Whats in the box? A Green Sensory Bin
Each month I build at least one or two sensory/discovery bins for my children around a letter, a holiday, or a theme/unit study we are learning about.
This Green Sensory Bin goes along with our Letter Of The Week G, our Garden Unit, and the color green theme. There will also be a second Garden Sensory Bin for the Garden Unit to show you soon.
Ideas in our bin are:
Garden creatures such as insects, turtles, frogs, and dinosaurs (they ate from ancient gardens!)
Green plants that grow
Green cubes for counting and measuring
Green ribbon for threading and counting
Green pipe cleaners for threading, counting, bending, and poking into containers
Green containers. I had recycled parmesian shaker bottles. These are great for various activities.
Green cars for counting and free play
Green shapes: circles (lids), squares (blocks and foam), triangles (foam shapes), rectangles (wooden blocks) these shapes are great for tracing, building, stacking, and more
Green pony tail holders
Green magnifying glass for looking at things up close
Green crayons for tracing
Green magnetic letters and numbers for spelling and counting
Green foam letters and numbers for spelling and counting
Green letter beads that spelled the word “green”
Green pom poms
Green juice lids
Green popcycle or craft sticks
Green stacking cups in three sizes for small, medium, and large
Green broom and dust pan
Green ball, lots of fun to roll across the table or across the floor to a partner
Green buttons in various sizes for counting, sorting sizes, and lacing
Green cookie cutters
Also scoops, trays with holes or slots, tongs, spoons, a large green basket (for a scavanger hunt), and more.
The bin is a simple plastic box. We also use these boxes for school work and then they are called a workbox or activity box. I rotate the items in the bin from different themes, and reuse the container when needed. I keep a couple empty bins on hand so I have one available when its time to make the next one. You can find affordable bins for $1 and up, the cheapest place being the Dollar Tree.
There are so many fun activities built into this little bin, I am not sure I can tell you about them all in one post.
In the picture above, my two year old son was putting green pom poms on a paint pallet and then discovered how fun it was to put a green cube on each of his fingers. He loves to put his fingers into holes, and this has gotten him into difficult situations before. He just couldn’t get over the sensation of how each finger felt inside the cube. As he wiggled and moved, it caused different sensations than when his fingers don’t have these contraptions on. This amused him for a long time and he kept holding his hands up to show me how neat it was.
My three year old daughter loves this bin almost as much as her pink bin we created in February. Though the pink would win her first vote. She asks for her pink bin all the time, so I haven’t yet dismanteled it. It has gotten a workout over the past two months for sure.
You can read about the pink valentine bin here
In this photo, she laced green counting frogs onto a green pipe cleaner.
Then she took green pom poms and scooped them from a basket into the holes on the paint pallet.
We had green ice trays on hand to fill the compartments, and they work great for lots of different items. You could freeze some green colored water or juice in them for an activity. But we put in insects, magnets, trees, popcycle sticks, juice lids, and cubes and they sort well into these larger spaces.
One favorite item to put into the long slots of these ice trays are dominoes. Yes, I know they are white, but some of them have green pokadots as well as other colors, and I just can’t seem to seperate the children from dominoes. They all love dominoes. So into each of our monthly bins, I put in the dominoes.
Even my older boys ages 6, 8, and 10 had fun with various items in the sensory bin. First of all, I sent them on a green scavenger hunt to help me locate the many items we have that are green. Large items were put into a green basket, and the smaller items we put into our sensory bin.
In the picture below, the older children used the dominoes and various green insects and dinosaurs to set up a mini play world. They made a catepult with the scoop and secret caves and passageways from various items. Insects and dinosaurs were flying through the air and competing for distance and territory. I think ultimately the dinosaurs died out, and the insects won the contest.
I love to give the bins to the kids to just play and explore on their own. Through out the week or month, we pull different items from the bin for guided play and learning activities too. But just to see them explore and create on their own, and watch how their minds work, is pure joy for me. Kids are very creative.
Since we have a large family and the children have to share the bin, it gives them a chance to show thier better side of taking turns, or including the other person in thier role play and games.
< BR>Sensory bins are a wonderful way for children to explore, play, practice skills, and learn.
This post will be linked up with
No Time For Flash Cards
ABC and 123
The Play Academy
Whats in the box? A Green Sensory Bin