A great way to keep your little ones entertained for hours is using sensory bins. If you can get outside in your backyard, or for a walk, I recommend finding some natural materials, leaves, sticks, rocks, pinecones, anything that draws your child’s attention. Natural materials are my favorite to use because of all the textures, colors, and the opportunity it gives children to learn about their world and things they interact with every day.
After your nature walk you can come back home and find a big bin or bowl (it doesn’t have to be fancy) to put everything in.
Grab some measuring cups, spoons, funnels, anything you can find to add to the bin. Your little one will love dumping, scooping, and organizing all the things they have collected. You can also dump some sand, dirt, rice, or pasta in the bin as a base. Then you can go hunting for the treasures you picked out!
Some other things you can do with the treasures are:
• Work on their pincer grip, an important fine motor skill that leads to holding a pencil later on, to pick up the small objects. Need some kid friendly tweezers? Check some out here
• Sort by color, size, shape, material
• Dig for them!
• Make pictures with the treasures, or of the treasures, and then redo again and again.
If going outside isn’t in your plan, there are tons of ways to make sensory bins with things you have in your house. Today I made one with dried pasta and flour, and then we added pom poms and googly eyes!
More ideas for sensory bins:
• Water bin with boats/people etc.
• Rice/lentils/beans with scoopers or spoons
• Cotton balls with googly eyes, orange paper cut in triangles (It’s melted snow!)
• Sand/dirt with cars
• Popcorn kernels
• Water Beads and plastic ocean animals
• Shaving cream with your child’s favorite plastic toys
What do I use for a bin?
• A plastic bin (Don’t have one at home? This could work! I like it because it has latches to keep everything contained until next time.)
• A large mixing bowl
• A baking pan
• A small inflatable pool
Have an awesome sensory bin idea? Share it with us, we’d love to see all the fun! Happy playing!
Zoë teaches in the 3’s preschool room, coordinates birthday parties and other events at Bubbles, and teaches in the Preparing for Preschool Program. Before joining the Preschool Program, she worked with infants through age two. This work gave her the foundation to truly explore and grow with the threes at Bubbles.
When she’s not signing her heart out in Preschool, you can find her singing in the shower, performing on stage somewhere, or crafting in her apartment by candlelight…while probably still singing. Music, art, performance, and being kind to the earth and those we share the world with, are all large influences in Zoë’s teaching style. Zoë is so excited to laugh and question the world with all these wonderful young minds.