I believe that Sensory Bins are one of the most profound learning toy available to children. These bins are so engaging with little imaginations and Hands On play that they are timeless. They are designed to engage children in a fun activity that has limitless ways to learn across a wide variety of subjects! You can create one for any theme you are studying. Here is how to create a sensory bin and how to use it to scaffold learning.
When little learners are exploring sensory bins I love to ask question like:
Can you find items that have something in common? (You never know what brilliant observation a child’s mind will find!)
Do you see four round items? Something that rhymes with flat?
How many scoop of rice do you estimate it would take to fill the cup?
How many items can you stack and balance before they fall?
How many objects can you move with the tongs?
Will you tell me a story about these items?
Can you make a pattern? Copy the pattern I just made?
- should contain a mix of items that differ in texture, size, shape and more
- should stimulate language, mathematics, higher level thinking, social/emotional skills and more.
- should be filled with age and developmentally appropriate objects. (i.e., no choking hazards for young children, objects that inspire higher level thinking)
Looking at these sensory bins below, what questions can you think to engage your child?
(Leave them in the comment section to help other parents and educators.)
Notice the mix of natural and man made materials, the variety of textures, shapes and sizes of the items and the carefully chosen materials that inspire higher level thinking skills.