ABCs of Sensory Bins: F-J

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Welcome to day 2 of the ABCs of Sensory Bins!!  In case you missed it, here is day!:
ABCs of Sensory Bins A-E

image Fine Motor:

Sensory bins are wonderful for promoting natural fine motor activities!  Scooping, pouring, spoons, and handling small objects all use the vital fine motor skills.
By adding gems or marbles, kids naturally use the pincer grip to pick them up. Add in some cups and they will probably try to put them gems in the cups! 
Tongs, clothespins, toothpicks, eyedroppers, chopsticks, and paper clips are all other great materials you can add to a bin to promote fine motor skills!

Farm: Living Life Intentionally
          Pink and Green Mama
Flowers: Play Through the Day
Food: Play Through the Day
Fairy: Jada Roo Can Too
Flamingo: Jada Roo Can Too

Games:
Sometimes kids get stuck or run out of ideas with the sensory bins.  This is the perfect time to start some games!  You can do a ‘hide and seek’ game and ask them to find a particular item in the bin.  You might even hide something in particular like a letter, number, or something with a certain color/shape.
Use the items in the bin to make art!  Gems can be eyes, spoons can be mouths, etc!
I-Spy is another great game for sensory bins.  Choose an item in the bin and say “I-spy with my little eye something…” and give them a keyword! 
You can also hide something and see if they figure out what is missing, have them find everything that is a certain color or starts with a certain letter, count, sort, pattern, etc! 

Game Ideas: 1+1+1=1
Garden: Growing a Jeweled Rose
              Pink and Green Mama
Glass Slipper:  Jada Roo Can Too
Goop: Growing a Jeweled Rose

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How-to:
One of the most common questions about sensory bins is simply “how”?”.  How do I set it up?  How do I present it?  How do we play with it?

If you’re working on your first sensory bin, or having trouble with putting sensory bins together, feel free to keep in simple!  I’ve given my boys a bin with rice, spoons, and cups and it’s kept them happily entertained for 30 minutes!  While I love the themes, and they enjoy them too, the theme is not necessary!  Choose your bin, add a few simple materials, and you’re done!  If it seems too difficult, then simplify.

As for presentation, simplifying is key as well!  Sometimes it’s fun to set up a themed bin in a certain way, but I’ve found that as long as all of the pieces are in there, they don’t care how it looks.  Make sure there is room to play, and let them at it!  I tend to get everything ready, set out the bin on a tablecloth or outside (some place where clean up is easy) and then call them over.  At first, I try not to intervene or explain.  Let them discover what is in the bin and figure out how best to use it!

Playing should be the easiest part because you can just follow their lead!  Let them dig in and explore.  Sometimes I don’t even sit with the boys, but a few feet away.  They’re less likely to look to me for advice and work out any problems or questions on their own.  If they seem to get bored or destructive, feel free to step in with a minor observation.  I might say something like “Oh it looks like you could stack these and make a tower” or “Wouldn’t it be neat if all the blue gems were in one pile and all the green gems in another?”

How-To: Pink and Green Mama
              Counting Coconuts
Human Body: Counting Coconuts

Inspiration:
There are many ways to come up with inspiration for a bin.  I love to have our current bin related to something we are working on, whether that be a unit study, Five In A Row book, season, or current interest.  Right now we are visiting the desert so I put together a desert sensory bin!  It’s a great way to reinforce what we are currently working on!

Another great source of inspiration is Pinterest.  There are many Sensory Bin boards with tons of pictures
Check out my Sensory Bin board here

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Feel free to let your child be the lead.  If their favorite color is purple, make a purple sensory bin! 

Inspiring Pinterest Boards: Mom to 2 Posh Little Divas
                 Play Create Explore
                 Train Up a Child
                 Melissa and Doug
Ice-Cream: Pink and Green Mama
                  Counting Coconuts
Ice: Growing a Jeweled Rose

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Jingle:
Sensory bins can be great for all 5 senses!  I usually think of them as a ‘touch’ sensory experience, but there is no reason that smell and hearing cannot be used as well!  As some bells, jingle balls, or shakers to your bin and see what happens! 

If you can add them in multiples of 2, you can play a ‘match that sound’ game!  Have your child close their eyes and shake one item.  Then have them find the item, or the matching item, that you shook!

Jell-O: Growing a Jeweled Rose
Jungle: Cachey Mama’s Classroom

 

There are 70 wonderful bloggers participating in this series!!  Yesterday I linked to the bloggers in the Learning Through Play category.  Today I am linking to the bloggers in the Mom Tips and Tricks category!

1 thought on “ABCs of Sensory Bins: F-J”

  1. Pingback: ABCs of Sensory Bins: U-Z

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