I’ve had so much fun creating cool sensory bin ideas for my daughter. She’s very hyperactive, and often has issues with her attention, so sometimes it’s hard to gauge the things that will be an “easy try” and things that might take a little bit more trial and error for us.
Sensory bins are made for just that, appealing to the senses through your child’s play and exploration. Sensory activities like bins and bottles create a fun way to explore and naturally learn while playing, investigating, and exploring different things.
Our first sensory bin was a simple bin of macaroni noodles. I was nervous to try something with so many small pieces, but her Occupational Therapist told me to just try it and feel it out. I am so glad I did, because she loves it!
The great part for me is, there is no right or wrong way to create a sensory bin. That’s part of the fun of it! You can literally put together a bin of fun tactile objects, sometimes even simple items that you already have in your home, and leave your child to play and explore. Sensory bins are a great opportunity to promote independent play, and for my little it’s the perfect way to decompress.
My daughter jumped right in with her curiosity, and it was amazing to watch her actually sit and focus on something for so long. I normally let her play freely, so whatever she’s feeling that day is usually okay with me. Sometimes she’ll scoop and pour, other times she likes to bury items at the bottom of her bin. The options are really endless.
Controlling The Mess!
One of my immediate concerns was clean up. I’m a bit OCD, so I wanted to make sure to find a way to make clean up easy. I don’t know about your kids, but my littles can’t seem to resist the urge to dump things out when exploring. They need to have every little part of an activity at their fingertips. We still have this problem, I must admit. It’s an uphill battle, but over time it’s gotten so much better to calm my nerves and just observe the (somewhat neat) play time. The key is being consistent in how you allow your child to play. I still allow my daughter to explore amongst herself, but I still give a watchful eye given the nature of what’s in some of her different bins.
I like to either do play at the kitchen table, making it easy to brush off and sweep up, or we play on the floor and I put a blanket down, making it easy to shake off when we’re finished. When the weather is nice, I’ve even done a few activities outside that contain messier things. Our summer for instance, was filled with tons of sensory activities that contained things like water, or shaving cream.
Learning through Play
While sensory activities are stimulating your child’s mind and senses, it’s a great way to also incorporate things like literacy, or numbers and number recognition. While I already have my daughter’s focus and attention, after a few minutes of free play I try to have her do things like counting items in her bin, or labeling her colors. I’ve noticed that she does best while already in a very focused and calm state of learning.
The possibilities with sensory bins and activities are really endless. We get to easily incorporate fine motor skills, colors, and number recognition, and for my daughter it’s a great way to incorporate words.
If you’re in need of some ideas for sensory activities, make sure to check out my Pinterest board A Sensory Sensation. It’s full of things I’ve tried personally, and a ton of other must try activities from other people.
What ideas have you tried for sensory activities? If you’d like to see more of the things we’ve tried. Let me know!