Editor's note: This is an oldie but goodie shared by Kara Varnell, owner of Select Sitters and mom of two little ones.
I love sensory bins because they are great for developing those fine motor skills. They also are something I recommend to keep busy toddlers occupied while you get a few things done around the house. Not only are they easy to make, but everything included (other than the actual bins) came from the $1 store.
They actually have smaller bins at the store as well if you prefer to make smaller ones, but be prepared for more to be out of the bins on the floor with the smaller bins. Chances are you may have some of these things around your house.
A big note: I don't recommend using beans, small rocks or sand for those toddlers that still put everything in their mouths, but they do have larger items you could use.
Here is a list of what is in each bin.
(You can use any type of uncooked noodles or beans).
2 boxes of penne pasta
2 boxes of farfalle pasta
3 bags of dried beans
1 set of play kitchen tools
Just fill up the plastic bins with the appropriate items and let your kids start digging, filling, pouring and playing.