Your Kids Will Love Digging Into These Edible Sensory Bins

Kids love sensory bins? Try this twist for extra fun!

By Emily Papa, Publisher of Macaroni Kid South Hills June 22, 2024

My kiddos love a good sensory bin, so when I came across the inspiration to make an EDIBLE sensory bin, I knew I would be speaking their love language the next time we were looking for fun things to do!

What's the difference between a normal sensory bin and an edible one? The answer is REAL food you are OK with them eating! An edible sensory bin is food designed to be played with — a concept almost all kids will happily embrace, I'm sure.

Because tactile sensory play is so important for our small humans AND I can typically pull these DIY sensory bins together for only a few dollars, we tend to make a lot of them in this house (check out our rainbow sensory bins  and our winter wonderland sensory bins!). I also feel like my kids, ages 5 and 9, still want to eat everything they see, so I couldn't resist giving these edible sensory bins a try.

I'll admit: I kind of wanted to make an extra one for me to play in.

Everything I needed I was able to buy from my local dollar store. These bins only cost me $7 to make two!

Edible sensory bin

Supplies needed:

  • 2 aluminum trays
  • 2 packs of plastic dinosaurs — we used dinosaurs, but you can use water creatures, animals, and more! Please keep in mind: Putting small plastic toys in an edible bin could pose a choking hazard. Please only attempt under adult supervision and do NOT allow child to put toys in mouth. For smaller children, you could omit the toys and just use animal cookies. 
  • Animal cookies (plain and chocolate)
  • Blue gelatin dessert
  • Gummy fish or goldfish crackers
  • A blender

From start to finish, this was super simple and wildly satisfying for my littles. They couldn't believe they were going to be able to play with their food! The hardest part was rearranging my refrigerator to have enough room to place four gelatin pans on an angle!


1. Before you get started, I suggest clearing off a shelf or two in your refrigerator and washing your dinosaur toys.

2. Make your gelatin according to instructions. 

3. Place a few of your clean dinos on one side of your aluminum pan. You will pour a small portion of the prepared gelatin in the pan, then place it in the refrigerator at an angle so it cools as if your dinosaurs are under water. I used my empty gelatin boxes to prop up the pans. 

4. After your gelatin has set, it's time to create the sand by crushing the plain animal cookies in the blender. Spoon the "sand" so it overlaps the edge of the water. Bury a few dinos (or animal cookies) in the sand for kids to dig out with spoons or fingers!

5. Repeat this process with the chocolate cookies for the "dirt," layering it over the edge of the sand and burying some goodies. 

6. Garnish with remaining clean dinos and gummy fish and dig in!

Here was our first attempt at making edible sensory bins:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Macaroni KID South Hills (@macaronikidsouthhills)

Emily Papa is the publisher of Macaroni Kid South Hills, Pa.