We’ve seen bean bins before. We’ve talked about them before. They are definitely a favorite around the natural parenting blogs. From a sensory standpoint a good bean bin is a thing of true beauty. Calming and soothing it works wonders on little fingers and big fingers alike. From a mother in New England (or anywhere for that matter) a bean bin is a go-to activity for long indoor days. In each household the “bean bin” looks different. Not just the actual container, but the contents. I have seen some with tiny treasures to find within the beans, some with a wide variety of beans and rice, some with elaborate sifting and pouring toys, and others with a simple collection of scoops. Ours tends to change periodically. It adds to the fun. One recent change to the physical contents of the bin has been divine! Our bin is a massive gold tin quite full of soy beans and pole beans. The pole beans grew on this teepee over the summer…so many many many were eaten…but there’s always some that end up massively overgrown…we let these dry and shelled them for our bin. Recently I added a bag of whole allspice that I had on hand. It wafts up it’s delicious aroma whenever little fingers (or big!) sift through the beans. It adds another dimension to the sensory experience and we are loving it. With yet another winter storm headed our way I see this bin making it into play quite often in the week.