Got some great ideas on making your own activities to occupy your little one from Teaching Mama such as sensory bins or bottles, puzzles, and race tracks. I immediately wanted to start making my own sensory activities for Amelie, and what do ya know I have the perfect set of bins from Ikea that originally came with Amelie’s chest which we turned into a play kitchen. As for the rest, I set out to Big Lots for inexpensive finds.
Here is what I got for $25:
- 3lbs of pinto beans
- Set of measuring cups
- Plastic serving spoons for scooping
- Bag of plastic easter eggs
- Wooden box with 12 compartments for sorting
- Plastic serving platter
- Bag of 50 colored milkshake straws
- Set of window paints
To make the sensory bin I used 3lbs of pinto beans, a large serving spoon, plastic measuring cups and other items I had on hand; plastic bin, mini tin bucket, wooden puzzle pieces and an empty vitamin bottle. All in all the sensory bin cost $10 to create. I set aside the other items I bought for now with the intention of making a few different themed sensory bins and introducing a new one each week to change it up.
As soon as I placed the bin on her play table she immediately sat down and went to work. It is tough to keep her attention on one thing for too long but this keep her occupied for the rest of the night. Hallelujah! Really I was just happy to see her so entertained and more so to know that I could provide that bit of joy for her.
Sensory activities are important in development and an easy way to incorporate learning into their play. Making bins is a very easy, inexpensive way to keep them occupied, and teach them about colors and textures, while honing in on fine motor skills. You can add anything really; rice, corn, noodles, sand, water, shaving cream, cotton balls, toys, water beads…
Here are some more ideas for sensory play: