Here at the library, we love sensory bins! They’re a great way to teach kids about math, literacy and science, without them even knowing they’re learning! This evening, January 23rd, we’ll be hosting an adult workshop for how to build awesome sensory bins, but here are some additional fun ideas for you to try at home with your preschoolers!
Junk Drawer Sort
I don’t know about you, but my family has always had one drawer in the kitchen full of random stuff. Before the annual spring sort where you throw out all the old coupons and broken rubber bands, let your kids practice their math skills by sorting the objects into categories. You’ll also have some great vocabulary conversations.
- Take everything out of the junk drawer, and put it in a bucket.
- Remove anything that’s a choking hazard if you have littles under 3.
- Put out a variety of bowls or containers.
- Let them sort based on any variety of concepts. (e.g. shape, weight, color, letter sounds, type of object)
Mud math provides a messy way to get a “feel” for math for your kinesthetic learners. Definitely best on a nice day outside!
- Grab a large container—anything from a new kitty litter box to a baby pool.
- Fill a bucket with clay or dirt from the backyard or some cheap organic potting soil.
- Fill a bucket with water.
- Dress your child in play clothes, and be ready with some old towels.
- Let your kid experiment mixing water and dirt together until they like the consistency.
- Using the mud as a drawing surface, practice writing numbers! Get crazy with it, using fingers, spoons, cars or even toes.
- For older kids, talk through the process of simple addition. Use toy cars, balls or whatever you have on hand as a visual representation of the mathematical equations.
Snoopy won’t care if your littles touch his milkbones before he eats them, so use them in a sensory bin! This sensory bin could really be used for names, letters, sight words or shapes!
- Grab a box of milk bone dog treats, and empty it out into your sensory bin area.
- Using the dog treats, form the names of family members, and take pictures.
- Print off your name photos, and place them in the sensory bin with the dog treats.
- Children can use the picture to form their own name with treats.
Photo Credit: Junk Drawer by Chelsea McNamara via Flickr.