Do you have a child fascinated with space, stars, moon, planets? Even if you don’t, if you put together for them a galaxy sensory bin, you will have one new space fan! Galaxy sensory bin is perfect way to introduce many concepts revolving around outer space to younger children like toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Benefits of Using Galaxy Sensory Bin
Using different tools and textures to set up this galaxy sensory bin, child will work on several old and new skills:
- they will engage their senses through touch, hearing and vision (glow-in-the-dark element)
- work on fine motor skills with different tools
- develop language as they learn new words and concepts revolving around outer space, planets, stars, galaxy, etc.
What We Used to Create Galaxy Sensory Bin?
We will specify materials and tools we used to set up our outer space sensory bin. You can make a tweak depending on the items you have available on hand.
- 3D Glow In The Dark Planets
- Glow In The Dark Stars
- kitchen foil
- sensory bin
- black turtle beans
- fine motor tools set
- star-shaped bowls or star shaped baking cups
How to Set Up the Galaxy Sensory Bin for Play?
My desire to make a space inspired sensory bin stemmed from our recent purchase of 3D Glow In The Dark Planets. The planets range from 1.9cm-5cm and are meant to be hung from the ceiling. However, first, I wanted my son to explore the planets within a sensory bin.
I took our usual green sensory bin and covered it with kitchen foil. This created a space-like background and added another sensory element to our activity as it made a wonderful crunching sound during play time. To represent black space I added 1kg of black turtle beans. Finally, I added the 3D Planets along with a packet of Glow In The Dark Stars.
Next to the Galaxy Sensory Bin I placed a variety fine motor tools and four star-shaped bowls.
How to Play with Galaxy Sensory Bin?
First my son explored the texture of the black turtle beans. He grabbed handfuls of the beans and watched as the turtle beans fell between his fingers. He loved the noise it created when the black turtle beans dropped onto the tin foil. For some time he experimented to see if bigger handfuls of beans created a larger noise or not.
Next, my son used his fine motor tools to pick up the turtle beans, stars, and planets and place them into the star-shaped bowls. The Handy Scooper was the perfect size and shape to pick up the planets. They fitted perfectly inside. The wooden tong worked well when trying to pick up Saturn. Although my son struggled to use the wooden tong to pick up the glow in the dark stars the Jumbo Tweezer worked well with the thin items.
As night fell the 3D objects became to glow. My son couldn’t quite believe that he could carry on playing with the Galaxy Sensory Bin despite not having the light on. Unfortunately, the bin didn’t show up on camera whilst in the dark.
The glow in the dark added an additional sensory element to our play and brought on a discussion about where the light comes from, why we can see the moon at night and what stars are. These were questions I certainly didn’t expect them to be interested in! I love it when sensory play encourages children to be interested in the world around them.
Extend the Play And Read About the Space
They twinkle in the night sky, but what exactly are stars? Which one’s the nearest? Can humans visit a star? Curious little children can lift over 30 flaps to find the answers to these questions and many more in this delightful introduction to stars and the night sky, with simple explanations and gorgeous illustrations on every page.
These colorful pages will introduce young children to the wonders of space, with colorful illustrations and simple text that is perfect for beginning readers or for reading aloud. The book will explain basic concepts of space, beginning with what is most familiar to kids and expanding out into the universe.
For kids who love universe, this book features the coolest science kids can’t get enough of: our planet Earth, cool asteroids, fun aliens, comets, and so much more. Packed with mazes, spelling and pattern games, drawing activities, and more, kids are sure to love these pages loaded with fun.
Other Fun Space Explorations to Try with Kids
For toddlers and preschoolers, it’s a fun and engaging way to explore space through sensory play! For mess-free play, you can create a galaxy I-spy bottle. In the past, we have set up a week worth of activities with letter R and rockets as a theme. Kids love it! You can also invite them to create stars with simple printing technique.