I’ve posted about sensory bins before (No Mess Sensory Bin) but now that my youngest daughter is older we are re-visiting a lot of the same activities that I did with my first daughter. My oldest is enjoying everything again too.
For this sensory bin I just threw in a lot of small items and spoons to practice scooping and pouring. There’s smooth gems, and puffy cotton balls, etc. Throwing in some scented objects (like the tea tree oil toothpick container) is fun too. I save all tiny random objects around the house (like nuts and bolts and twist ties, for example) to switch out. Keeps them entertained in different ways for a quite a while!
This is an update for my post Sewing with a preschooler. My 5-year-old finished her first sewing project! I helped thread the plastic sewing needle every time she needed a new color of yarn, and I also helped her correct errors (which happened a lot). But she really enjoyed it and it made her feel accomplished.
I helped my almost-3-year-old and she is not bad either (below) 🙂
My almost-three-year-old could cut paper all day long. One of my favorite items I’ve found at the Dollar Tree are these children’s scissors. I initially thought they were cheap and would break right away but they’ve held up so well I went and bought more. They aren’t sharp enough to really cause an injury but I always make sure my kids are sitting while using them. They work best cutting construction or thicker types of paper.
In an old post I mentioned that I save their old drawings and scribbles so that they can recycle that paper for cutting practice instead of wasting it. Cutting is really fun and even a two-year-old isn’t too young to begin with close adult supervision. They get a huge kick out of it and feel so proud of themselves at that age.
This is a very simple weather chart that can get your toddlers/preschoolers thinking about weather and the atmosphere around them. I made it from felt. My inspiration came from an image I saw on Pinterest (in photo below):
This paper plate version is very simple and I love the cotton balls for the cloudy weather. I wanted something more permanent and so I made it out of felt (and I was on a felt sewing kick for a while). I drew the images on paper and cut them out to use as stencils. I free cut all of the letters out (very tedious but they sell pre-cut felt letters at most craft stores which would be easier) and sewed everything down. It’s a very easy sewing project and the kids enjoy it!
Who knew colorful puff balls could be so entertaining. We already had some but apparently ones of different colors and shapes brought on a whole new world of play. I found these at the Dollar Tree and I’m probably going to go back and get one or two more of the different color variety packs.
They are also really great for color sorting activities and counting activities. I gave my almost-3-year-old some measuring spoons to scoop the balls and sort them into a container (in the picture below). I have her say each color out loud as she puts one in. Color sorting is old news for my 5-year-old so she decided to build a bunch of mini-snowman (in the picture above).
Great for counting practice too. ^
Another great color sorting material I found at the Dollar Tree are these heart beads. We use the basic pony beads a lot for color sorting and stringing but changing up the shape makes it new again! Worth the one dollar.
Pouring and scooping practice. I found the pack of mini paper cups at the Dollar Tree as well.
I should have snapped a photo of all the mess that was made afterwards when they discovered how fun it is to dump everything and scramble it all over the floor (but that quickly turned into clean up time)!
Cut out some cardboard in the shape of a hand mirror. Cut out some aluminum foil in the size and shape that will fit the cardboard cut-outs. I used a glue stick to adhere the foil to the cardboard, and it worked really well to smooth down the foil.
I think these magic mirrors could be made a lot better than I did here. I didn’t have good scissors to cut the cardboard so they are far from perfect. A box knife would work a lot better! They also could be decorated with stickers, glitter, and painted for another project.
All-in-all they were fun for my 5-year-old and almost 3-year-old. They pretended the mirrors were the magic mirrors from the movie Beauty and the Beast.
Anyway, It beats having to supervise them with real mirrors. Of course, it doesn’t work as a real mirror but it’s still fun for pretend… and it’s basically free to make if you already have the materials on hand!