the boys have gotten tired of the winter themed sensory bin i told you about (pictured above). in fact i put all the other toys away and opened up the sensory bin in the middle of the living room floor in an attempt to make it inviting. no takers. then i prompted the boys to play with it. “play with the sensory bin”, i said. still no takers.
this situation called for a winter-theme switcheroo! i thought, maybe, a play on ICE would be fun for the boys. hmmm…how could i make the bin more icy? here’s what i came up with…
i took out all remnants of the snowy theme – the pom-poms, styrofoam balls and sandwich bag “snow”balls. i left in the sea glass and the large clear glass gems. then i added in more sea glass, in two different shades of blue and more glass gems, also in shades of blue. i replaced the 1/3rd cup measuring scoop with smaller tablespoon and teaspoon measures. i included funnels, a strainer, and small medicine droppers. which, when used with WATER, make for super fun squirters!
the water was cold/icy so the boys’ tactile sense was definitely affected! the solid bits of glass, some more smooth than others, mixed within the liquid was fun for them to investigate. so far, i’d say the squirters are the favorite part of this bin.
it was surprising how much force (proprioceptive sense) harrison (5.5 yrs) had to use in order to suck the water up, especially in the squirter that was designed to irrigate wisdom teeth.
harrison also enjoyed filling the funnels with gems and seeing if the water would go through. he tried different experiments to stop up the funnels.
he used the measuring spoons to scrape all the “ice” to the middle of the bin to create a dam. he commented on the different sounds (auditory sense) of this bin. the sound of the metal spoon clanging against the glass gems was loud. it was a sharp contrast to the gentler sound of the water dripping through the funnels.
graham (4 yrs) also enjoyed squirting. he had a difficult time with the wisdom teeth squirter but he kept trying until he figured it out.
he had fun doing other things, too. he made a stew (his words) by sorting out the small blue gems and putting them into one of the blue bowls. he also made an ice cream cone (again, his words) by putting the clear gems into the biggest funnel. he really loved using the strainer to scoop up the icy glass pieces.
i only added a couple cups of water, which is easy to dump out after each use. i also tried adding a couple drops of tea tree oil (you could use any essential oil – peppermint might smell wintery) which certainly affected our olfactory sense. harrison did NOT like playing with the bin when it smelled like tea tree oil so when i dumped out and replaced the water i didn’t add any scent back in.
all in all, this was a very simple way to renew their interest in the bin and give them a new perspective on the winter theme!