We have been doing variations of what I now know are referred to as a 'sensory bin' for years. I was inspired by a few other moms to create one around a theme. We chose Asia. I am unsure a theme makes any difference to Dot, although it can't hurt. It is beneficial for the older girls (who also love working with it) to put it together for her. I hope they will create one for each of the continents over the next year. She does this work on the floor and on top of a large towel to help catch spilt rice.