Friday, March 2, 2012

Sensational Sensory Idea #1 (Sensory Bins)

I LOVE sensory bins and here are a few reasons why.

Sensory bins are a great way to engage your child using multiple senses. They are a fun way to encourage imaginative play and can appeal to your child's senses on many different levels. Sensory bins can help to develop skills such as:
  • fine motor
  • hand eye coordination
  • visual discrimination
  • patterns and matching
  • letter and number recognition
If you have a child who is a sensory seeker (see What is Sensory Processing Disorder), I would recommend having a sensory tub readily available and filled with items that will provide strong sensory input. (think squishy and squeeze toys). If you have a child who has tactile defensiveness, a sensory tub would be a great way to gently encourage him/her to explore different textures and sensations.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas!

Dig for Treasure from Inner Child Fun

This one is great for sensory and imaginative play, but you could also use this for teaching alphabet or numbers in the sand and let your child dig for them.

Ice Cream Shop from The Picky Apple

Now this one is just plain fun! I plan to make this for my three year old daughter. Wouldn't it be fun to learn colors while making ice cream cones?

Construction from Olives and Pickles

I personally think sensory bins make great gifts! What little boy wouldn't love a construction play box?

This one is from Olives and Pickles as well. (By the way, she has a huge archive of sensory bins!)
This is a perfect bin for the sensory-seeking child. Just look at all those colorful toys waiting to be pulled and squished and squeezed! 

Underwater Adventure from Cooking with my Kid

Bath Time from Counting Coconuts

This one is so sweet! I made this for my daughter last fall and she (we) had a lot of fun with it. She practiced counting as she filled a cup with cotton balls and I included a book about counting rubber duckies that we used as well.

Frozen Fun from Counting Coconuts.

I plan to make this one for summer. By the way, Counting Coconuts is the blog that first inspired me to make sensory bins of my own. If you are a mother of a preschooler, please check out her awesome blog! Her ideas are amazing!

Don't feel bad if all your sensory bins are not a huge success. I made this one for my daughter recently.

I used organic potting soil and very (unrealistic) plastic bugs. I included a package of seeds for her to pretend to "plant" and then dig up again. I was quite pleased with it and smiled as I anticipated the fun she was going to have. The first time I showed it to her, she got a terrified look on her face and backed away saying, "I scared, mommy!" I absolutely could not convince her that the bugs were not real and she would have nothing to do with this particular sensory bin. I guess after having three boys  I sometimes forget that little girls can be very different:-)

I hope you have been inspired to try some sensory bins of your own! I promise your preschooler won't be the only one to enjoy them!

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  1. Those are some great ideas! I've been looking at some on Pinterest and can't wait until my little boy is old enough for me to make one for him!

  2. Thank you Tara for linking up to my blog and also thank you for this great other ideas.
    Lovely blog.
    I am your new follower.

  3. Sine great ideas and reasons for liking them! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you are having a great week!