Setting up a sensory activity doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. You can set up a simple sensory bin with lots of benefits in just seconds. Today’s sensory bin is like that – set up zero sensory bin quickly and let your toddler work on counting and fine motor skills.
Entertaining a toddler can be extremely tough when you are feeling ill. I wanted an activity that would keep my son occupied yet didn’t need me to prepare anything. Luckily the last letter of the alphabet in our A-Z Sensory Play series meant I could create a Zero Sensory Bin.
Why We Called This Sensory Activity Zero Sensory Bin?
Our Zero Sensory Bin is named Zero for two reasons. Number one – the activity was a Zero Set Up Sensory Bin. It took no time whatsoever to prepare. I literally poured a container of Cherrios cereal into our green sensory bin and that was it. What sensory bin set up could be easier than that?
Reason number two – the multigrain hoop cereal looked like the number zero. In fact it was my son who decided the activity was a Zero Sensory Bin. It was a container so hundreds of little zeros.
How to Set Up Zero Sensory Bin?
You will need few items you probably already have at home:
- Cherrios cereals
- raw spaghetti
- tack or playdough
How to Play with Zero Sensory Bin?
I could have let my son explore the zero cereal sensory bin as it was. He enjoyed feeling the texture of the cereal and moving his hands around the bin.
However, I wanted to use the Zero Sensory bin to extend his fine motor skills. I wanted him to practise threading and the hoops seemed the ideal size. I placed some raw spaghetti into the sensory bin as this was the only long yet thin item I could quickly find.
I set my son a challenge to see how many zeros he could thread onto a piece of spaghetti. Immediately he set to work. However, as soon as he threaded the first zero onto the spaghetti it fell off the other end. I rectified this issue by adding a small amount of white tac to the bottom of the spaghetti. (You can do the same with a piece of playdough).
My son had to be extremely careful with the spaghetti. If he held it too tightly the spaghetti snapped in half. It also broke if he tried to force the Cheerio onto it. His record was placing 30 zeros onto the spaghetti.
This activity kept my son occupied for ages as it required perseverance and good fine motor skills. It also meant I could lay on the couch for a little longer.
HOW PLAYING WITH ZERO SENSORY BIN BENEFITS A CHILD?
As they play, kids work on several skills:
- fine motor skills
- sensory – experience new sensation through touch
- language development
- problem solving
- math (counting)
EXTEND THE PLAYTIME WITH BOOKS
Here are few of our favorite counting books to use a learning momentum!
This brilliant, innovative book offers an engaging new way for children to discover and learn basic counting concepts. By running their finger along large, grooved numbers, children can explore each shape. Colorful lift-the-flaps on every sturdy page further reinforce easy learning. Each board page features a number (1 through 20) that a child can trace with their finger, a flap to lift to find a surprise, and bright illustrations! Find the book here: United States | Canada | United Kingdom
Each tabbed section in My First Numbers: Let’s Get Counting focuses on a different number, giving children a variety of ways to count and visualize that number of objects. Find the book here: United States | Canada | United Kingdom
There are race cars, motorbikes, family cars, and all kinds of vehicles to discover racing across the pages of this awesome counting book! Organized into seven themed collections, the pages are packed with vehicles to look for, find, and count, along with lots of fun things to spot. Young vehicle fans can use the sturdy picture tabs to turn to their favorite page for counting car fun, time and time again! Find the book here: United States | Canada | United Kingdom
What to Play Next?
If your toddler likes to count and shows interest in math, you can try activities like counting kites or Lego seek and graph by color. On other hand, if you need more of low prep activities while you are stuck inside with your child, you can try invite them to explore water sensory bin or nuts and bolts sensory bin. Enjoy the play!