Sensory Activities, Bins, Ideas

Sensory Boards
I can't begin to express how much I love sensory boards! They make great toys, great for learning, wonderful for sensory input, good hand-eye coordination, superb for exploring, and completely customizable for your baby! There are so many different ways to do it also. Kids can help make ones like the top picture. Finding and gluing items to a sturdy paper or cardboard makes for a great craft too! You can use household things such as, sand, sandpaper, rice, coffee grinds, cotton balls, feathers, etc. On a board like the one pictured below, get creative. There are a hundred things you could get from Lowes or Home Depot that your child would love. Try chains, ropes, tubing, different locks and latches, zippers, lights that turn on by touch or button or pull chain (be careful with ones that put off heat), and different surfaces such as, carpet, fake grass, diamond plate, grates, etc. Always make sure items are very secure to the board as your child will most likely be pulling on the items, and be sure to have the board secured to the wall as best as possible. 

This mud race, I feel, goes hand in hand with the car wash bin I posted in Playtime Activities! This is such great fun for boys (and for girls too!). Kids always seen to want to play in the mud and this is one way parents can keep it contained. When the toys get dirty, have them run the toys through a car wash bin (soapy water bin), so that you don't have to clean them! Good stuff ;-)

I thoroughly enjoy that this is a multifunction station. It is a sensory bin, treasure hunt, and letter match! Genius! You could use many different "fillers" within the bin itself, but I believe she used colored rice for this one=] You could include different shovels, scoops, and cups also. A baking sheet, with letters taped or drawn on can be used as a magnetic board for those cute little refrigerator letters! Kids could practice letter recognition, matching, or even have them find specific letters to spell out and practice spelling words!  

I recently posted on our Facebook page about how much my boys love their sand/water table. I was thinking about what I would put in the table after the sand and water becomes boring=] I thought about colored rice or dirt. I considered using rocks and fake worms/snakes. Thats when I came across this garden! I love how creative it is. This summer I planned on gardening myself, so when the boys want to help, they can without destroying my live flowers=]]] Now, to find kid size gardening tools!

I struggled with whether to put this under play/activities, or sensory. I think for my family, this would work so well in our sensory table. I love that there are so many textures(grass, cereal, play dough, toys). It also works as a great pretend play area. I believe her pictures show this on a sheet on the ground, but i'd fear everything coming off the sheet onto the floor, so I would most likely do this on a larger sheet, in a bin, or in a sensory table. This was such a creative idea, I can't wait to try it with my boys=]] 

Sensory Bottles!!

I think these bottles are such a neat idea! I haven't found a step by step yet, so i'll try a few different things and see what works as far as types of lids and how to fasten them shut! These are great for teaching big and small, waiting(until everything settles), and themes!

Some theme ideas:

*New Years- Small streamers, glitter, confetti
*Valentines Day-Anything red, heart shaped confetti, red pom poms
*St.Patricks Day- Anything green, small toys, glitter, green soap)
*Easter- Anything pastel, fake easter grass, small easter eggs, sm. toy bunny
*4th of July- Anything red, white, and blue, small streamers, glitter
*Halloween-Anything orange (and black?), toy pumpkins, bats, etc.
*Thanksgiving-Things they are thankful for, sm. pics of family, or favorite toys(sm. like beads)
*Christmas-Anything red and green, Sm. bottle brush trees, sm. ornaments
*Letters and Numbers- found on toys, beads, confetti
*Animals- small toys, pictures (laminated, or on an object)
                ~You could even do different categories, within animals! (Pets, farm, reptiles, fish, dinosaurs) 
*Colors- You can have separate bottles for different colors, or one bottle to find different colors within
*Shapes- Again, individual bottles per shape, you all in one and they have to find the chosen color
*Seasons-winter(fake snow,snowflakes), spring(flowers), summer(flowers, grass, animals), fall(leaves)

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