You and your little one must have been involved in countless activities together right? Colouring, scribbling, tasting, smelling, and what not! A wide spectrum of activities does require a large bandwidth of items as well. What if we could have a single item and yet elicit a legion of skills and development? Sceptical huh? Ever...
Home LearningParentingSensory Bins for Toddlers
You and your little one must have been involved in countless activities together right? Colouring, scribbling, tasting, smelling, and what not! A wide spectrum of activities does require a large bandwidth of items as well. What if we could have a single item and yet elicit a legion of skills and development? Sceptical huh? Ever heard of sensory bins!? Even though sensory bins may seem like ordinary plastic storage containers, they are used and exploited extensively to activate effective sensory development along with profound thinking and fine motor skills too! Let’s discuss these benefits briefly:
Experiment with the Senses
What do you think your toddler would do when he/she is introduced to this bin? Well first, they’re going to touch it, feel the edges and corners, and beat it around to analyze the strength of the material. All of the mentioned exercises are the foundation for exploring the sense of touch. Apart from the touch, the material of sensory bins is hard so when you store different items such as beads, toys, cereals, etc., and shake them, all of it is going to make diverse sounds which helps with auditory development. These objects kept inside the bins can be smelled too which is a great practice for the olfactory sense.
Catch up with the Critical Thinking
Sensory Bins are usually used for storing and scooping stuff out, so how is thinking ability affected? Most activities associated with this item involve sorting and counting, which not only requires memory recap and numeracy skills but also observing, analyzing and evaluating too! What if you gently thrash the bin around? Would it break or would it bounce back? What kind of sound would it make when collided with the floor? Keep asking your toddler all these “What and what-if” questions for some brainstorming.
Seek Self Awareness
While playing with sensory bins and all the objects inside them, there is an exceptional spike in the quality of self-awareness. They will start surveying their speed, motion as well as balance. This awareness would push them to the verge of being independent too. As they start realizing that they had been successful in scooping kinetic soil without help or putting all toys into the bin, sooner or later they’d want to try pouring milk into a glass on their own or clean the floor and put the toys in the desired places, etc.
Language Development and Calming source
There is a ton of brand-new vocabulary and slang that your child will come across while playing with sensory bins. Some of them include – up, down, hard, brittle, smooth, shiny, etc. It is also observed that these activities can calm down kids when they’re too restless as they’ll be engrossed playing to forget about what bothered them in the first place.
Expand the Fine Motor Skills
Sensory Bins are an excellent choice of selection for the overall development of your child’s skills and capabilities. From scanning the concepts of volume and space in the container to adding tweezers and scoopers for flexing hand and finger muscles (gross motor development), these activities contribute to almost everything. Not only that, but the social upgrade that comes with communication, coordination as well as taking turns is astonishing too!
You had no idea about the marvellous outcomes of such a normal-looking container, didn’t you? Enough about theories, don’t you feel like implementing these activities and witnessing the actual development that we just talked about? Let us fill you in with the easiest and most creative ways you may use sensory bins and indulge in some fun activities with your little one.
1. Find the treasure!
Take a sensory bin and add some kinetic sand into it. If you’ve never had your share of experience with kinetic sand, seriously, you need to! They’re vibrant, squishy, so easily mouldable, and well, save a lot of mess. Your kiddo would spend half the time pressing and clenching the sand in those fists and give those muscles a great initial exercise. Now add random craft items like pom-pom balls, pipe cleaners, some shiny shells, etc. Provide your child with tongs, scoops, spoons, etc., and together get into the kingdom of colours to extract the craft treasures. It’s one of the simplest activities that activate the gross motor and cognitive abilities simultaneously.
2. Sort the rice
Hmm… sort the rice? Really? What’s there to sort right? Relax, we have a pleasing-to-the-eyes activity for you. So take three Ziploc bags and fill half of each with uncooked rice. Now add a few drops of different food colours to each bag. Add a little water so that it mixes evenly throughout. Mix it and let it rest for a while. Now mix all these different-coloured rice into the sensory bin. Take three bowls and let your child push himself/herself to pick up each grain, wonder what colour that is, and keep it in a particular bowl. See? Easy, colourful, and thoughtful!
3. The squishy-jelly adventure.
This is going to be a very colourful, splashy, and squishy say so tune in y’all! Take a few bowls and add water beads and water to them. To each bowl, add a few drops of food colour (different ones as it would look more appealing.) Let them soak overnight and rise to bubbly beads the next morning. Take the sensory bins and add these beads with them. To make it splashy, messy, and more fun, add water to it too! Take a scoop and invite your little one to scoop (or manually put) the jelly beads into a plastic bottle, till halfway.
Now is the fun task. Blow a balloon together and add its opening to the mouth of the bottle. Press the bottle together so that it forces the water beads into the balloon. Once it’s done, tie the balloon and keep squishing it. You can use it as a calming tool. This helps strengthen muscles as well as a creative touch with all the colours!
4. Vibe with Colour foam
Colours are so attractive that their attractiveness would get your child attentive to play at once. Take 2 tbsp. of dish soap with 1/4th of water. Keep that for three separate bowls and add three different food colours into it. Whisk them together evenly till you get a thick-colored foam. Let your little one explore his/her senses by smelling, touching, and whisking it all. Now pour this foam into the sensory bin so that there are three sections of the three different coloured foams. Now whisk and whisk and whisk. It’s an amazing stretch to the wrist and arm muscles. Wanna act clever? Pour this mix onto a dirty floor or window and use your fingers to draw different shapes, numbers, and alphabets. Speak them out aloud too! A fun learning and a tactic to clean altogether!
5. Rainbow Snow
Who doesn’t like the flaky snow? And well, why wait all year round for winters when we can make our little snow forest? Take a little snow powder and keep it in different bowls. Add different food colours to the bowls and mix. Take a small scoop and scoop this colourful snow into the sensory bins so that it looks like a rainbow. Do you know what could escalate the level of creativity? Some animal toys! You and your child can pretend that each animal is the owner of the respective coloured village and get a whole pretend play in action. Once the role-play starts, all the colours are bound to mix which makes it look even more radiant. You may add little crystals or glass pebbles to make it look prettier too!
You didn’t expect so much fun using sensory bins, did you? Well, it’s all about learning something new for the sake of your toddler and eventually getting to realize how dope that idea is! Sensory bins are unquestionably one of the simplest ways to drag out the creative bubbles of your child and take it to the next level, so keep playing and keep growing!
Bonus: Read about how to make brushing time, fun time.
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