This week we pulled out all our farm toys so we could make a letter F sensory tub: Farm in a Box. I got this idea from Small Potatoes, where she has an incredible amount of sensory ideas — including a whole series called Building a World in a Box.
Farm seemed like a good word to start with for the letter F – especially since we have a lot of farm toys. I poured our beans and rice combo into a big plastic bin. My Two helped me pick the farm animals out of our animal box (no, a kangaroo isn’t a farm animal; neither is a whale). Then I gathered our Fun on the Farm playset (great toy!) and our Playmobil farm set.
Now it was time to “build a world…” You can see that our bin wasn’t enough space for the boys. After my Two started pouring rice and beans onto the table for another playing surface, I pulled out a cookie sheet for each kid.
So what’s the point of sensory bins, anyway? I’ll admit I’m kind of new to this. Because, really, who wants to get a bunch of beans and rice (or lentils, oatmeal, corn, or pasta) all over the floor? Sensory bins are great because they appeal to the senses – hence the name, of course. They look fun, they feel fun, and they sound fun.
They taste fun, too, if you let your 12-month old play with them — which is why I put the bin on top of the kitchen table, and my little guy stays down below.
Sensory bins do not have to be a giant mess if you have enough of a play space. These big plastic containers work great. I am kind of a hawk at first to help the boys realize that the point of a sensory bin is to keep the items in the bin, not all over our floor.
Sometimes it works.
Something of a mess is inevitable. At least at our house. But it’s so good for my toddler and preschooler. They exercised their imaginations for a long, long time. Well over a hour. I’m sure they’d have kept going, but it was snack time. And nothing gets in the way of snack time.
Alphabet Curriculum for Preschool
Our curriculum includes lessons for teaching both upper and lowercase letter names and sounds. You’ll get three lessons per letter, built-in review, simple handwriting practice, rhyming, syllable counting, phonemic awareness, and a whole lot more!
Instead of plastic tablecloth do a big heavy blanket that way the sensory items don’t slide off the plastic. I talk to my preschool kids to keep everything on the blanket or in tub or they have to choose somewhere else to go. So easy to pick up at the end. Just take corners of blanket and slide all sensory stuff to one corner carefully to make like a Shute and then tunnel it back into tub. Hope that helps!
That’s a great tip, Amy!
I think I need to get a plastic tablecloth!
Can’t wait to follow your blog! Great pictures and great ideas from what I’ve explored so far!
Thanks, Nicole! I’ll really appreciate your educator insights!
We do sensory bins in preschool once in a while. We have the luxury of just spreading a plastic tablecloth out on the floor and setting the bins in the middle so that we can corral any spilled rice at the end. Mrs. Menges has lots of cups and containers and shovels and spoons in there along with cars and trucks for the transportation unit or other corresponding unit.