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!
I originally thought that having only basic Legos required a child to rely more on his/her imagination, but I was wrong. We got a couple of Lego kits. They are really awesome, fun, and inspire endless creativity! They are great on rainy days, and to get your kid away from the TV.
For whatever reason some times we can’t spend as much time outdoors as we would like. So, here are a few ways that we bring the outside in:
We have steadily built a collection of rocks and agates every time we go to a beach or park. For now we keep them all in an oatmeal bin (above) but eventually I would like to find something to keep them in that keeps them more visible. My three-year-old uses a magnifying glass to examine them, and the fact that they are of varying weights (some of them are pretty heavy) and textures makes it a great sensorial exploration. While viewing rocks you can discuss heavy vs. light, different textures (rough, smooth), and comparing size (small vs. large). Overall, a great and free way to learn!
Here we have our terrarium. We put it together with our old fish bowl (around 5 dollars from pet store). The bottom couple of inches is aquarium gravel, and then the plant is placed a 1/2 inch into the cacti soil. We use a spray bottle (found at dollar store) to mist the plant when the soil becomes dry. Great way to introduce the subject of botany. We have this on a low shelf for my daughter so that she can look at it whenever she likes.
Above is our beta fish. Pretty inexpensive on the whole to have a fish, and beautiful to watch. Will later aid in discussions of biology, anatomy, etc. Also, having my daughter feed the fish is a practical life activity in itself. Currently, we have our fish bowl high up on the counter; I will risk a plant being down low and falling, but not a fish! 🙂
For this activity, I purchased a large plastic tub, measuring spoons, and scoops from the dollar store. The rest of the objects I had on hand (golf ball, marbles, rocks, etc). My daughter, who is three years old, absolutely loves this activity (She loves it so much that somehow half of it is on the floor when she’s done, which is fine because then we can practice Practical Life: vacuuming). It encourages small motor skills and imaginative play, among other things. Not to mention a boredom buster! I recommend changing out objects, scoops, and strainers every other time she plays with the activity, or the interest will begin to wane.