty realistic and the kids have had fun staging many indoor soccer games already!

soccer sensory bin

To start our soccer sensory bin project, we first colored rice green to look like grass for the soccer field.  It’s also scented: Wild Watermelon Kiwi!  It smells delicious and the color is so pretty!  You can see how to color rice on In Lieu of Preschool, our sister site.  We dyed 4 cups of rice for our bin.

how to color rice

When the rice was fully dried, we added it to a clear, plastic shoebox.  We have a bunch of these around for storage, and normally pick them up for around $1 at The Dollar Tree or at Target.

The plastic soccer goals and soccer players came in a pack intended to be cake toppers.  We found them in the cake decorating section at a craft store for a few dollars.  They are the PERFECT size for a sensory bin!

soccer sensory bin

The kids have fun running their hands through the rice to release the watermelon-kiwi scent, and they enjoy staging soccer games for pretend play.

soccer sensory bin

The referee keeps a close eye on the players, and the goalies work hard to keep the ball out of the net.  I enjoy watching the kids act as commentators of all the action taking place on their soccer field.

soccer sensory bin

In addition to the benefits of the soccer sensory bin for sensory and pretend play, I think it’s been good for the kids to have a model of what a soccer field looks like from a birds eye view in terms of better understanding the game.

soccer sensory bin

It’s also reinforcing lots of soccer vocabulary, which is especially good for my youngest, who will start her first season of soccer later this year!

soccer sensory bin

If your kids like the game, this soccer sensory bin is sure to be a big hit!  It’d also be a great introduction to the sport for kids who may not have other experience with it!  The best part is how simple it is to make.  When you’re ready for a new sensory bin set up, simply store the rice and figurines in a plastic zippered baggie for future use.  Have fun!


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