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) 🙂
I ordered some plastic needles and plastic sewing canvases from Amazon. There are some nice First Sewing Kits out there but keeping it simple is less frustrating. My 5-year-old is able to make basic stitches by herself! Even my two year old attempts but she still needs a lot of guidance with it (I help her put the in and she has fun pulling it through).
She did most of the stitches in the picture above (not all at once).
Sewing is great for improving fine motor skills, concentration, and a practical life skill. It’s more of a craft these days but it’s still important to learn IMO. At this stage I help her correct any errors so it’s not frustrating for her. I want her to be comfortable with stitching before worrying about anything else.
“Paint” with water on a chalkboard. My kids love this. They also like washing it this way (which is a bonus because they clean off all of the chalk dust).
Stick tooth picks into play doh. As simple as this may seem it was very interesting to a 2.5-year-old and a 5-year-old. They pretended like the toothpicks were birthday candles on a cake, arms and legs on a person, etc.
No play doh? Mix together 1 cup hair conditioner and 2 cups cornstarch. It’s very soft and fragrant! I’ve seen this recipe (sometimes called cloud dough) all over the internet and it really is worth trying out. Next time I’ll add some food coloring and make it colorful.
For this fun little project I actually recycled some cardstock scraps. Initially, I had been cutting out random preschool printables and almost threw away the scraps, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! I’m glad I didn’t, too, because my daughter absolutely loved making these bookmarks.
First, we color and drew on strips of the cardstock (as you can see below):
Afterwards, I had her punch holes at the top of each bookmark, and she loved it:
And finally, we cut strips of yarn and tied them through the holes! Here’s a few examples of my daughter’s bookmark creations:
This DIY bookmark craft project turned out to be a winner. It was super fun, didn’t cost us a thing (because we recycled paper and had the rest of the materials already), and the bookmarks will make fantastic gifts (not to mention they will make fantastic bookmarks). 😉
I’ve seen really neat sensory bins and tubs all over the internet. In fact, we have had fun with our rice sensory bin and sand activity many times. However, the idea behind this one is that it does NOT take me 15 minutes to vacuum up hundreds of pieces of rice or piles of sand afterwards. Sometimes I am simply too exhausted to get out messy activities! So, with that said, this sensory bin I can have right on her shelf and she can play with the random stuff whenever she likes.
In the bin are a package of glass “gems” found at the dollar store. I also have used these in our ABC bingo game. Also, I threw in some scoops and measuring spoons. The rest of the objects are random tiny things that I have been storing away for the past year in order to keep my 15 month old from choking on. In the photo above she is using two different scoops to transfer objects, so this is great “practical life” practice as well!
Above, my daughter is using her mini pink flashlight to examine coins and things. If you’re wondering what that glowing thing in the photo at the top of this post is all about, it is actually her shining her flash light through one of the glass gems!
Another point of interest is that I threw in an old container that originally contained cinnamon toothpicks. She gets a kick out of smelling it. I bet I could find other fragrant things to add next time. Coffee beans?
I would love to hear other ideas! Thanks for reading.
Sometimes painting on paper gets old for a preschooler, I’m afraid to say. So, we have to spice up the activity a bit! I found a couple of wooden boxes at Target for 3 dollars. My first intention was to use them as-is for activity trays, but as they just sat around empty I realized maybe I could spare one for an art project. I said, “Hey, you wanna paint a box?” My daughter was all for it.
Once the paint dries I will let her have at it with glue and sequins and glitter and whatever else I find laying around. I might not want to use it as a decorative piece when she’s done, but she’ll sure have fun. 😉
Also, this project got me to thinking that I could probably let her paint other unconventional things and objects for fun: plastic bottles, tin cans, and the sky is the limit. In the end, all of this painting practice helps advance her dexterity and fine motor development. And it’s fun!