“Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.” – source PBS
One of the sensory play activities that we do at home is creating sensory bins for our toddler and preschoolers. We have been making these bins for our little ones since they were little. What is a sensory bin or sensory box? It’s basically a large container filled with tactile experience. Some of the simple fillers that can be put into the container are water, beans, rice, shaving foam, water beads and jelly are some of our favorites.
Sensory bin can be created for various ages to suit their development and occasions such as birthday parties. They can also be created on the fly, as simply as putting grains into a box with a spoon for a baby to explore scooping and pouring to build fine motor skills while you are preparing a meal. Or something more elaborate where you create a sandbox filled with “dinosaur eggs” to be excavated.
For my family, we often work with jelly and water beads because it’s fairy simple for us to make and the kids, ages 3 and 5 enjoy these activities so far. To keep things fresh, I change the color of the jelly, and I place different objects into the jelly for them to dig. Sometimes I add in water, ice cubes, water beads and shaving cream to spice things up. There are plenty of sensory play ideas on pinterest and blogs to get creative with your sensory bins.
We have also created sensory kits for sale by themes and can be purchased on our website. All items (Cloud dough, play dough, colored sand, waterbeads) are freshly made or hydrated so that you know your kids are working with good and fresh materials.
We have 5 themes to date for sale:
Sensory Play box which contains playdough, colored sand, colored rice and waterbeads. They are sold in colored theme so that children can also learn about colors. We have them in pink and blue for sale.
Transportation theme makes a lovely present for kids who likes to learn about things that move.
Sweet Treats theme lets children create their own tea party or cooking time.
Ocean Treasure Chest theme has plenty of activities that a child can create and play with.
All activities should be parent or adult supervised.
I hope this introduction to sensory bins 101 would give you some ideas and confidence in setting up one at home for your little ones.
Follow us for more posts on sensory play ideas and products that we will feature in the near future.
For more sensory play ideas by age group, please click here.