Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Bin Activity

There are a few things my 2 year-old son can’t get enough of: dinosaurs and playing outdoors.  Seriously.  Dinosaurs are a big deal to him, so I wanted to find an easy activity that involved these very two things to keep him occupied.

And because we’ve been all over sensory play lately, I decided to take some inspiration from a dino lagoon idea I found and create our very own dino sensory activity using a few simple items we had in the yard and house.

dinosaur sensory activity

Here’s what we used

  • A handful of small plastic dinosaurs
  • Small/medium size storage bin
  • Few cups of water
  • Green food coloring
  • Rocks
  • Sticks
  • Leaves

Here’s what we did

I filled a bin with shallow water and used a few drops of green food coloring to get that swampy look. (Next time, I think I will add dirt for a more authentic swamp look and extra textures to explore). I then gathered a few sticks and leaves from low-lying tree branches and wedged them in with rocks from around the yard. Finally, I placed a few dinosaur figurines around the little habitat and let my toddler at it.


When my son saw the bin he immediately dropped what he was doing near the kiddie pool and came over to take a peek. He was fascinated by the water color and started to pour some pool water into it.

toddler sensory bin

He couldn’t stop grabbing the leaves and rocks…and of course playing with the dinos :)!

dino sensory activity

Placing the bin outdoors, right beside all the other greens really added some life to the activity and make it more real.

dino swamp

It was a simple activity that was great for imaginary play.  After a fun time exploring everything in the bin, the little guy even helped me wash off the food coloring during clean up!

If you have little boys that love dinosaurs, this is a perfect (and very easy) sensory bin to create!

Anything else you would add?

You may also enjoy these sensory bins:

Looking for shark week activities for kids? This simple shark sensory bin requires minimal supplies and provides tons of fun!

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  1. That’s such a cool idea! I love that there are still parents out there that have their kids outside. Sometimes I drive through my areas and I never see kids playing outside. This would have been my thing when I was younger. I always loved Dinos and getting dirty.
    Elle recently posted…Roasted GrapesMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Elle! Yes I totally agree that kids these days don’t get much outdoors time with all the iPads and such. But summer is definitely a time to take advantage of it and we’re so excited to create more of these sensory bins.
      Ana recently posted…Dinosaur Swamp Sensory Bin ActivityMy Profile

  2. Oh my gosh! I LOVE dinosaurs. This is so awesome! My daughter just started playing with the dinosaurs we have. I need to do this for her.
    Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs recently posted…Links With Love: Free Finger Puppet PatternsMy Profile

  3. I LOVE this idea, and I know my son would love it too! Dinosaurs are one of his favorite things. :) Great idea!
    Stephanie @ Life as a Mommy recently posted…Jamberry Nail Wraps { Review }My Profile

  4. I really adore your sensory bins ! I feel like playing with them ! 😉 and I’m really motivated now to make one for my little girl ! I’m sure she would adore it :)
    Joanna recently posted…What all couples should do before having a babyMy Profile

  5. Natalie Nichols says:

    This is an excellent idea. I know my 3 year old would LOVE it.


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