Welcome to day 4 of the ABCs of Sensory Bins: P-T! In case you missed previous days, here they are:
ABCs of Sensory Bins A-E
ABCs of Sensory Bins F-J
ABCs of Sensory Bins K-O
Or you can find links to all the days on the main page!
First I think it’s important to understand sensory play. Sensory play is an activity that involves at least one of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. Sensory play that involves more than one sense is even better!
A sensory bins purpose is to evoke the senses within the confines of a bin. Usually touch is a big factor, but it’s easy to get smell and hearing as well. In a bin you can include many different items in a contained area that use all the senses.
Pond: Counting Coconuts
Pirate: Counting Coconuts
Pasta: Counting Coconuts
Puzzle: Glittering Muffins
Pool: Happy Hooligans
Popcorn: Play Through The Day
Pea: Mama Miss
|Quality vs Quantity:
Hint: the answer is both! One nice thing about sensory bins is that you don’t need high quality materials. The rice from dollar tree is just as good as the rice from a gourmet supermarket that costs 3 times as much.
On the other hand, the quality of time spent with the bin should be great. Sit with your child and engage with them! Spend some great quality time with them while playing with the bins!
Quantity is important too though, in this case. You need enough in your bin to be able to manipulate with your hands! I’ve been guilty of under buying and left with a very empty bin.
My favorite items to use in a sensory bin are ones that I am reusing! Old yogurt and applesauce containers are great for use as cups. Instead of throwing away (or recycling) used paper, shred it and use it as a base layer! Egg cartons can be great for sorting, or separate the pieces and use as cups!
Instead of getting rid of toys that are missing pieces, pick out pieces that would work in a sensory bin!
One of my husband’s pet peeves is that I don’t throw anything out, but that’s usually because I want to put it in a bin!
Robot: Counting Coconuts
Rainbow: Counting Coconuts
One Perfect Day
Ribbon: Teach Preschool
Rainbow Fish: The Golden Gleam
Revolutionary War: 3 Dinosaurs
So, what is “sensory” and why is it important?
As per dictionary.com, sensory is: Of or relating to sensation or the physical senses; transmitted or perceived by the senses: “sensory input”.
As I covered under ‘purpose’, sensory is anything that involves the 5 senses; sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. For young kids, sensory is everything. They learn through their senses. If you’ve had a kid who puts everything in their mouth it’s because they are exploring the sense of taste! Kids who touch everything are learning through their sense of touch.
Sensory play lets our children learn from experience. They can experience what rough, smooth, hot, cold, spikey, etc feels like. They can taste bitter and sweet. They can smell roses and trash! If you had never had the opportunity to smell a rose, would something describing it do any justice?
Space: 3 Dinosaurs
One Perfect Day
Pink and Green Mama
Snow: Royal Baloo
My Buddies and I
Blog Me Mom
St. Patrick’s Day: One Perfect Day
Pink and Green Mama
Sea: Happy Hooligans
Spaghetti: Teach Preschool
Solar System: 1+1+1=1
Themed sensory bins are my absolute favorite, although I have to comment that the theme is completely unnecessary. While it’s more fun for me to put together, and the boys initial reaction is stronger, a themed sensory bin won’t provide much more sensory experience than a non-themed one.
I love themes though, and I love that if we are in the middle of a unit we can continue to explore parts of that unit in a fun sensory bin. Characters can be personified, animals brought to life, and vocabulary can be given a visual!
Trucks: Royal Baloo
Transportation: Counting Coconuts
Travel: Connecting Family and Seoul
Treasure: Growing a Jeweled Rose
Hands On As We Grow
Three Billy Goats Gruff: The Golden Gleam
Today I’m linking to the bloggers in the Literacy category!