bin final

Sensory bins are a great (and affordable) way to keep your toddler busy, while also nurturing fine motor skills and creative play. This version uses yarns of all different textures, weights and colors—turned into pom-poms—to create a container full of puffy wonder! For older kids, this project offers double the entertainment-value bang for the buck; let them make the pom-poms for their wee sibling (my 13-year-old made the pictured batch) to play with. Enjoy!


  • variety of yarns (see a list of suggestions at the end of the instructions)
  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • medium-size plastic bin
  • tongs, measuring cup, scoop or other play tools


  1. bin 1To make the pom-poms, use a 3- to 5-inch/7.5- to 12.5-cm piece of cardboard (the thicker the yarn, the bigger the piece is recommended), and wrap the yarn around cardboard approximately 50 times.

  2. Slip the wrapped yarn off the cardboard and tie a piece of yarn tightly around the center; cut the wrap loops.

  3. Give your pom-pom a "haircut," trimming the ends to the same length. Leave some of your poms scraggly, and trim some neatly to add to the textures in your bin!

  4. bin 2Now you're ready to assemble the bin. Fill the bin with pom-poms, play tools and anything else (large enough to not be a choking hazard) that might be fun for a little one to explore.

For an alternative, no-tool method of pom-pom making, see this video:

Yarn Choices (click on the product name to learn more):

Vickie Howell is an author, designer, on-air personality and International Spokesperson for Bernat yarns. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband and 3 children.

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