DIY Valentine's Day Activity | Easy Themed Sensory Bins!
These bins are inexpensive, easy to make, and they're a great tool for working on speech!
When making a sensory bin, I start with a base and a theme. Since we are entering February; red, white and pink seemed fitting for Valentine's Day. Also I had a lot of red and white materials left over from Christmas!
Water beads are my favourite and least favourite sensory base. They feel a m a z I n g but they can be tough to clean up, especially if they get squished.
If you have a tarp or bedsheets you can laydown you won't need to worry about clean up, but it's definitely doable without. I did this activity with a 1.5 and 3 year old; the 3 year old understood right away that the beads stay *in* the buckets. The 1.5 year old tried tasting and throwing them, which isn't surprising. That's why it's important to be near by; to help redirect.
When she tried eating them reminded her the water beads stayed in the bucket. When she threw them, I reminded her they stayed in the bin and asked her to pick them up. She said no and continued playing, so I repeated the instruction and calmly hand-over-hand helped her pick up a couple. I cleaned up the rest while she played because it wasn't about her cleaning up, it was about keeping them in the bucket.
The chickpeas are dyed with vinegar and food colouring. The measurements are; enough vinegar to cover all the dried chickpeas and enough food colouring to get the colour you want. I added more of the vinegar/food colouring mixture 3-4 times before I got my desired colour.
Sensory play on Instagram is beautiful and calm and the little hands are captured using the materials "appropriately".
Sensory play in real life is, or definitely can be a little messy. And for some reason, it always seems to involve a lot of cups and containers. Try to go into sensory play without expectations and follow the child!
Would I have thought to put our feet in the water beads or add 87 more cups? Heck no. But those ended up being 2 of the most fun parts!
Since water beads are slimy and chick peas are hard, it opened lots of natural discussions about opposites and our senses. "These ones are hard and noisy when I drop them and these ones are slimy and quiet!" We incorporated other toys (firefighter and a boat) that were near byThis type of play is perfect for practicing speech.
• Water Beads - I like that these ones have the colours separated, rather than all mixed together. It just saves me time not having to sort them when I want to do themed bins!
• Clear Bin - I find shallow bins work best for sensory bins, and I always make sure they have lids!
• Food colouring
• Dried chickpeas
If you try a Valentine's Day Sensory Bin I would love to see!! ❣️
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