A cranberry Christmas sensory bin is a deliciously adorable Christmas activity for kids. The holidays are busy enough, and this simple-to-set-up activity is minutes of prep for hours of play and fun.
Welcome to the cranberry Christmas sensory bin
We’ve been making cranberry Christmas sensory bins for probably 20 years, and they’ve become one of our favorite annual Christmas traditions.
Cranberries aren’t one of the most common fruits kids see, and they are naturally drawn to the bright, red, sour little fruits.
And not to sound dramatic, but this activity is STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL.
The bright pops of red are captivating for kids (and adults).
Related: Add a 10-foot Christmas coloring banner to your annual Christmas traditions!
A Cranberry Christmas sensory bin sounds so simple…and it is
As it often goes, the simplest activities are usually the best.
Kids don’t care about pomp and circumstance, and more than not, the easiest activities evolve into the most meaningful, in-depth learning opportunities.
Sometimes teachers and parents are nervous about water play and sensory tables because they seem hard and expensive, and complicated, and this activity is anything but!
Don’t let the sensory play stop here! Check out some of our other favorite sensory activities:
- Christmas Bubble Foam – fun indoors or outdoors
- Christmas Moon Sand
- Warm Tea Fall Sensory Table
- Jingle Bells Scoop and Transfer
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- Shallow container
- Cinnamon sticks – optional
- Kitchen tools – ex: colander, whisk, bowls, cups, spoons, spatulas
How to make a cranberry Christmas sensory bin
This is just about the easiest water table activity ever to set up.
Step 1: fill a shallow container with water and toss in cranberries and kitchen tools.
Step 2: invite your child to scoop, pour, and play.
This is the perfect sensory table for introducing a mini colander (our preschoolers love these).
What do you do with a cranberry Christmas sensory bin?
Sensory bins are incredibly valuable learning tools.
In this activity, kids can:
- Count the cranberries for math
- Explore science by seeing what items sink and float
- Stir the water for fine motor
- Scoop the materials for hand-eye coordination
- Name the colors for color recognition
- Explore the materials for vocabulary
- Share materials for social skills
- Observe how water flows for science
When kids can learn various skills (ex: math, motor, science, literacy) in one activity, it’s called a cross-curricular activity, and these are the good stuff.
Setting up individual math, motor, science, and literacy activities in a day would take a lot of time and resources.
But with a cranberry Christmas sensory bin, it’s four birds, one stone.
Clean-up is a breeze
Scoop out the cranberries, let them dry, and you’re ready for more cranberry fun.
Use the water to soak some outdoor plants for a no-waste activity.
We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this “sense-ational” activity!
Frequently Asked Questions
Any that can safely enjoy the materials.
You sure can! While I wouldn’t eat them, there are still fun for lots of sensory and play.
I always allow the kids to taste them and I haven’t met a kid who loved them and wanted more than one (they’re sour!).