Sensory bins are a great way to add an interactive and hands-on element to your homeschooling routine.
Hands-on learning is an incredibly important part of the learning process.
Hands-on learning can help to increase engagement and motivation. By engaging in activities and experiments, students are able to feel more connected to the material and understand why it is important. This can help to create a desire to learn more, as students are able to see the direct benefits of their learning.
One of the most important aspects of homeschooling is providing your children with meaningful learning experiences that engage their senses. Sensory play is an important part of homeschooling as it encourages physical, cognitive, and emotional development.
Engaging in sensory play can help children build language skills, improve coordination and balance, and develop problem-solving skills.
It also encourages creativity, imagination, and fine motor skills. Through sensory play, children can explore and experience their environment in a safe and enjoyable way.
There are many different types of sensory play activities that can be incorporated into homeschooling. These activities can be as simple as playing with play dough, searching for items in sensory bins, or creating art with a variety of materials.
Children can also explore the outdoors and learn about nature through activities such as gardening, birdwatching, and exploring different textures in nature.
In addition to the educational benefits of sensory play, it can also be a fun and relaxing activity for the whole family. Spending time engaging in sensory play activities can help relieve stress and bring children and parents closer together.
Sensory play is a fun and meaningful way to engage children in learning, while also helping them to develop important skills.
Sensory bins are a fun and creative way to keep kids entertained while also allowing them to explore, discover, and learn. Throughout this blog post, you’ll discover how sensory bins can help your children develop important developmental skills, how to create a sensory bin for your child, and some creative ideas for sensory bin activities!
What are sensory bins?
Sensory bins are a type of play activity that engages all five senses.
They are usually filled with a variety of materials such as rocks, shells, sand, or rice, and can also contain items to explore like scoops, cups, and tongs.
Not only are sensory bins engaging and fun, they are also educational as they help to develop skills like color recognition, fine motor skills, and sensory discrimination.
Using sensory bins in your homeschool can help to break up the day and make learning more enjoyable.
What should you put in a sensory bin?
Simplicity is key here – there’s no need to buy a bunch of extra items for a sensory bin. Chances are, you already have most of this around the house!
Here is a list of things you can put in a sensory bin:
- Dried beans, rice, or oats
- Pasta of different shapes and sizes
- Shredded or crinkle-cut paper
- Natural items like pinecones, leaves, rocks, and shells
- Plastic animals or insects
- Stuffed animals or plush toys
- Cotton balls or pom-poms
- Fabric scraps or ribbons
- Pipe cleaners
- Wooden blocks or beads
- Toy cars or trucks
- Colored rice or sand
- Water beads
- Water toys or squirt toys
- Scented oils or spices
- Squishy balls or foam shapes
| Related: Spring Sensory Bin Ideas
What age should you start sensory bins?
One of the best ways to engage and interact with young children is through sensory bins.
The answer depends on the individual child and the type of sensory bin. However, for most children, introducing sensory bins between the ages of two and four is a great way to help them explore the world around them.
At this age, children are beginning to develop language and motor skills, and sensory bins can help further their development. Sensory bins can also help children work on problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity.
For younger children, a simple sensory bin with rice, beans, or water can help introduce them to sensory play.
These bins are great for developing fine motor skills, such as scooping and pouring.
As children grow, more complex sensory bins can be introduced, such as ones that incorporate letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. These bins can help children practice literacy and numeracy skills while also having fun.
What is the purpose of a sensory bin?
Sensory bins are a fantastic tool for helping children learn and explore the world around them.
They can help children develop their senses, fine motor skills, and even help them to calm down.
Sensory bins provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to discover new textures, colors, and smells. With the right sensory bin materials, children can explore, manipulate, and even build things.
Sensory bins can also be used to introduce new topics and concepts, as the materials can be tailored to the child’s interests. For example, a sensory bin with animal figurines and grass can be used to introduce a child to a zoo or farm. The possibilities are endless!
How to use a sensory bin
To get started, decide what type of sensory bin you would like to prepare.
You can fill the bin with items that are relevant to the lesson that you are teaching, such as coins for math, or rocks and shells for science.
Get creative and use items that you already have in your home, like craft supplies, kitchen items, or even toys. Once you have your materials, add a few drops of food coloring or essential oils for a fun twist.
When you are ready, invite your student to explore the sensory bin.
Encourage them to use their hands and fingers to explore, as well as any of the items you have provided.
While they are playing, you can use the opportunity to ask questions or introduce new vocabulary. You can also use this time to practice counting, sorting, or categorizing.
How to make a sensory bin
Creating your own sensory bin can be a great way to get creative and have fun with your child.
You can easily customize a sensory bin according to your child’s interests. You can fill it with items that have different textures, smells, and colors for them to explore.
Or, you can use items to represent different objects and have your child sort them or use them to create a scene.
Making your own sensory bin helps you to tailor it to your child’s interests and sure to keep them engaged for hours.
| Related: Browse through my Amazon list of all the sensory bin items you need to get started!
Making your own sensory bin can be a fun and creative project. Here are the steps to do so:
- Gather your materials:
You will need a large, shallow plastic or metal container, such as a large storage bin; something to fill it with, such as rice, beans, sand, or water; and various objects to add to the bin, such as toys, scoops, cups, spoons, etc.
- Prepare the sensory bin:
Depending on what you plan to fill your bin with, you may need to prepare it. For example, if you are using rice, you will need to cook it, and if you are using beans, you may need to soak them overnight.
- Fill the sensory bin:
Once your materials are prepared, fill the bin with your chosen material. Be sure to leave some space at the top so that the objects you add later will not fall out.
- Add objects:
Now it’s time to add interesting and fun objects to the bin. These can be toys, scoops, cups, spoons, shells, rocks, etc. You can even hide small items in the sensory bin for children to search for.
Once you have finished adding items to your sensory bin, it’s time to enjoy. Children can explore and discover the various textures and items in the bin. Have fun!
Here are a few more ideas for your sensory bins:
- Oobleck – cornstarch and water
- Foam Beads – colorful, squishy, and great for scooping and pouring
- Sand – great for exploring with scoops and cups
- Water Beads – absorb water and become squishy and slippery
- Kinetic Sand – a special type of sand that sticks together
- Rice – plain white or colored
- Colored Rice – dyed with food coloring
- Pasta – colored or plain
- Dry Beans – can be dyed with food coloring
- Popcorn Kernels – can be colored with food coloring
- Pebbles – great for sorting and scooping
- Seeds – try pumpkin, sunflower, or chia seeds
- Feathers – fun for scooping, sorting, and brushing
- Dried Flowers – add a natural element
- Pom Poms – colorful and fluffy
- Cotton Balls – great for scooping and sorting
- Beads – great for scooping and sorting
- Buttons – fun to sort by color and size
- Pine Cones – can be dyed with food coloring
- Sequins – sparkly and fun to sort by color
Sensory bins are a great way for children to explore and discover the world around them.
They provide an opportunity for children to learn, experiment, and explore different materials and textures in a safe and engaging environment.
With a little creativity, you can create endless possibilities of sensory play experiences. Sensory bins are a wonderful way to engage children in creative, hands-on play and teach them about the world around them.
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