Blog post

Sensory Bin- Spring Theme

March 28, 2018Jenny

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: 

Green play sand: Sandtastik Kids Child Wedding Craft Hobby Green Colored Play Sand 1 Lb Bag by Sandtastik

Wooden letters: Melissa & Doug See & Spell Wooden Educational Toy With 8 Double-Sided Spelling Boards and 64 Letters

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. 

How to set up a spring- themed sensory bin for toddler and preschool play. #finemotorskills #alphabet #sensory *blog post contains affiliate links

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Comments (25)

  • Rhi

    March 28, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    What a great idea the sensory bin is. It is something I will try with my youngest #tacticaltuesdays

    1. Jenny

      March 28, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      Awesome! Let us know how you get on. Thank you for linking up! 🙂

  • Joanna Bayford

    March 29, 2018 at 10:27 am

    I love this idea definitely wanting to do something similar with Blake thix half term. #TacticalTuesdays

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Awesome!

  • Christy

    March 29, 2018 at 11:43 am

    I really like the idea of using green play sand as grass. I have artificial grass here and sometimes we use hay or real grass too but playsand is definitely a different texture that will encourage play in a different way. We don’t have any coloured playsand so I think that’s going on the crafting list. #bloggerpinparty

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Great! I’d love to see how you get on!

  • carla@ouramanahsourfutures

    March 29, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Mine is too young for sand in a sensory bin but I look forward too when I can do things like this with him. The idea of adding the letters is great #bloggerpinparty

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:23 pm

      I’m glad you like it, your little one will be digging away in sand before you know it!

  • claire | the ladybirds’ adventures

    March 29, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I love this sensory bin. Always love making learning fun and seasonal like this. Thanks for joining #bloggerpinparty

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks!

  • Malin

    April 2, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    This looks very inviting, love the playsand! Those type of animal counters are TOO exciting for Penguin though – his old therapy ‘team’ used to try using bear shaped ones with him for various purposes, but he got totally over-stimulated by the texture of them! ☺️ xx
    #TacticalTuesdays

    1. Jenny

      April 4, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Wow, yes, I’ve seen those ones, interesting to hear how others have got on with similar resources, too. Thanks for reading.

  • Natasha Mairs

    April 8, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    I used to love making sensory bins wen my kids were younger #MakeItMonthly

    1. Jenny

      April 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Brilliant- yes, they are great, aren’t they?!

  • Helena

    April 10, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    This sounds like a fun way in which to learn #Bloggerpinparty

    1. Jenny

      April 13, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Thank you!

  • Kirsty Hall

    April 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    That is such a great idea. I am definitely going to try this out with my twins. #thesatsesh

    1. Jenny

      April 14, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Great- I hope they like it!

  • Tammymum

    April 15, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I love this, I especially love the colours they really make it. Another really fun way to learn lots of different things, colours, numbers, letters, shapes, textures – it’s fab. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

    1. Jenny

      April 18, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you! Yes, kids are often drawn to bright colours, aren’t they? Thanks for reading.

  • fridgesays

    April 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    #thesatsesh I imagine your brain is like a huge art cupboard. Where do you get all of your ideas from? seriously you need to do a sensory play group… you have a wonderful talent that so many children could benefit from, plus i like playing too 🙂 Love the little rubber bunnies. Useful for numeracy too.

    1. Jenny

      April 18, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      Hi, thank you for your lovely comment! I am really enjoying the blog so happy to play and try things out, really! A sensory play group… hmm, who knows, maybe one day!

  • Annette, Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne

    April 16, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    I’ve never used a sensory bin and now my four are too old for that. Never mind, they did, and still do, play outside a lot in their ‘dirt’ pit, for lack of real sand…#familyfun

    1. Jenny

      April 18, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      We love outdoor play, too!

  • Sarah

    May 5, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Sensory play is always fun, but themed sensory play?!!! #MakeItLinky

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