I keep seeing posts from Play at Home Mom LLC and Kids Activities Blog and Living Montessori Now that involve sensory play. And honestly, I do a fairly good job of letting Boo experiment with a variety of textures and such, but sensory bins are something I’ve really only just pinned on Pinterest (follow my boards here), but not created. Ok, so I made one. I was really proud of it. It was this Sesame Street XO cereal, and I put hearts and pink and red stuff in it for Valentines Day. I was so proud. And then I actually pulled the Valentine’s Day stuff out and put a bunch of green stuff in the same cereal and it was ready for St. Patty’s Day! But since then, well, it’s still Becca’s “Green Stuff” in the family room. And, I would seriously think before I’d consider feeding my child the Sesame Street XO cereal, ya’ll… b/c the stuff is STILL intact and has not even come CLOSE to disintegrating yet. Kinda gross. But it’s still in the same condition it was in inside the box. Anyway, I digressed. All of that to say, I haven’t done much with having Becca dig her hands in things… so this week we are busting out of our normal mold!! I started with a bucket of dried beans. I stuck twelve purple “shineys” (pom poms) down in the beans, and just presented her with this tray:
She immediately started digging in, and started singing her alphabet song. I’m not really sure where that came from, but it inspires me to want to try a sensory bin with letters hidden in it – SOON!
Then, I went and got this ice cube tray and gave it to her to see what she would do. Without being prompted, she began to fill the holes with beans. She really enjoyed taking the beans in and out of the stars. I was surprised how focused she was on the beans, not the pom poms. But, I think it’s because she’s played with them before – the beans were new.
Then, I gave my first instruction of the activity (other than helping her put the lid below the tub b/c she was very frustrated when not everything would fit on her tray…. she had learned that rule well!), and asked her to take the beans out of the stars and see if she could put one pom pom in each star and use them to help her count. One to one correspondence is a skill for a much older child, but she can do so many things that are more advanced than that… just not one-to-one correspondence counting. So, we are working on it. And it really helped to practice putting one pom pom in each star! She also then discovered that one was still hiding, because I told her she should have one for each star. The hunt was on, and she had so much fun digging for that last piece of buried treasure!
All in all, this was a fabulous activity, and a great into to sensory bins for me – the preparer. I’m excited to set up more sensory bins for her soon… and you know I’ll share, so check back! 🙂
Total Prep Time for Mommy: 2 mins (dump beans into bowl, grab pom poms and poke them in, set up on tray)
Total Play Time for Becca: 15 mins (I think she would have played longer if not distracted by guests.)