Sensory Bin Shenanigans: Fun & Easy DIY St. Patrick's Day Activity

Easy DIY Tactile Sensory Play For You To Do At Home this St. Patrick's Day

By Emily Papa, Macaroni KID Pittsburgh March 7, 2024

Are you looking for things to do with your kids on St. Patrick's Day? Macaroni KID has another simple and cheap holiday themed sensory bin to keep your kiddos so busy you'll be feeling like you have the luck of the Irish, even if you're not Irish ;)

This DIY St. Patrick's Day sensory bin was actually inspired from the Rainbow Tactile Sensory Bins we made last year. The rainbow bin was just so crisp and colorful until, well, until the kids came to do what kids do. What’s a busy, frugal mom to do when all that time-consuming colored rice gets mixed up? I’ll tell you what we do. 

We make rainbow masterpieces out of it, just like everything else we get handed in life. 

DIY Pot of Gold Sensory Bins for St. Patrick's Day

To make this St. Patrick's Day sensory bin, you will only need a few supplies that you can pick up at the nearest grocery store (or possibly even your pantry):

  • Dish basin (any shallow rectangular bin will work)
  • Shamrock LED Lights (dollar store)
  • White rice
  • Dry split peas
  • black beans
  • food coloring
  • Gold coins
  • Sharpie

1. The first step here is to color your rice and let it dry. We made one large green batch and then used the mixed up rainbow rice from our Rainbow Rice Bin. If you already have mixed rice, use this opportunity to repurpose it. If not, go ahead and make 1/4 cup of colored rice for each color you would like to see in your rainbow. Not sure how to dye rice for sensory play? Find simple step-by-step instructions HERE

2. Place your LED lights in the bottom of your shallow pan. It doesn’t matter if they get completely covered, you can pull them up to peek through at the end. Depending on what your plan is for the educational component, you can scatter some gold coins at this time too. For my 5-year-old, I used the sharpie to put the letters of his name on the gold coins, so we could piece them together. For my 9-year-old, I wrote her math facts on the coins for her to solve. 

3. Plant your base layer of rice. I used green for St. Patrick’s Day, but you could totally get away with using plain white rice here if you wanted. 

4. Using the dry split green peas, make a round circle in the bottom corner of your bin. This will be the "pot."

5. Outline the pot with the black beans

6. Create your rainbow using your mixed colored rice or by making individual strands from your colored rice. 

7. Take your remaining gold coins and tuck them into the pot, creating the perfect pot of gold sensory bin. Now it's time to dig in and have some sensory bin shenanigans!