Everyone needs some go-to activities which are popular with the kids and also allow you a couple of minutes to get cleared up, put tea on or send that pressing email. For us, recently, that has been the sensory bin. Here, I thought I’d do a quick how-to style blog post for setting up a sensory bin with a spring theme. Although we did use this as an activity in the run up to Easter, it could easily be done at any time of year. The resources are multi-use can could be organised to fit any topic you are working on. This blog post contains some affiliate links to products we have used.
Sensory bins are a great way to encourage play around a topic or area of study (letters, numbers, shapes) whilst also incorporating fine motor skills practice. They also provide opportunity for children to experience different textures and materials at their own pace, giving them chance to build confidence around unfamiliar resources. Little enjoys messy play and we have a large mixing tray which we use for some activities, but when the activity needs to be more contained, I find a sensory bin arrangement works well.
To set up this particular activity we used the following resources:
Animal counters: Learning Resources Pet Counters
A small plastic scoop
A baking dish
I used the letters to trace the word ‘rabbit’ on a large sheet of paper. The paper underneath the tray also makes clearing up any spilt sand that much easier. Using a small scoop, Little enjoyed playing with the materials; scooping, burying, hiding, building up, giving a shower to the rabbits. He also had fun picking the letters out and matching them to the letter shapes on the paper beneath; twisting and turning the shapes over in his hands to best fit the space available. This was a great way for Little to become more familiar with letters in a low pressure way- there was no quizzing or testing of what he was learning, just play and exploration here.
Other Easter and spring-related words we could have used include; bunny, egg, chick, grow, lambs… each of these would be easy to set up with their own props using the same basic set-up. You can also use this activity spelling out the child’s name as a way to familiarise them with the letters and how their name appears, written down. This is a great first step to being able to recognise and read their own name. If you like this kind of activity, check out the pinterest board for more ideas, including tuff tray activities and sensory bins.
Have you used a sensory bin before? How did it go?!
*Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links to products similar to ones we have used. If you purchase though the links, I may receive a small percentage of the profits to support the running of this blog. This will not affect the cost of the products to the buyer.