Have you heard of sensory bins? I’m completely in love! The basic idea is a plastic tote filled with things for your child to explore using all of their senses – things to touch, rattle, stack, bang, squish, study, sort… I started making them for Grace in the fall when she was about 15 months old. They’re usually organized around a fun theme, but I’m also intentional about adding teaching concepts in, too. This is her first new one since January!
- Easter grass base – 3 different types stirred together
- Small, medium, and large boxes
- Silk flowers
- Gardening gloves
- 20 flower counting gems
She was so excited! I told her the new box was in her room and she took off sprinting to find it. Usually the base item (grass this month, beans, rice, pasta, etc) must stay in the bin. I’m not a fan of cleaning up little bits for months on end. But this time she was so happy and fast I didn’t stop her. I need to buy a flat sheet to store with the bin for making clean-up easier.
I budget $10 / box and came in a little under this month which is always nice. I can usually find what I’m looking for on clearance or at a dollar store – this time I went out the day after Easter so all the springy decorations were on clearance. I tend to get intimidated when I see sensory bins online as many of them are expensive or time consuming (rainbow rice, anyone?!).
Today I let her free-play in the bin. We will also have some directed play to practice specific skills:
- Small, medium, and large – Using the boxes, we’ll see which fits inside the others and stacking. If she isn’t grasping, I’ll remove the medium to just practice small/large
- Sorting – grass colors, flower colors, etc
- Counting – There are 10 each color of the small flower gems to practice 1-10
- Fine Motor – Putting on gloves and manipulating objects while wearing them
- And most importantly, cleaning up!