Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sensory bin materials.

I have posted about Norah's sensory bins here and here before, but wanted to post about specific sensory bin materials. I love sensory play mostly because kids love it so much. When I taught, the sensory table was almost constantly occupied. Whenever Norah has played with a sensory bin, she has played with it longer than any other toy. (She has played with sensory bins for 30 minutes, which is a very long time for a toddler! Granted, it's not that long every time, but it definitely keeps her engaged more than most things.)

There are so many benefits to sensory play. I like this Developing and Cultivating Skills Through Sensory Play article from PBS. Here are some of the benefits, as listed in that article:
-Cognitive skills- problem solving and decision making
-Linguistic- encourages children to use descriptive and expressive language and to find meaning behind meaningless words (like "slimy" for example, it's hard to understand slimy until you have felt something slimy)
-Social/emotional- allows children to have control of their actions, boosts confidence, and inspires eagerness to learn
-Physical- develops fine motor skills (like mixing or measuring) and gross motor skills (like rolling, throwing, or water play)
-Creativity- provides open ended opportunities
-Provides development/refinement of the use of their senses

I am a nerd about this, so you probably did not find that as interesting as me. But, creating sensory opportunities at home is easier than you think and you can use so many materials. I chose to purchase bins with lids to keep Norah's sensory materials in, but you certainly wouldn't have to do that and you could use any bowl/items you have around the house.

Here are some of the materials Norah has:
-Flour (Very messy, but fun)
-Popcorn seeds
-Aquarium rocks
-Buttons and/or jewels
-Shredded paper
-Aquarium gravel
-Cotton balls

(Note: Depending on your culture/socioeconomic status, some may view it as offensive or innapropriate to play with food, so be mindful of where you are and the kids you are with.)

Here are some of the tools Norah has:
-Measuring cups/spoons
-Basting brush
-Ice cream scoop
-Sand molds

These are just what Norah has, but there are so many things you could use!

***I also love to get craft/sensory ideas from here! For some reason the link to her blog wasn't working, but this is her pinterest page. I don't know her personally, but I love her ideas!


  1. When did you start the sensory bin use with Norah? Autumn still puts everything in her mouth so I worry about the little objects. You are so creative and such a great mom!

    1. Thanks! It totally depends on the kid I think and what they put in their mouth. Norah was always pretty good about not putting things in her mouth she shouldn't, and we started them with her at 10 months. It's great to pull out as a distraction/fun toy that's not normally out!

  2. Oh wow, you were able to start young with Norah. Autumn puts everything in her mouth and her favorite items are things that shouldn't be in her mouth! Ha!! Can't wait try this out. Thanks for the idea!!


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