As well as providing enjoyment, sensory bins provide many opportunities for children to learn, discover and explore through active, hands-on play. Furthermore, sensory bins can promote creativity, stimulate curiosity, and aid development. Creating a sensory bin can be as quick and easy as you want it to be, and you can often use items that you already have at home. Here are some of our favorite ideas for summer sensory bins, complete with plenty of seasonal appeals:
We love this frozen Lego sensory bin idea from Happy Toddler Playtime because of its simplicity and the fun it provides on a warm summer’s day. Simply freeze some colorful Lego blocks in advance and let your child play with them as they melt. Provide some warm water and salt to aid the melting process and introduce some basic science into playtime.
Ocean Sensory Bin
Bring the joy of the seaside to your backyard with this delightful taste-friendly summer sensory bin from Rainy Day Mum. It combines elements that stimulate the senses of sight, touch, smell and taste and helps kids learn more about the ocean deep. And, how many little ones can resist the chance to squish their fingers and swim their plastic fish through jello?
We especially like this flower soup sensory activity from Adventure in a Box because it gets your preschoolers exploring outdoors and moving around in the fresh air. Have fun collecting diverse flowers from around your garden, or perhaps go on a walk to a nearby park to find even more blossoms. Your youngsters are sure to love the feeling of water on their hands and feet, and the scents and colors of diverse flowers will capture their imagination.
Ice Cream Sensory Bin
Few things indicate warmer days like ice creams, and this summer sensory bin, courtesy of Fantastic Fun and Learning, is sure to make you and your kids feel cheery. Let your preschoolers create their own ice creams from cotton balls, fake cones, and sequins. If you don’t have fake cones, you could either easily make some from sturdy cards or simply use real wafer cones. Why not follow up the activity by letting your little one scoop some real ice cream for a tasty summery treat?
Gardening Sensory Bin
Perfect for the outdoors, this gardening sensory bin from Mama Papa Bubba lets kids enjoy playing with soil while learning more about how things grow. Along with a tub of soil or compost, all you need are some small trowels or scoops, a small gardening rake, mini planters, and seed tags. You could also include plastic toys, small garden ornaments, decorative stones, pinwheels and similar. If your kid really enjoys gardening, why not also plant a few quick-growing seeds, too?
Number Dig, Wash and Match
As well as providing sensory play experiences using shaving cream and water, this number dig sensory bin also helps your child recognize and learn numbers. After finding plastic numbers in a pool of shaving foam, your little one can wash it off before matching it with numbers chalked on the ground. We think this would be a terrific way to teach kids the alphabet by using letters, too.