Summer Sensory BinThis sensory bin really brings all the fun of the beach into your own home. Instead of some typical sensory bins with rice, we thought it would be even more fun to use water beads for this bin. Not only do they look like the ocean, but they make your child's hands a little wet, making them feel like they are actually at the beach! We also purchased some inexpensive ocean animals to be used in the bin, as well as beach shovels, rakes, and cups. Your child might have fun simply playing with the water beads, but when you add in the ocean life, they can explore all of the ways to use their imagination and move the animals around the "ocean." Make sure to encourage them to also use their shovels and rakes to scoop up the animals or hide them in the beads and go on a hunt for ocean life. The possibilities are endless with this fun activity!
So what goes into this sensory bin?
- Blue Water Beads - follow the directions on the package, you use one scoop of water beads for every 4 cups of water.
- Ocean Animals
- Beach shovels, scoops, rakes - we even used some bowls we had at home to use as scoops
- Bin with a lid
You can find these items online, at a dollar store, or at a local craft store. We spent about $20 on the items for this bin, however, you can make at least 4 different bins for the number of items we purchased! The other fun thing is that the water beads can be used more than once. Once they are hydrated, they will stay large for a while. If they do lose their hydration, you just add more water and they will inflate again.
Benefits of Sensory Bins:
- Improves fine motor skills because the child is practicing pinching, pouring, and scooping. The child is able to move the ocean animals with their hands or with a scooper.
- Expands language skills as they describe the different items in the bin, i.e. how does the water bead feel on your hand, how do the ocean animals feel in your hand, etc.
- Works on social skills by encouraging sharing and communicating if multiple children are playing together.
- Encourages sensory exploration by encouraging various senses such as touching, smelling, hearing, and seeing.
- Sensory bins can have a calming effect on overstimulated children.
- Encourages imaginative play and play-based learning.
- IT'S FUN!!