Call them whatever you like, we love discovery, activity, and sensory bins!!!
We are making a discovery bin each month based on a theme. So of course, February’s bin is all about Valentines activities.
TAKE A PEEK AT WHAT IS INSIDE OUR VALENTINE DISCOVERY BIN !
I found all the items for our bin from items around the house, a few items at Target, and at the Dollar store.
These five pink items came in one package for $1 These are great for taking lids on and off, and open and close. Filling containers. Squishing the body scrubber. Tossing the body scrubber into a bucket.
We filled the tall containers with pony beads, and the small round containers with pink and blue heart beads for threading onto string and counting activities.
Here my daughter is adding pony beads to the tall containers.
Pink and blue heart beads for threading. Good for fine motor skills, grasping, eye hand coordination, making patterns, sizing, counting, identifying colors and shapes, and more. These kits came with the thread and a variety of six beads per packet including a heart shape. These are available at the dollar store.
These are wonderful little kaleidoscopes. They are so fun to see through. The images you see through them become multiples and if you turn them, you see the images change. We discussed how these were similar to looking through some insect eyes such as flies.
Here is a really fun optical sensory experience. Look at hearts, and other objects with the kaleidoscope. Place several objects in a pattern to view them, etc. They can also be stacked or lined up in patterns, and counted. The pack came with eight kaleidoscopes in two different colors for $1. This item is available at the dollar store.
Erasers are great to use as math manipulatives. Great for counting, matching, stacking, using as markers or game pieces, patterns, and more. These valentine erasers also have the words “kiss” and ‘I love you” on two pairs, so they can be great to use in learning words too. The package contains 6 matching pairs, or twelve erasers for $1 at the dollar store.
Foam hearts to use as manipulatives for counting, matching, making patterns, sizing, decorating, and more.
Heart boxes for various activities, open and close, matching, counting, patterns, hiding objects, transferring objects from one box to the other, games, colors red-light pink-hot pink, and again these have words and are great for teaching language in a hands on way. These come in a pack of 10 for $1.
Silver heart boxes. Come in a pack of 3 for $1.
White heart boxes. These have a really neat texture of ridges and ruffles and are different than all the other hearts. These also are a double heart, a fun twist. These come in a pack of four for $1.
This is a recycled spice bottle I saved and my 8 year old son covered in red and pink construction paper. The holes in the top are great for poking things into, and also holding pipe cleaners while little hands thread on beads. The other side of the lid has a larger hole and is great for dropping beads into the jar. We love to shake different objects inside and hear what sounds they make too.
I pulled out some of the larger things from the bin for you to see. I included a small dust pan and broom for sweeping up small beads, pom poms, and pokadots. There are pink pipe cleaners for lacing beads, making patterns, and twisting into fun shapes. Pink embroidry string for measuring, wrapping, and lacing. Fluffy pink body scrubbers for feeling textures and tossing. A bright white bow for visual stimulation and feeling texture differences. This is also good for role play as they pretend to give valentines gifts. Pink cubex cubes for counting and stacking. A pink bean bag for tossing in our game of tic tac toe. Foam cupcake puzzle pieces to assemble. Foam hearts in different sizes to match up smallest to largest and count to three. Pretty pink and purple ribbon for measuring and lacing. There was also two sets of tongs for grasping items that are not pictured.
Glass gems for sorting and counting.
Fun emery board with glass pokadot beads on one side and a sandpaper texture on the other.
A real finger massage, and very neat to run your fingers across for a fun sensory experience. My daughter plays with this a lot.
My daughter (age 3) is examining her glass “gems” with her pink magnifying glass. My son (age 2) is shaking pony beads he placed inside a heart container. He is also dancing and thrilled to hear the sounds the beads make.
Erasers to sort, count, stack, and make patterns.
Sorting pony beads into the matching colored heart container.
They sorted pink, red, and white pony beads.
Threading pony beads onto pink pipe cleaners. This activity requires the children to slow down and concentrate to get their bead to line up with the pipe cleaner. I loved watching them concentrate on this.
We had five different heart containers in the discovery bin. Here you see four different heart containers. In this activity, my son age 2, is learning to match lids to the correct heart container. This was very good practice for him and reinforced a lot of different skills.
The bin was used through out the month of February for free play. Usually for one hour in the morning and sometimes another hour in the afternoon, the bin was on the table and lots of free time fun was had.
Some of these items were also used in guided activities such as those on the red and pokadotted trays you see in the pictures above, and you can read more about other guided activities we did with items in the discovery bin here .
What was in your February Discovery Bin? Please leave a comment and let us know about it. Thank you.
Also don’t forget to link up to our Valentines Day Link Up. Share your activities, crafts, recipes, ideas, play time, and more.