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Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Substrate For Sensory Bins

Tip! Keep calm and use a vacuum - substrate can be messy! by STEAMer Trunks at www.steamertrunks.orgWere you planning on delighting the children in your life with a fancy-schmancy sensory bin, but then you realized that you’re not sure how much substrate you need in it? Don’t worry! We have you covered.

Look at our example sizes below if you want a quick way to calculate how much substrate you need. We prefer that substrate fills approximately half of the sensory bin, but your preference may be different (in that case, look down at “other sizes”). Our suggestions below reflect filling your bin half-way.

We offer two different ways to purchase substrate: (1) our monthly 4-quart substrate subscription that matches that month’s STEAMer Trunks subscription, and (2) convenient 1-quart packages of colored and scented substrate sold in our store. You can also source your own!

Two Quart Container

The STEAMer Trunk 2-quart monthly mailer has the dimensions 9″ L x 6″ W x 3″ H. For this sensory bin to be filled half-way with substrate you’d need 81 in3. We suggest purchasing 1 of our substrate packages to fill this bin approximately half-way.

The STEAMer Trunk 2-quart monthly mailer.

2-quart 1 substrate package

Seven Quart Container

This Sterilite 7-quart clear tote with a latching lid has the dimensions 14.38″ L x 8.25″ W x 6″ H. For this sensory bin to be filled half-way with substrate you’d need 356 in3. We suggest purchasing 4 of our substrate packages or one monthly subscription to fill this bin approximately half-way.

Sterilite 7-quart clear tote with a latching lid.

7-quart 4 substrate packages

7-quart = 1 substrate subscription

Fifteen Quart Container

This Hefty 15-quart clear tote with a latching lid has the dimensions 12″ L x 16.8″ W x 6.7″ H. For this sensory bin to be filled half-way with substrate you’d need 675 in3. We suggest purchasing 7 of our substrate packages or two monthly subscriptions to fill this bin approximately half-way.

Hefty 15-Quart Clear Tote with Latching Lid.

15-quart 7 substrate packages

15-quart = 2 substrate subscriptions

Twenty-Eight Quart Container

This Sterilite 28-quart clear tote with a lid has the dimensions 23.12″ L x 16.88″ W x 6.38″ H. For this sensory bin to be filled half-way with substrate you’d need 1247 in3. We suggest purchasing 13 of our substrate packages or three monthly subscriptions to fill this bin approximately half-way. Alternatively, you can  (1) purchase just a few of the colored and scented packages and then fill the rest with the plain substrate (2) fill the bin only 1/4 of the way.

Sterilite 28-quart clear tote with a lid.

28-quart 13 substrate packages

28-quart = 3 substrate subscriptions

Other Sizes

Do you have a container that isn’t represented here? No problem! Contact us and we will calculate how much substrate you will need. Want to calculate for yourself? Follow our step-by-step guide:

Need help calculating the amount of substrate for your sensory bin? Never fear! Use our five step how-to guide by STEAMer Trunks at www.steamertrunks.org

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