DIY TREASURE BOX SENSORY BINWe’ve been fans of Kinetic Sand for years now. The kids love getting their hands in it and letting their creativity fly. I love the easy cleanup factor. Recently we put it to the test as we answered the question “What is Kinetic Sand?” and then had a Kinetic Sand throwdown! Kinetic Sand is the sensory sand we’ll be using in our house! It’s the perfect sand for our treasure hunt themed sensory box too! Read on to learn how you can turn an empty baby wipe container into a gorgeous plastic treasure chest and then use some of our treasure hunt ideas to make learning fun for your younger kids!
HOW TO MAKE A TREASURE CHESTMaking a DIY treasure chest is pretty easy and is a cute idea for birthday party favors if you’re having a pirate themed party! But back to why we made our own DIY treasure box. I was inspired by the Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom playset to create our own beach themed sensory box. Kinetic Beach Sand is brand new and made with larger grains of natural sand and feels just like wet beach sand! I also wanted to have a learning aspect to it since we all have school on our minds right now. A treasure hunt sensory box seemed like the perfect idea! Kinetic Sand is available in a variety of colors, but the three-pound bags of Kinetic Sand Beach Sand are perfect for this sensory project!
HOW TO MAKE A DIY TREASURE CHESTHere’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY treasure box:
- Empty baby wipes container
- Gold spray paint
- Container with lid (that baby wipes container can also fit in)
- Kinetic Sand Beach Sand
- Craft jewels that are silver on the back
- Black permanent marker
- Magnetic numbers and letters, if desired
- Toy shovels and rakes, if desired
- Remove lid from baby wipes container.
- Spray both the bottom of the container and the lid with gold spray paint. Depending on your container, you may need to sand the exterior slightly before you paint.
- Let the baby wipes container dry completely.
- On the back of the craft jewels, use a permanent marker to write letters of the alphabet. We used uppercase and lowercase letters.
- Fill your larger container with Kinetic Sand Beach Sand.
- Hide the jewels and magnetic numbers in the sand.
- Let your kids hunt to find the treasures and put them in the treasure box!
TREASURE HUNT SENSORY BIN IDEASThere are quite a few sensory bin ideas you can do with the treasure hunt idea. We turned this one into an easy way for younger kids to play while practicing letter and number identification. We play with it a few different ways, including:
- Free play exploring the sand and the DIY treasure chest
- Letter identification:
- Have your child name the letters as they find them and put them in the treasure chest
- Have your child dig for a letter then find the matching uppercase or lowercase letter before putting them in the treasure box
- Have your child hunt for the letters in alphabetical order
- Number identification and counting:
- Have your child name the numbers as they find them and put them in the plastic treasure chest
- Have your child dig for the numbers in order to practice counting skills
MORE TREASURE HUNT IDEAS FOR KIDSWhile we’ve mostly used our DIY treasure chest sensory bin for free play and educational treasure hunt ideas, there are tons of other ways you can use this same idea.
- Use the accessories from the Kinetic Sand Beach Kingdom Playset to build sand castles! This is fun to do, especially when we’re craving a trip to the beach!
- Add gold coins, jewels, plastic necklaces, and plastic rings to make it feel like a sensory bin full of real treasures.
- Use glass beads in different shades of blue and green to give the feeling of water at the shore.
- Create a “treasure map” that shows all of the items you’ve placed in the sensory bin so your kids actually have to go on a treasure hunt to find them all!
- Add a big wood or felt letter X to your sensory bin to really give it the feel of a treasure map!