I am all about finding meaningful play and learning experiences for G. This week, I decided to introduce her to sensory bins!
Sensory bins are such an easy and fun way to bring tactile pretend play experiences to your child. They’re super easy to make and best of all, you can find most of the supplies right in your own home! Sensory bins do so much for development in young children -- they promote vocabulary development, strengthen fine motor skills, facilitate pretend play, engage children in discovering and comparing objects, and introduce pre-math skills. BAM! How great is that?
I did a little idea shopping on Pinterest and decided to make a dinosaur sensory bin and a gardening sensory bin! I didn’t want to spend a fortune on sensory bins so I headed to my favorite spot – the dollar store!!! My goal was to make each sensory bin for $5 or less. Here’s the breakdown of what I got for the bins:
Gardening Sensory Bin:
2 bags black beans (for “dirt”) - $22 pack of coffee scoops - $12 bunches of fake flowers - $14 plastic pots - $1Total: $5
Dinosaur Sensory Bin:
2 bags dried pinto beans (for “rocks/sand”) - $22 pack of coffee scoops - $12 packs of plastic dinosaurs - $21 bag of rocks - $1Total: $6
I split the rocks between the two bins. For the actual bin, I used some white washtubs that I had in my basement – they were the perfect size and not too deep. I wanted my bins to be really portable so I could use them in our playroom or outside. In retrospect, something with a lid would have been nice. I’ll be reusing most of these items in our future sensory bins as well.
G. absolutely LOVED her new sensory bins – she really enjoyed scooping and pouring the beans. Although she loved both bins, I think the dinosaurs became a quick favorite. I love how engaged she was while playing with these and listening to her dialog between the dinosaurs was seriously precious. I now have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to sensory bin ideas – AGGGK! There are just TOO many fun ideas to choose from. Definitely stay tuned for more of these fantastic sensory bins in the near future.
Colleen is a former Kindergarten teacher and early childhood educator turned stay-at-home mommy. She's an educational consultant with Usborne Books & More and has a passion for literacy and early childhood education! She enjoys reading and spending time with her toddler, G.
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