ABCs of Sensory Bins: K-O



Welcome to day 3 of the ABCs of Sensory Bins: K-O!  In case you missed previous days, here they are:
ABCs of Sensory Bins A-E
ABCs of Sensory Bins F-J

Or you can find links to all the days on the main page!

image Knowledge:
Believe it or not, but there is a lot of knowledge to be gleaned from sensory bins!  Depending on what you put in, you can learn vocabulary words, spelling words, names, and more!
If you choose to do a themed unit, choose some of the vocab words from that unit and include an item in the bin that reflects the word.  You’ll have an opportunity to open up discussion about that item! 
In our recent unit about reindeer we learned the word ‘cratering’ which is when a reindeer uses it’s hooves to dig down into the snow and ice.  Using our arctic sensory bin, we were able to use a reindeer figure to ‘crater’!  It helped to solidify that word to Baloo.

This would be a great time to play an I-Spy game!  Tell your child/ren what you are looking for using the vocab word, and see if they can locate it!

Kitchen: Glittering Muffins
              One Perfect Day
Katy and the Big Snow: The Golden Gleam

There are so many opportunities to practice language when using a sensory bin.  Directional words, movements, and positional words are easy to practice.
You can direct your child to place an item “into” a cup, or ask them to look for something “behind” the cup.  Ask them to “scoop” and “pour” little objects into bigger cups.  You can help them identify the different items in the bin, especially the common ones like spoons, cups, beans, rice, funnels, and more!

Lavender Dough: Growing a Jeweled Rose
Little Red Riding Hood: Jadaroo Can Too


Multiple Ages:
Many people, such as myself, are trying to accommodate multiple ages when it comes to sensory bins, which can be difficult!
I make sure to always supervise when my kids are playing with a sensory bin, so I don’t have to worry as much about small objects.  If you’re going to have a younger child and an older child, you have to choose how closely you’re willing to supervise.  If you want them to play completely independent you’ll have to find items that aren’t choking hazards.
Once they are playing in the bin, it can be hard to prevent the older child from dominating the play.  One way to prevent this is to let the younger child explore the bin first while the older child is otherwise occupied (perhaps doing schoolwork).  You can also make sure there are enough tools that each child can play at the same time.
As frustrating as it may be, this could be a great opportunity to practice sharing for all ages. 

Me: Totally Tots
Mermaid: The Golden Gleam
Moles in Love: The Golden Gleam
Monkey: Jadaroo Can Too
Monster: 1+1+1=1

There are so many ways to practice numbers with a sensory bin, including kids of all ages.
To start with, you could do a number sensory bin (like this great one at 3 Dinosaurs) and learn to identify the numbers.  You could have a number hunt, put the numbers in order 0-10, or “fish” for the numbers and identify the one that comes out!

You can also use sensory bins to practice counting.  Any item in your bin could be used to count!  If you have enough cups and gems, you could put the cups in a row and put 1 in the first, 2 in the second, and so on!

In a similar fashion, you could use the gems and cups to practice addition, subtraction, and greater than/less than!  Make 2 piles of gems and have your child add them, subtraction them, or tell you which one has more!  You could also print out the addition/subtraction/comparison sheets in one of my packs (such as the snowman pack Kindergarten Pack 2) and use those to help!

Nursery Rhymes: Totally Tots
New Years: Growing a Jeweled Rose
Nature: Growing a Jeweled Rose




Organizing.  The number 1 question when it comes to sensory bins: How do you organize all your materials?
The answer for me is simply, and not so simply.  I have a large bucket that I throw everything into.  Anything that is smaller I put in a ziploc baggie first, and then throw it in.

I don’t really have a large variety of different items for my bins.  I try to keep my base items the same using either rice (white and/or brown), split peas, black eyed peas, or black beans.  If I’m not using one of those items, I’ll probably use something that is a one time use like shaving cream, water, or jell-O.

I keep all of our gems in one big ziploc bag, but it usually stays with our math supplies since we typically use the gems for math.  I don’t keep them separated by color (yet!).

All of our little animals stay in ziplocs based on the theme (We have arctic animals, desert animals, dogs, farm animals, dinosaurs…).  Although, they are a popular item so they often end up in the toy bin and I have to fish them out!

I have a specific set of spoons, cups, plastic shot glasses (I got mine from the grocery store, but couldn’t find that brand on amazon), and funnels that are just for our sensory bins.  Aside from the shot glasses, we got the rest at dollar tree.  These items stay in the current sensory bin at all times, so I don’t worry about organizing them.  Any other items we add come from the kitchen, and one we are done they get put back away in the kitchen!

The hardest thing to organize are random pieces that only go with certain themes.  I try to collect great sensory items as I see them and typically keep them in their packaging until they are used.  They are thrown into our bucket until we put the bin together.

Ocean: Happy Hooligans
            Totally Tots
Oatmeal: Pink and Green Mama
Olympic: Jadaroo Can Too

Today I’m linking to the bloggers in the School Activities category!

If you want to see ALL of the ABCS, go here!

1 thought on “ABCs of Sensory Bins: K-O”

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