On a typical winter afternoon, my two-year-old Little Boy awoke from his nap feeling rejuvenated and ready to be entertained. Unfortunately, I was fresh out of interesting ideas. I went into the kitchen to find something that could hold his attention and keep his little hands busy. I opened the cupboard, and there it was: the box of mini pasta shells. I remember tossing it in the shopping cart during my last grocery-shopping trip, because it was on sale for $1.00.
I grabbed an empty Tupperware container and dumped in a few handfuls of the uncooked pasta and a plastic cup. “Would you like to scoop and pour the pasta,” I asked. I placed Little Boy’s soft, chubby hands in the bin with his palms facing upwards. Then, I scooped a cup full of shells and slowly poured it over his hands and fingers. A satisfied smile crept across his precious face, which soon turned into a toothy grin. He lifted little handfuls of mini shells and slowly let them slip through his fingers – and then he began to giggle.
That was the moment my interest in sensory play was born!
From birth, our little ones absorb information from the world through their senses. This is how they become aware of their environment and how it works. Sensory experiences are extremely beneficial. They can be calming, improve motor skills, and help with language development.
If you do a search in Google or Pinterest for sensory play ideas, the results can be pretty overwhelming – there are so many amazing ideas to choose from! I have heard from some moms that they are interested in sensory play for their toddlers, but the ideas seem very involved, requiring a lot of time and creativity.
If you can relate to this feeling, FEAR NOT!
I am going to share simple sensory bin activities to get you started on your sensory play journey. These bins are quick, easy, and (best of all) inexpensive! Most of what you’d need for a great sensory bin is likely somewhere in your home. Over the next few days, I will post some of the early and easy sensory bins I have made for my littles that they still enjoy to this day!
Here is a collection of my favorite Sensory Activities:
(Click the photos )
#1. The Macaroni Bin
A fun and easily adaptable activity. Substitute virtually any pasta you have in your cupboard. Check out this post for easy instructions for simple yet creative sensory play using materials you already have at home!
#2 The Rice and Button Bin
Another creation that can easily substitute various pasta varieties. Click to see how a simple box of rice can be transformed into a captivating sensory and fine motor experience!
#3 The Construction Site Bin
Strap on your hard hats! This sensory bin incorporates simple and inexpensive materials for construction-themed fun!
#4 The Autumn Sensory Bin
Here’s to the cool breezes and colorful beauty of autumn. Check out how a fun family outing turned into spectacular sensory play!
…and there is more to come! 🙂
In the meantime, check out some of our favorite sensory bin tools!
The best sensory play tools can probably be found right in your kitchen. Here are some of our essentials:
Are you ready for a sensory adventure?
Stay tuned – I will be back tomorrow with the first of many editions of the Sensory Bin Series. Now is a great time to subscribe for updates so you won’t miss any simply fun sensory bin ideas!
Thanks for reading,