I have been wanting to do a space unit study with the kids. I had planned to do this at the start of the school year but I didn’t have a space bin ready, so I waited until I had some items accumulated. I have several books ready, a telescope, some worksheets to make a lapbook, and have been collecting mini space stuff to make a space exploration sensory bin.
For at least the past six months, the kids have been missing a few toys they thought they had. He, he, he, he…mom was sneaky! If they got something space like to play with, and a few weeks would go by and they quit playing with it, and if mom finds it, then it went in the bin.
For storage purposes, I kept everything in a small clear bin that fit on a shelf in my storage room. But when I was ready to assemble it, I put it into a large black bin to resemble being in outer space.
Yeah! I am finally ready to do our space study and build and use this bin. Here is what I have been collecting.
The base layer has lots of black and clear beads of different sizes and shapes. Then I added small dark blue, light blue pompoms and small black, blue, metallic, and other color marbles. the next size was medium black pompoms, and medium silver white pompoms (these look awesome). Then I layers in larger marbles that resembled planets. Also a yellow golf ball that looks like a sun. Some zoob balls that resemble meteors. We had some glass beads, glass drop shaped spheres, and glass star shaped rocks too.
The middle layer has all the planets in our galaxy, a moveable globe of earth, a large yellow golf ball for a sun, wooden stars, black and blue snap cubes that connect to build stuff or have holes that can be laced with string. I added black string and gold string too. Star shaped cookie cutters can be filled, used to trace, laced with string, or play with playdough, etc. There are also lots of glow in the dark stars, comets, and planets.
The top layer has lots of astronauts in white and orange. A poseable astronaut with a removable helmet and backpack. Lots of rockets, space ships, satellites, space centers, space capsules, land rovers, a wind up land rover, a lego moon explorer, a transformer space explorer, and another special space explorer that came with the poseable astronaut.
This bin has so much to see and do. I love it! All the kids love it too.
This bin really captures the interest of the older kids too. The first and third grader are busy playing and the fifth grader is drawing items in the tub! Yahoo!
One of the activities we explored in the bin was the glow in the dark planets and stars. The kids had so much fun with a flashlight, dark rooms, and holding glowing planets.
We will be learning lots about space related science stuff in the next few weeks. I love this bin because it has so many hands on realistic science objects that we can use as props in our study in addition to just having lots of fun playing with them. Check back soon for some space exploration adventures!
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