Meet The Troops

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Sensory Bin

The kids absolutely LOVE boxes and bins full of tiny things to hunt for and dig in. Our bean bucket is always a huge hit and we've done bins of rice in the past too with little things hidden in them that they have to hunt for like shapes, letters or another theme. So this month I wanted to make a winter theme bin for them to explore but I had to use whatever I already had in the house. I couldn't find many 'winter' things for my bucket, so I decided to go with wintery colors and filled it with white and blue things of many different textures and fun items to explore. As I searched through the house for tiny things, all I could think about were the isles full of choices I would have if I were back in the U.S. near a Michael's Craft, Ben Franklin or Hobby Lobby....Oh I miss those places! But, we made due and though it's not as 'wintery' as I'd hoped, the kids still enjoyed exploring and sorting and playing in it all.
I ended up using white rice, white beans, plain popcorn, blue and white straws cut up, blue and white and silver pipe cleaners cut up into different sizes, tiny pompoms and some big soft ones, some blue and white lids, foam shapes, tiny blue math cubes (the kids always like to pretend are tiny ice cubes), and buttons.
It just looks like a big mess of stuff, but the little ones love it! These bins of random things are very entertaining for them. The first thing Faithy did was pull out all the shapes. I don't give any direction for this time, I just let them explore, but it's always fun for me to see what they start doing on their own; how they begin organizing, sorting and playing with the items.
I sat down with Samuel and let him have a turn with the bucket. At first he wouldn't touch anything in it, he just kept looking at it and looking at me like, "This isn't for me, is it?"
After a little encouragement and assurance that it was indeed okay for him to play with all these tiny things, he began to explore. Right away he started trying to hand me everything! He's very well trained to bring Mommy all the tiny things that he's not suppose to have, so this was a little confusing for him I think!
He really liked the soft, fuzzy pipe cleaners and collected a bunch of them to feel and examine for a bit. 
I put a couple of the big blue pompoms in a little bowl and told him to put them in there to see if he would get it and he did! At first he started picking out the poms and giving them to me and then I told him to do it and he started dropping them in there!
Of course I praised him for it and encouraged him to keep finding more. It was kind of an exciting moment for me...our first experience sorting together! :) He's getting so big already! :(
He was quite proud of himself!
He seemed to really like the feel of the rice, he kept moving everything over so he could dig into it at the bottom. I think I'll need to give him a box with just rice in it to play in next time.


  1. Genius. I've got to see what junk...I mean stuff I can find in my house to throw in a bin for the littles. Looks like fun! Thanks for the idea, You rock as always.

  2. Samuel is getting SO big! How fun that he gets to do big boy stuff now! :)