This Mermaid Small World sensory bin is a combination of two really fun activities: Sensory play (sand, water, gemstones) and imaginative play (role playing with dolls or figurines). Both my son and daughter loved playing with this one and despite looking a bit involved, putting this together was fairly simple.

You can follow my instructions below to make your very own Mermaid Small World, but don’t be afraid to add your own personal charm and details to this play set.

A plate filled with the materials to make a mermaid sensory play bin

What You’ll Need:

  • Tray or Bin
  • Mixing bowl and Spoon
  • Shallow dish for the “pond”
  • 2 Cups of Sand
  • Loose Glitter in Purple and Blue
  • About 10 Medium Seashells
  • Variety of Gemstones (blue/green/clear look nice)
  • Water
  • Mermaid figurines
  • Moss (optional)
  1. Pour the sand into the mixing bowl and add glitter. I didn’t actually measure how much glitter I used, just keep adding and mixing until the sand comes out all sparkly.

2. In the middle of the tray, place your shallow dish. Fill the dish with blue and green gemstones, this will be the mermaid’s small world “pond.” Using a spoon, carefully scoop the glitter sand around the mermaid pond. Try not to get any sand in the pond (don’t worry, your kids will do that later).

3. Once the sand and pond are finished, you can start placing the seashells randomly in the sand. I also put a seashell in the pond for our mermaid figurines to sit on.

4. Finally, you can place some moss haphazardly around in the sand to add that last “ocean” touch. Don’t forget to fill the pond with a little bit of water! I also added a few larger gemstones around the perimeter of the pond for an extra sparkly look.

Complete Mermaid Small World sensory. A mermaid doll sits atop a seashell in water.

5. There you have it! A lovely Mermaid Small World sensory activity for your child. Don’t forget to throw in your kids favorite mermaids. Our mermaids were prizes my kids received in Kinder Eggs but you can find mermaid figurines just about everywhere.

The best thing to do with this activity is leave it out for your kids and watch them explore and use the materials as they see fit. By letting your children play and explore on their own you are allowing them to make new discoveries and develop their imagination and creativity.

I have included pictures, below, of the finished product so click through to get some more ideas on this project!

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