A Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin
Yesterday, we pulled out our glass jars filled with river rocks. My boys poured and scooped the rocks onto a big plastic tray. Then, because the sound of the rocks falling onto the tray was very LOUD, I swapped the rocks out for pompoms, a quiet alternative. It also provided an opportunity for a discussion about “loud” and “quiet.” They spent an hour with this activity. In the picture below, I captured Sam’s first attempt with tongs.
Later that evening, as I was putting them to bed, I thought about our loud and quiet tray, which then got me thinking about sensory bins. I have read about sensory bins and seen pictures of them online, but I never really understood their purpose. Although they seemed very colorful and full of interesting things, I did not know how children would play with them, until today. After I set out the rocks and pompoms with a few tools on a tray, the boys demonstrated to me how children play with these sensory bins – scooping, pouring, manipulating tools, feeling the textures of the materials with their hands, listening to the sounds of the materials falling onto the tray and against each other, talking about the items in the bin, and so much more. I finally understand how children play with these bins and their value.
This morning, I brought it out to our living room for my two curious boys. Sam immediately chose these purple beads to wear. First, pretending to make garbage bins, Aidan chose a few containers to fill up with the stuff. Next, he dumped them out “into the landfill.”Then, he really got into it!Below, he is pretending to be a front-loading garbage truck.This little purple cup makes a lovely garbage bin, according to Aidan.Every time he got out of the bin, he would take all of the bits of stuff off of his fleece pants. Then, he would go over to the mirrors to check the back of his pants for any tissue paper that may be clinging to them.Once his pants were all clear, he returned to the bin, and began lifting it over his head, pretending to be a rear-loading garbage truck.
With all of the stuff about our living room, there was only one solution — Garbage Truck!
Back to the landfill!
Crushing the stuff in the hopper.
For his part, Sam played with the bin only a little bit. He was sleepy and content to watch Aidan explore while wearing his necklace and munching on a snack cup full of Cheerios.
Overall, I think the bin was a sensory success. I look forward to making more bins for the boys to discover in the upcoming months. Until then, we will continue to explore this one.