50 Creative Ideas for Filling the Water Bin
(51 if you count the water!)
One of the easiest ways to entertain your child and one of the best investments in time and money that you will make, whether you're a grandmom, a mom, a childcare provider or an early childhood teacher,
is The Water Bin.

Your "bin" can range from a container as simple as a shallow dishpan all the way up to a pre-constructed sand and water table.For home use,
I prefer a clear rubbermaid storage container one of the shallow ones
about 18" wide, 36" long and 4" high set on the floor with a plastic tablecloth underneath.

I do want to offer a caution before I get started with the list of fillers
Young children must be closely supervised when playing in the bin.
The water should be shallow (even then, if the child is younger than three,
you must sit beside him while he plays. A young child can fall face first
into a very small amount of water and be unable to stand up )Choose the fillers for your bin according to the age and ability of your child.If there is any danger of the child putting small objects into her mouth and choking
avoid small objects.
With those less than cheery images out of the way,

Let's get on with the fun!
50 Fun Fillers

1. Sand

2. Uncooked pasta shapes

3. Rice

4. Pine cones

5. Corn meal

6. Dry cereal

7. Oatmeal

8. Beads

9. Playdoh

10. Feathers

11. Goop
( a mixture of ½ cornstarch, ½ water)

12. Fresh clipped grass

13. Dried peas, beans, lentils

14. Different scraps of cloth

15. Cotton balls

16. Colorful yarn scraps

17. Birdseed

18. Coffee grounds

19. Hay

20. Colored aquarium rocks

21. Bubble wrap

22. Pine shavings

23. Shredded paper

24. Valentines or Christmas cards

25. Potting soil

26. Seashells

27. Instant mashed potato flakes
with or without water

28. Cooked spaghetti

29. Shaving cream

30. Plastic drinking straws
cut to different lengths

31. Knox gelatin

32. Aluminum foil

33. Ice cubes

34. Cornstarch packing peanuts
(not styrofoam)

35. Buttons

36. Magazine pages

37. Plastic Easter grass

38. Frozen peas and carrots

39. Snow

40. Dog biscuit bones
in different sizes and colors

41. Unpopped popcorn

42. Bubbles

43. Dried corn cobs and corn husks

44. Small lengths of curled curling ribbon

45. Dry autumn leaves

46. Sunflower seeds

47. Flower heads and petals
or old potpourri

48. 6" or less lengths of cut
Mardi Gras beads

49. Construction paper scraps
in lots of different colors

50. Clean Mud

Clean Mud Recipe

1 roll white toilet tissue
1 cup soap flakes
1 ½ cups water

Mix soap flakes and water in the bin until soap is dissolved.
Help your child to tear the toilet tissue into small pieces and toss them into the bin.
Mix with your hands to make mud
the more you mix, the softer and squishier your mixture will be.

The mud can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for reuse.
30 Tools and Toys to Use with Your Bin

1. Scoops ~ 2. Tongs ~ 3. Sieves ~ 4. Pitchers ~ 5. Spoons ~ 6. Ladles ~ 7. Small dinosaurs, farm and jungle animals, insects, etc. ~ 8. Toy cars, trucks , tractors ~
9. Plastic flowers or aquarium plants ~ 10. Squeeze bottles ~ 11. Tub toys, ducks, fish
~ 12. Watering cans ~ 13. Whisks ~ 14. Basters ~ 15. Old fashioned egg beaters ~
16. Rocks ~ 17. Eyedroppers ~ 18. Children's scissors ~ 19. Plastic knives ~ 20. Empty plastic jars and bottles with lids ~ 21. Muffin tins ~ 22. Egg cartons ~ 23. Aquarium nets
~ 24. Net sponges ~ 25. Spray bottles ~ 26. Plastic berry baskets ~ 27. Shovels and pails
~ 28. Small pots and pans ~ 29. Foil candy cups ~ 30. Sand molds