Valentine's Day Sensory Bin- learning through play
For each new holiday that comes up I try to set up a themed sensory bin. Sensory bins are great for kids to learn while playing. The simple touch, sight, and sounds in a sensory bin is great for kids to explore. Depending on what you add you can expand the learning in many directions. My kids love these sensory bins and have lots of fun playing and learning. I have fun setting them up and then watch them as they play. I never know what they will do once I set out a bin in front of them. Knowing I wanted to set up a Valentine's Day sensory bin I started going through what we had in the house to make one. I had a lot of stuff to add but it was missing something. Then a family member sent us a package and in it was these packing peanuts. We were excited to receive some very yummy treats in this box and I was pretty excited about these pink packing peanuts too! Yes, its the little things that make me smile. Once I added these to the sensory bin it was complete. At the time I didn't realize what a learning experience the packing peanuts would add.
What I used in our sensory bin: most of which you can buy at the dollar tree- plastic hearts, small plastic bowls, jingle bells, pipe cleaners, and small heart containers. I also added a few cars and motorcycles ( you could change this out with small dolls or dishes...). I also used a Valentine's day tin the kids got last year and heart fans we made this year. I also hid pom poms in the heart containers and added a Hershey kiss piece for the kids to find.
When I sat the bin out for the kids they couldn't wait to dig in. They pulled out the fans and saw when they waved them over the peanuts they blew up. Packing peanuts went flying over the room. My tot got really excited about finding the plastic hearts and adding them to the tin( working on his fine motor skills in the process). We counted these hearts and went over the color and shape of them. They added the pipe cleaners to the jingle bells and had music wrist bands. They threw the packing peanuts like it was snowing and during this we had the extra learning experience of static electricity that I was not thinking about with the packing peanuts. See, I knew they were perfect and just didn't think at the time why. We saw how static electricity made the packing peanuts stick to the couch and to us. We laughed and had so much fun with this. And yes, this made a pretty big mess. Nothing a broom and vacuum couldn't take care of though. they continued to play with all the items in the box as they wished having fun exploring all the items inside. I was happy they could learn a little during playtime and that they could play together too. My kids are almost 2yr and 4yr. Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to find things they both enjoy and will share. This Valentine's Sensory bin worked great for them both. As always we hope you and your kids can have some fun with this idea too.
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All kids are different and only you can decide how you let your kids play. And with what materials you let them play with. My children are supervised when playing. Please keep this in mind with any post you read of mine!