Bugs and Flowers Sensory Bin

Last week Zoey wrote about her garden sensory bin. I thought it was completely amazing, and could not wait to come up with my own variation. This bin uses the same base (brown colored rice) which looks exactly like mulch. Mini pots are holding flowers, but I am hoping my children will also use them to sort the different types of bugs.

That’s the wonderful thing about sensory bins; they are literally bins overflowing with learning opportunities. Looking forward to seeing those little green thumbs!

MATERIALS USED:

– A large plastic bin
– Brown colored rice (tutorial here)
– Plastic bugs
– Mini flower pots
– Silk flowers
– Gardening gloves
– Tweezers
– Rake
– Shovel
– Watering can


divider

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


divider

Easter Sensory Bin

This Easter sensory bin assembly was completely effortless since we had so many cute goodies left over from our our 3D collage Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree hauls. This time around, colored rock salt was used as a base. You can find the tutorial on how to color rock salt, rice, and macaroni in our post here.

Oh, look who is making yet another appearance! We cannot get enough of the soft little chicks. The great thing is, is that even though this bin will contain many of the same items that the children will have used in their collages, they will be using them in totally different ways, creating new learning experiences.

MATERIAL USED:

– Any suitable container
– A batch of colored rock salt (tutorial here)
– Plastic eggs
– Plastic bunny eggs
– Small glitter eggs
– Colored buttons
– Chicks
– Easter grass
– Small baskets
– Small cups
– Ice cream scoop
– Sand rake
– Tweezers

divider

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.


divider

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!


divider

Valentine Sensory Bin

There is really nothing quite like a container full of bright, sparkly goodness just waiting to be explored. My children could not wait to dive deep into all things Valentine!

Because there are many schools and parents that do not believe in “playing with your food” (using food as learning materials), I worked to find a sensory bin base that was not a food product. I had recently purchased a Beta fish for my classroom and was carousing the fish supply section on Amazon when, all of of a sudden, I spotted aquarium gravel. As I quickly scanned all the bags of fantastic colors and combinations, well, my head exploded!

MATERIAL USED:

– Any suitable container
– Aquarium pellets
– Pom Poms
– Heart and XO sequins
– Different colored bottle caps
– Small jewels and gems
– 3D hearts
– Animal print scrapbook hearts
– Heart buttons
– Small chunks of garland
– Pink yarn
– Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks
– Shovels
– Funnel
– Spatula
– Tweezers
– Cups

Not only do sensory bins strengthen the senses, they hold many learning opportunities. Children use their fine motor skills as they scoop, sift, pour, and examine its contents. They develop and cultivate social emotional skills as they play and work together; taking turns with items, and sharing ideas of what to do with them. In the way of math, preschoolers sort and count the many objects. Shape and color knowledge is also gained.


divider