Garden Sensory Bin

Spring has definitely sprung in our classroom. The seeds, the children planted, have started to sprout. The butterflies have emerged from their chrysalises, and the children’s colorful kites are hanging from the ceiling. To go along with all of this, I set up a garden sensory bin, that needless to say, has been a popular spot in the room this week.

As a base I used colored rice. I then added a shovel, a rake, a sifter, a pair of large tweezers, and some garden fruits and vegetables. Large plastic carrots, left over from Easter, made the perfect receptacles for all the goodies. The children all had a great time using their imaginations and motor skills while “gardening”.


MATERIALS USED:

– Rice
– Brown and black liquid watercolors (refer to our (post on how to color rice))
– Rakes and shovels
– A sifter
– Large plastic tweezers
– Plastic strawberries and carrots
– Large plastic carrot containers


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St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin

The sensory bin center, in my classroom, is always one of the most popular. Children are drawn to the bright and interesting materials that the bin holds.

This particular bin is geared towards rainbows and St. Patrick’s Day. The base is rainbow colored rice (click here for tutorial), and I have added a variety of St. Patrick’s Day eye-catching materials. Feel free to use whatever you have around the house. A large plastic receptacle, such as a dish washing tub, makes a great sensory bin for home use.

MATERIALS USED:

– Any suitable container
– A batch of rainbow colored rice
– Pom poms
– Sparkly shamrocks
– Feathers
– Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks
– Sequin shamrocks
– Shovels
– Tweezers
– Cups

This activity is enjoyable for preschoolers. It will also provide them with a sensory experience, and encourage them to use their fine motor skills. Talk with the children about how the various items feel as they handle them, and encourage them to use not only shovels to pick up materials, but tools such as tweezers, as well.


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Rainbow Rice

As mothers and teachers, we are always looking for interesting, useful ways to teach in both the classroom and at home without spending a lot of money. This coloring technique fits the bill.

Rice, pasta/macaroni, rock salt – this method works for all of it. It’s easy, mess free and, most importantly, inexpensive! Why color these items? Well, because there are a plethora of learning activities that they are just dying to be a part of, that’s why! In this instance, I was looking to put together a St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin, and I wanted a rainbow colored base.

MATERIALS USED:

– White rice
– Washable water colors
– Ziploc baggies

Fill the baggie with the amount of rice needed. Carefully drip/pour the watercolor into the bag and over the rice for the desired effect. Seal the Ziploc and carefully massage and manipulate the baggie so that the rice works its way into the rice properly, giving you your desired outcome. Be sure to let the rice dry thoroughly (in the Ziploc) before use. Happy coloring!


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