Why sensory bins for toddlers is an awesome play idea!

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Fun sensory play for toddlers that is super easy and cheap to make!

Have you heard about sensory bins?

A sensory bin is small, usually plastic, bin or tub with materials inside that stimulate the various senses. Often times these bins have a theme, for example animals or shapes or anything really. But there are no hard rules with sensory bins except that the contents of the bin stay inside the bin. The possibilities are endless, the materials used also endless.

Why it is Awesome

There are many benefits to sensory play for children, and sensory bins are a great way of exploring those benefits without letting your house get trashed like other sensory play options.

Besides keeping them quietly occupied long enough that I can do the dishes or check my email in peace, sensory bins are good for developing their fine motor skills, their concentration/ability to focus, their vocabulary, and also because it’s just plain fun. Its a fun creative outlet for me to make their bins and it’s fun for them playing with the bins.

Things to Consider for Young Participants

  • baby or toddler who hasn’t outgrown the mouthing phase
  • risk of choking
  • supervision
  • larger items

Materials

  1. A Container
  2. Rice
  3. Wooden Shapes Puzzles

sensory-bins-1I really love this super simple sensory bin idea for obvious reasons. You don't have to colour the rice because the shape blocks are already colourful. This also means the rice isn't wasted too i.e. I could still eat it - heh!

Also if you didn't want to buy wooden blocks you could just use the regular cheapo shape sorter toys from Mr. DIY like I did. HOWEVER, it could get messy because the shapes are hollow - kids might shake it to try to empty them of remaining rice. I would know because that's what happened to us.

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For younger toddlers it can be a game of finding the shape puzzles and putting it back into the puzzle. For older toddlers who already know the names of the shapes, they can play a game of guess the shape by touch. Have them guess the shape without actually taking it out of the rice.

Preschoolers can get in on the fun as well - just blindfold them!

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