I have a confession to make. I love sensory bins. Mr. C however, can often take them or leave them. Sometimes what I think is sure to be a great hit, he will look at briefly, play with for 5 seconds and then move on. This happens with sensory bins more than I would like to admit. So Mom, if this story sounds familiar rest assured you are not alone (nor are you doing anything wrong). I am going to share one thing with you in this post though that changed it for us.
Recently, I stumbled onto something that worked. Once I started putting our sensory materials in a bin large enough for Mr. C to actually get himself into (literally), he began to play with them longer and longer. He’s a very active little guy and the activities he seems to enjoy the best right now are the ones that he can get his whole self into. For example, he has spent ample amounts of time just burying is feet in a big ‘ol bucket of plain white rice.
I wanted to take this big bucket of rice concept and make it a little more of a seasonal sensory bin though. I decided to color the rice in some festive fall colors. We did red, orange, yellow and brown. There are many ways to color rice but I like to do ours with a few pumps of hand sanitizer and some gel food coloring. You can read more about how we color rice in this post. The colors are amazingly vibrant and this color combination did not dissappoint. It was beautiful when I laid it out in the bin. It was even more beautiful once it got all mixed up. It just looked like fall!
I put the colored rice along with some pumpkin table scatter (from Michaels), some wooden acorns (from MamaMayI) and his beloved diggers in the biggest bin I could find that we had lying around the house. I also tossed in a few little wooden buckets and scoops too. Mr. C loves these little wooden toys better than most in his sensory bins, and so do I!
We had a hit. He could get in the bin! He could get his feet in the rice. And, he could combine that with some of his favorite toys…his diggers. The first couple of days I had it out he played with it off and on all day.
Over time he’s added a few more toys to the bin like different trucks and more bottles for scooping and pouring. I’ve kept it out for about a week now and he’s still playing with it a little every day. Once he goes a couple of days without showing any further interest in it I’ll dismantle it and we’ll move onto something else.
How about your little ones. Are they a fan of sensory bins?