Grinch Christmas Sensory Bin

Don’t be a grinch…be a Cindy Lou Who! Make this Grinch Christmas Sensory Bin for the favorite littles in your life! With peppermint-scented rice, this is sure to be a hit with children of all ages!

One of my very favorite classic Christmas books to read to my kids each year is How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. This year for our #HandsOnChristmas series with Toddler Approved, we decided to make a Grinch-themed Christmas Sensory Bin.

We have done other literature-based sensory bins in the past (Are You My Mother? and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) and they always offer a fun invitation to play after reading a beloved book!

This hands-on Christmas activity is so much fun for older toddlers (who no longer put things in their mouths), preschoolers, and even early elementary kiddos!

Materials for the Grinch Christmas Sensory Bin

  • 10 cups of rice, divided
  • 3.5 tablespoons vinegar, divided
  • Electric Green Food Coloring
  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 2-3 gallon-size plastic zip-top bags
  • Large plastic tub (the under-the-bed depth works best)
  • Clear Plastic Christmas Ornaments
  • Funnels and Measuring Cups
  • Pom-poms
  • Large Christmas Bulbs (they are solar powered and I purchased them at the Dollar Tree)

The hardest part of this sensory tub is dyeing the rice. Once it is done, you can continue to use it for an assortment of sensory bins in the future (it would be great to use in springtime as the color looks like grass)!


1. Assemble your materials. I used these handy-dandy baggy holders to make pouring so much easier (these are great for freezer cooking too).
2. Dilute your food coloring in the vinegar to make it spread easier. Combine 5 cups of rice and 1.5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of vinegar/food coloring mixture into a gallon-sized baggie. Shake the bag until all rice has been colored evenly. Repeat with another 5 cups in another baggie!
3. Line 3-4 large cookie sheets/trays with paper towels and then dump the rice onto the trays. Try not to have too deep of layers so that the rice can dry quickly. I would recommend letting it dry overnight, but if you are in a hurry it should be okay within a few hours.
4. Once the rice is dry, dump into your plastic bin and add your Christmasy additions! We added colored pom-poms, measuring cups, empty plastic ornament balls, and funnels. My favorite addition is the large Christmas light bulbs that I found at Dollar Tree. They are actually solar-powered lights!
My 5-year old has literally spent hours playing with this sensory tub! Yes, the rice gets a little messy but I like to have her play on a shower curtain so I can just gather the edges and take it outside and shake it out.
Her favorite part of the sensory bin is filling the empty ornaments with rice.
My 5-year old daughter and 2-year old nephew both enjoyed playing!

Check out more fun hands-on Christmas Activities here:

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