Archive for the 'sensory box' Category

Sensory Bin of the Month: Easter

Happy spring break!  Things here are absolutely gorgeous, sunny, and warm (well, 65).

We have having a fabulous week of swimming with friends, sisterly sleepovers,
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bike riding, front porch tea parties,
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and we’re going to end the week with taking our new tent trailer camping.  The Easter Bunny will probably be able to find us no matter where we are, don’t you think?

Another thing we’ve done this week is to break out an Easter sensory bin.  This has been great during quiet time and when I need to take a shower in the morning with both girls home and pushing each others’ buttons.
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This one has yellow peas from Winco’s bulk section, plastic easter eggs, a few dollar tree spring fake flowers (pulled off their stems), and some glittery egg ornaments (also from Dollar Tree).

We have been doing lots of sorting with this one.  Frequently, matching the glitter eggs with the same color plastic egg and hiding them inside is the favorite game.  Super fun!
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Sensory Bin of the Month: Valentine’s Bin

I know it isn’t quite Valentine’s Day yet, or even February for that matter, but I couldn’t help myself.  I went to Dollar Tree the other day and there was a ton of fun things to make a Valentine’s sensory bin, so I scooped some up and went home and put it together.  And, I must say that this one is a hit.  After our snow village, this one seems super clean.  It also seems that the pink and red is irresistable to my girls.  The first night they played with it for at least an hour and a half straight and then all this weekend it has been broken into and played with every day.  I have eaten a lot of “love soup” this weekend.

In this bin, I have a set of ten little heart boxes, some sparkly foam glitter hearts (table scatter), some plastic red hearts (also table scatter), a bag of fake rose petals, and some random gems that I found in the girls’ room in a little box.  All of those were from Dollar Tree.  Then to add a bit more interest I dumped in some dry white beans and barley from my pantry and a few bowls for scooping things into, a couple of egg cartons, and two pairs of kid chopsticks.

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We have scooped, sorted, cooked, hoarded, patterned, and dumped with this bin and it was broken in to again today. This just might be the easiest and most loved sensory bin yet.

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Sensory Bin of the Month: Pretend Snow Village

This month I made the messiest sensory bin yet, but it is super fun!  I put a tablecloth down under the bin, but the kids got it all over themselves and of course tracked it around.  So, if you do this, consider yourself forewarned.
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I got the idea here and it is a fabulous idea.  It is a pretend bin of snow based on cloud dough, which we played with this summer, except I added a bit of glitter (8 cups flour to 1 cup oil).  The cloud dough will hold together to make “snow” balls.
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I also added a few Christmas village houses, a snowman, a couple of trees, and some little people to the bin. All of them I bought at Dollar Tree. They are ceramic, but the bin is on the ground, so I don’t think I have to worry too much about them breaking. They are covered in fake snow now, but it should just rinse right off to put away in the Christmas box for next year.
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Sensory Bin of the Month: Leaves

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On a beautifully and unexpectedly sunny afternoon this past week, we went on a leaf walk with a couple of friends. All of the kids (okay, not Nancy; she wanted to just hang out in the Ergo) were super enthusiastic about picking up leaves and we ended up with a huge bin of them. What to do with them? I pressed a whole bunch of the prettiest for Thanksgiving Art Play Date later in the month. The less pretty ones I threw in the compost (we’re talking about a ton of leaves). And the rest I put in our sensory bin.

I added in our Playmobil farm animals and tractors as well as some pine cones and some fake sunflowers from Dollar Tree. Nancy has loved hiding the animals under the leaves and having them find each other. Clara is not into the leaves now that they are sitting in the house, but she has rediscovered the farm animals and they all went on parade yesterday all around the living room.
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October Sensory Bin of the Month

Okay, so I’ll admit it.  October has gotten away from me.  Between a whirlwind trip to Disneyland, family visiting the weekend after that, dinners with friends, Adam and I’s twelfth anniversary, taking a stained glass class, and of course the usual school days, I haven’t gotten to blog.  But, in case you’re looking for halloween inspiration, here are some posts from the past (and by the way, I found a similar disclaimer for every October that I’ve been blogging for–apparently Octobers are notoriously busy).  And I’ll have a new post up in the next couple of days.

And also, in the meantime, I wanted to share these fabulous spider webs that my sister made with a group of toddlers last week.  Super easy and fun.  Do you see the glow in the dark spider hanging out on the web?  They are marble painting with white paint on black paper plates.
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Finally, all month we’ve been playing with this super fun sensory bin. It is full of red lentils, white beans, and black beans, little halloween bugs, snakes, bat, spiders, etc. from Dollar tree, some little black and orange cups, random spoons, and then my girls decided that the pompoms were a must, although I’m not sure how they fit in with the Halloween theme.
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Sensory Bin of the Month: Colored Pasta!

Sensory bin of the month took a long hiatus over the summer as I made all sorts of sensory bins during summer art. I had enough on my hands getting those together. Here’s a list of those if you would like more ideas, though:

But, now that we’re out of summer and back into something of a normal routine, I thought that the sensory bin of the month should come back.  To start us off, I made some rainbow digitalini by using rubbing alcohol and food coloring, just like I did way back when I made these pasta necklace party favors.  I made a rainbow of colors and let them dry on a cookie sheet in the sun.  Aren’t they pretty?!

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Then I poured all of them into my sensory bin and added some strings, pipe cleaners, bowls, and cut up egg cartons to play with as well.
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Nancy dove right in and started beading on the pipe cleaners, which was not at all what I was expecting her to do. She did it all by herself and was SO proud!
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See her pretty bracelet?
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Summer Art 2012: Play date #5

I have had this blog on hold for the last two weeks for no real reason other than I have not been feeling like blogging.  It was hot, we were busy, we went out of town for the weekend, and mostly, I’ve been reading smut.  But, now that I have finished the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and I am past the insidious, repetitive prose, but delicious filth that I could not put down, I can resume writing blogs.  Hopefully my writing is somewhat better than hers!  But anyway, back to arts and crafts….

This was our fifth summer art play date this summer!  We had a great time with a jello sensory bin, clay birds, easter eggs fireflies, and sand paper drawing.

Jello Sensory Bin
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Isn’t that pretty?! I loved this idea, which I got from No Time For Flashcards in this post. I followed her recipe and made gelatin using plain gelatin packets, kool-aid packets, and a bit of food coloring. The kids immediately dug in and loved playing with it, smelling it, and sorting it. It was good that they tried it immediately because since this was pretty much the hottest week of the year, it immediately started melting. Apparently, you cannot leave gelatin out in the sunshine.
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Clay Birds
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Years ago, before Clara had hair, I did a project with a bunch of kids that was exactly like this. Except this time the clay turned out better. But, it is a really easy and fun project that kids of all ages can enjoy. All you need is a batch of cornstarch clay (I used food coloring to make mine pink and yellow), feathers, googlie eyes, and orange foam cut into little triangles for beaks. Then the kids can make them however they like. They are pretty stinking adorable, too.
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Easter Egg Fireflies
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You know, sometimes I get more excited about a project than the kids do. This was one of those projects. In theory, it was going to be awesome. But, the execution was quite hard to manage. The kids really couldn’t do it themselves at all. Oh well. Live and learn. But, they are quite cute anyway. I do have to thank my sister’s sister-in-law, Brie for helping the entire play date to pull these off.

This idea came from this post and used a plastic Easter egg, a battery powered tea light (from Dollar Tree), some pipe cleaners, and some stick on googlie eyes. The hard part was that you have to punch holes with a push pin (and then we ended up changing to a screw) in the egg for the arms, legs, and antenna. So, parent involvement was a must. And the kids were only somewhat patient. But they sure were cute when we finished and their little bottoms light up!
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Sand Paper Coloring
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One of my kids’ obsessions this past spring was drawing on sand paper with crayons. How simple is that?! So, I put that out as an activity at the art playdate, and it turns out that everyone like it. We went through thirty-six pieces of sand paper. By the end of the play date, though, the crayons started melting, so if you’re doing this outside, do it on a cooler day!
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