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Using Sensory Bins in Speech Therapy

Sensory Bins in Speech-Language Therapy:

A Multi-Sensory Approach for Enhanced Learning

Speech-language therapy can be a dynamic and engaging experience for individuals of all ages, and one creative tool that has gained popularity is the sensory bin. Sensory bins are not only fun but also provide a multi-sensory approach to learning, making them a valuable resource in speech therapy sessions. In this blog post, we'll explore how to effectively use sensory bins to enhance speech and language development.

What Are Sensory Bins?

Sensory bins are containers filled with various materials that stimulate the senses. These materials can include anything from rice and beans to textured fabrics and small objects. In speech-language therapy, sensory bins offer a hands-on, interactive way to target specific goals while providing a unique sensory experience.

What Are the Benefits of Using Sensory Bins in Speech Therapy?


  • Sensory bins captivate attention and foster engagement, making speech therapy sessions more enjoyable for clients.

Multi-Sensory Stimulation:

  • By incorporating touch, sight, and sometimes even smell, sensory bins provide a multi-sensory experience that enhances learning and memory retention.

Vocabulary Development:

  • Exploring and describing the contents of a sensory bin promotes vocabulary development. Clients can learn and practice new words associated with the sensory materials.

Articulation Practice:

  • Many speech sounds can be targeted through sensory play. Clients can practice specific sounds while engaging with the materials in the bin.

Descriptive Language:

  • Sensory bins provide an excellent opportunity for clients to practice using descriptive language as they talk about the textures, shapes, and sizes of the items in the bin.

How to Incorporate Sensory Bins in Speech Therapy Sessions:

Choose Appropriate Materials:

  • Select materials that align with the goals of the therapy session. For example, use small objects with target sounds for articulation practice.

Create Themed Bins:

  • Tailor sensory bins to specific themes related to speech therapy goals. For example, a bin filled with items associated with a certain letter or sound.

Introduce Language Concepts:

  • Use the sensory bin to introduce and reinforce language concepts such as prepositions (in, on, under) or adjectives (soft, rough, smooth).

Combine with Storytelling:

  • Incorporate storytelling into sensory play by creating a narrative around the items in the bin. This encourages creativity and language expression.

Pair with Worksheets or Games:

  • Enhance the learning experience by combining sensory play with worksheets or games that reinforce speech and language objectives.


Sensory bins are a versatile and effective tool in speech-language therapy. They not only make sessions more enjoyable but also provide valuable opportunities for targeted speech and language practice. As an SLP, consider incorporating sensory bins into your toolkit to create a stimulating and interactive learning environment for your clients.

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Keywords: Sensory bins, speech-language therapy, multi-sensory learning, engagement, articulation practice, descriptive language, vocabulary development.


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