St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin

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Having fun with a St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin.  I bought some green tinsel, gold coins, some glittery shamrocks, some “drinking game” green dice, with some cut up foam from our basement square foam mats, and of course, our homemade leprechaun.

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We have been reading a cute, nonsense book about St. Patty’s Day and a tricky (non-creepy) leprechaun, based on The Night Before Christmas, which I thought was cute; and it’s $2 at Amazon:stpatricksdaynightbeforeJohn loved the beaded necklaces.DSC01548-001As you can see — he put them all on, but then let me have one.DSC01551-001He is still struggling with throwing all the contents of our sensory bins after he gets bored.  He did little sorting — I had planned for him to sort the different colored green foam.  But he had fun.DSC01553-001

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Blessings,
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How to color rice for sensory time

Coloring rice is easy-peasy.  Put your rice in a bowl, dump some hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol (a little goes a long way) and put a couple drops of food coloring in.  Mix until you have your desired color!

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Let dry for an hour or so (just to be safe!) and make a cute sensory bin!  No need to be fancy.  Just add some cups, funnels, spoons, etc, and let your child explore the fun texture!

Squishy bag

I have seen this on so many cute blogs, Play at Home Mom and Sugar Aunts, and I decided to make a squishy sensory bag for John!

I kept things very simple, but I may add a letter of the week when we do this again.  I got out a large baggie, pulled out a bottle of I’ll-never-use baby lotion, threw in some blue food coloring, some colorful craft beads, taped it shut and taped it to the window.

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John loves it!  He really couldn’t believe I was letting him play with it.  It’s been up for a few days now and still holding strong.

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In retrospect…. next time I will do a smaller baggie AND use aloe vera or hand sanitizer for that “clear” look!

IMG_5958Do you have more ideas on what to add?  

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A practical life and sensory activity list

I am making this list public so I remember to do these!  (And I will update with pics after I do!)

  • Sensory time with snow (just like tea pot water play)

  • Snowman sensory puzzle

  • Sponge painting with tempera paint

  • Fill pantyhose with rice and then paint with it

  • Table top shaving cream time

  • Do two ziploc bags of: coloring rice with a couple drops of food coloring and rubbing alcohol then let him mix in a sensory bin with cups and funnels

  • Scrub potatoes or squash with a cloth and small bowl of water

  • Cut bananas with his plastic knife

Fluffy Stuff

I discovered a wonderful (gluten-free!) recipe for fun…. fluffy stuff!

You mix a box a corn starch and a can of shaving cream and just go to town!  (We brought the fun outside, and even Dad joined in on the fun!)

More sensory bins

Blue gift streamers, big blue stones, and some tin cups.

Rocks, feathers, slimy snakes, and bowls.      Rice, measuring cups, funnels.

Acorns and cotton balls. Soft and hard.

Pond Sensory Bin

I have become very inspired to continue with our Sensory Bins.  My son absolutely loved his time with my first try earlier this week.  I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I have been researching a lot of Themed bins and more inspiration has come from Totally Tots.  This mom has gone above and beyond with her bins and I hope to emulate some of her creativity and enthusiasm!  I have decided to try and create two bins per week.  Today I tried a “pond” bin.  I threw in some rocks that I already had, his bath toys, and some little green fish plants that I found at the grocery for $1 each.  I was not brave enough to add water.  But he loved moving the creatures around and dumping rocks with a couple plastic cups that I included.  Maybe I’ll try water next time.

Sensory Bins for Preschool

I am so privileged and honored to be home with my boy all day, every day.  We have so much fun together, and he is learning every day, just by witnessing the world around him.  I have been looking for more activities to do with my 2 year old.  Sometimes the days can go by without any deliberate exploration or play and I want to change that.

We have loosely started the Before Five in a Row curriculum — mainly we make sure to read the same book for a whole week and I try to make one good activity at the end of the week to correlate.  (Of course, we read many more books than that each day, but this one is deliberate.)  For example, after reading The Little Rabbit, he painted a picture of a rabbit, then glued some cotton balls on it.  And for Blueberries for Sal, he will color a brown bear cut out, then weave yarn around the outline.

We have separated his toys into 8 bins in our Expedia bookshelf from Ikea, which has really helped him get excited about his toys again, as we get out one bin every day (this cuts the toy mess down too!).  We go to friends’ houses at least once a week for a change of scenery.  We have errand days.

But I just discovered sensory bins — to add to our list of weekly activities.  He has had tactile exploratory time, mainly with rice or rice krispies with small toys inside a cookie sheet, but a mom from PlayCreateExplore has gone above and beyond with further examples of exploratory play that a child can have.  She has created an amazing Ocean Bin, complete with sea toys and colorful rocks; simply add water, and your child has a little ocean to explore!  Other examples include Dinosaur Land Bin, or Shaving Cream Bin (just add any little toys you want!), or Holiday Bins (such as Valentine’s Day, just add lots of colored foam stickers, puff balls, hearts, stuffed animals.)

I tried my first bin this morning.  It wasn’t as intense or thought-out as some of hers, but it was my first go!  I didn’t have to go to the store yet either!  I placed piles of lentils and beans in a tupperware container, along with some plastic, magnetic, colorful letters, and added a couple of tin cans and mini frisbees.  I put my son on a big red blanket and put the bin in front of him.  He had a blast!  By the end, he did have a hard time keeping everything in the bin, but it was easy enough to clean up.

Off to the store to buy more rice, bird seed, other small dollar trinkets, and we’re going to go exploring for some small sticks and acorns too.  Also, I will look in my recycling bin for plastic tubs, cardboard rolls, etc.  You can really use anything!

We are so excited to get started!  Check her site out and I hope you will find further ideas for your child!