Valentine’s Sensory Tub – Important Saftey Update Below!!

Valentine's Sensory Tub

I wasn’t going to post this for another week but my little man loves it so much that I couldn’t help but be excited to share.  Sensory tubs are a fun way to include holiday themes in your house without putting up a million decorations. I like using natural things in sensory tubs if possible and the combination of the two beans is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Edited to add that I just discovered that there has been issues with dried kidney beans being toxic as few as 4-5 beans ingested could cause stomach upset and more please replace the red kidney beans in this sensory table with red lentils.

As always watch your children carefully even older kids you think may be past the “mouthing” stage may still put things in their mouths.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large pan , plastic tub or Tupperware ( FYI I bought a cute red one from Walmart for $1.43 but liked how the beans looked in this better so I returned it , but had to share how low cost it can be!). You will also need some dried red lentils, dried navy beans, some heart glitter and foam hearts.Valentine's Sensory Tub
  2. Add the beans and lentils  into the pan. Let your little on play for a bit. Then ask if they want to make it even cooler?! Valentine's Sensory Tub
  3. Add the sparkly hearts and foam. Valentine's Sensory Tub
  4. Dig in and play! Valentine's Sensory Tub

Remember that sensory tables and tubs are messy. Be prepared to use the dust buster, or broom a lot. Our rule is that ooops spills are accidents ( and we have a lot of those!)  and you don’t get in trouble for accidents. If you spill  on purpose you get one warning then the tub is put away until tomorrow and we will try again.  It’s worked for us and kept both of us from getting too hung up on messes and focusing instead on the activity at hand.


Check out these reader favorites sent in last year. Do you have a favorite Valentine book? Leave the title in the comments!

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat . This book was one of my favorite stories to read for Valentine’s Day when I was an elementary librarian. In deGroat’s story, a class of assorted animals are assigned to write Valentine poems for all of their classmates. One student, who had been picked on by some of his classmates, uses the Valentine card-exchange to send rude messages to the bullies. Ultimately, the classmates apologize and rewrite their poems, reminding readers of the value of kind expression.

Sent in by Amber @ Librarianism Chronicles

Dinosaur Valentine by Liza Donnelly is a hit every year. It is a very delightful story about a little dinosaur enthusiast who makes dinosaur valentines with his dog. They deliver their valentines and as they are walking through the woods they receive a mysterious valentine with an invitation to a party. Things take a turn from realist fiction as they spot an Othnielia in the dog catchers truck and the race is on to save her. They save her after a few close calls and find out she is the one who invited them to a party – a dinosaur party!

Sent in by Amanda@ Going Green In Gainsville

Gossie by Olivier Dunrea. This a wonderful story about a sweet little gossling and her favorite red boots. The images are simple and yet filled with rich detail; the text is rhythmic and engaging. You and your little one will enjoy following Gossie on her adventures as she shares with you all the ways she loves to wear her red boots until one day she can’t find them. Gossie’s experiences with her boots will help teach your toddler about the notions of backward, forward, uphill, downhill, etc. As if that isn’t enough, this little gem ends with the a terrific example of sharing and friendship when she finds them on her friend Gertie. My almost two-year old daughter loves it and I love it as well.Sent in by Chris @ Momtonic

I Love You This Much by Lynn Hodges . This story between parent and child is about how the parent loves the child through out the day. The same way God loves his children through out the day. The lullaby tells just how much the parent loves the child and makes me cry every time I read the book to my girls.

Sent in by Andi @ Memories Are The Scraps Of Life

A Circle Is Not a Valentine by H. Werner Zimmerman. It is a humorous little story about Alphonse, who wants to paint a valentine for his mouse friend. It is a great story that promotes participation from the kids, and helps them to identify different shapes. My girls love to read it over and over again!

Sent in by Karen @ Growing With The Girls

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  1. says

    Thanks! I was struggling with what to put in my sensory bin next. We just finished playing with two boxes of noodles that I made rainbow-colored using food coloring and vinegar, but we’ve had those since the beginning of December in our bin and need something different. Off to the dollar store to see what hearts I can find there!
    .-= Sela´s last blog ..Mommy Monday – Teething =-.

    • admin says

      I have it on the kitchen counter and when he wants it he asks for it. I will put all the insides into a zip lock bag in a few days and then probably bring it back out for a few days in a few weeks. So sorta both 🙂

  2. Trixie B says

    What did you do with the contents of the last sensory bin? Do you trash it or save it for another rainy day? I love the idea, as does my 2 year old. I am leaning toward saving the contents in a ziploc for another day, but just wonder what you do.

    • admin says

      Ziplock and it gets put away – I will switch it out for variety / save it for next year. I still have our Halloween one in a tub ( covered and put in a cupboard) and he pulls it out all the time .

  3. nikki says

    What an awesome idea! I have never done one of these but will this time. I’m thinking I might also hide red or pink letters in it to that we are studying about. Thanks for the great idea!!!

    • admin says

      My 5 year olds in PreK loved sensory tables. I don’t think I’d put an age limit on it , I would just add more challenging things to it. Tweezers to pick things up, scales to weigh cups of contents etc… but still allow it to be free play.

      Great Question!

  4. Kirstine says

    I did this with my 2 1/2 year old son. I am always looking for new ideas, have oatmeal and colored rice that we use quite a bit. This is a great addition to the collection. I also had us sorting the white ones from the red ones. This bin keeps his attention for a very long time. We even added his dump truck and backhoe to the mix.


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