As you can see from an image we had lots of different textures and materials inside – we had rice, cotton, plastic and much more!
This sensory bin kept my toddler occupied for several days in a roll. She kept asking to “Play with rice!”. Even if you have a child under 3 years old, you would want to try this. Of course, you will be around and keep an eye that little pieces don’t end up in their mouth!
What I find as a great advantage of sensory bins is that you can fill them up with whatever you have on hand! So, nothing that ended in our winter spark sensory bin wasn’t purchased for this activity, we all had it on hand. However, we’ll provide some links for you here in case you would like to stock up with some of the items we used:
- white rice, uncooked
- cardboard roll penguins we made earlier
- cotton wool balls
- blue marbles
- large jingle bells
- snowflake shaped buttons
- sparkly blue gem buttons
- plastic cookie cutters in star and bear shapes
- plastic yogurt cups – from recycle bin
- sparkly leaves
- metal spoons in 3 different sizes
- several odd items we had – button tree, tiny metallic snowman and Santa
First time I showed my toddler this sensory bin, she was quite afraid to touch anything inside! So, mom had to sit down next to her and show here what she can do with all the items inside! I’m sure this will not be a problem next time! It’s probably just that this was so new to her and all of the sudden, after we have told her so many times not to make any mess, she was allowed to play and make a mess!
We have placed a blanket underneath our sensory bin so we can easily collect any rice that was out of the box. Part she enjoyed themost involved scooping rice with different spoons. She kept trying all of them and decided for smallest at the end. Scooping rice is great for hand-eye coordination, balancing and fine motor skills. Wouldn’t believe how slippery that rice can be! And she was happy to fill in and pour out rice in and from the cup!
Another activity she enjoyed was to get her hands inside cups and try to get out all the tiny items – snowflake and gem buttons that ended inside and remove it from the rice she collected in a cup.
We ended the daily play with pouring rice from cup to another cup. She didn’t really try to be too careful as you can see by the amount of the rice that ended on the blanket! But she loved it!
In next several days she played with this sensory bin, my daughter used paper roll penguins to stuff them with cotton wool balls and then push them out. She tried pouring rice on top of different items from this bin to see what kind of sounds she would get. She tried to make shapes using cookie cutters. Overall, this simple and inexpensive sensory bin brought 5-6 hours of play in 4 days time! Oh, I almost forgot: We don’t have anything specially assigned to be a sensory bin, we used larger shoe box we had on hand!
In January, we are participating in 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge with different daily sensory prompt. You can read more about this challenge over at Adventures of Adam.
TOMORROW WE ARE PLAYING WITH
Looking for more fun things to do with your kids? We want to recommend you our new book – Learn with Play (150+ Activities for Year-Round Fun and Learning)! You will find inside easy to prepare activities for everyday fun as well for all seasons and holidays! Here is a preview for you:
Book is available as:
Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.