Sensory play is an important learning tool for early childhood development.
Children learn through their senses as they explore the world around them. Any parent with an adventurous little crawler will remember everything was touched, tasted and smelt as your little one explored his or her surroundings. One way to boost these important skills is through sensory play. I’m sure you have seen many different sensory play bins on your Pinterest or Instagram feed!
What are Sensory Play Bins and How Can Your Child Benefit from Playing with One?
According to Busy Beans “A Sensory bin is a tactile experience in a contained area; such as a storage container, bucket, tray etc. Sensory bins are an awesome hands-on tool for children to learn about their world and their senses!”
Practical Life Skills
Children explore, discover and learn through sensory bin play using practical life skills such as filling, dumping and scooping. Valuable play skills are obtained.
Play Skills & Emotional Development
Sensory bins allow children to play independently or socially. Children learn how to play cooperatively or along side one another.
During sensory bin play children use their hands as they learn through the different senses.. When we join in and discuss the different textures and objects used we create a platform for great discussion leading to opportunities to model language.
Understanding The Bodies Senses
Sensory play bins include at least one sense. Touch, smell, sight, sound and taste are the five different senses in our bodies. Children can experience several of these during sensory bin play.
Learning through play is all about having fun! Sensory bins are a fun hands-on way to learn. They are so versatile and can be used as indoor or outdoor play.
“Learning through fun is the best way to learn” – Busy Bean
With so many different options and themes to choose from your child can enjoy learning through play with their favourite toys. Add something new to the mix that correlates with your lesson plan or stimulate a new sense through using different tools.
Busy Bean has shared a few rough guidelines on what make a sensory bin:
- A container with a lid for good storage and to keep mould away.
- Filler – Anything that you can use to fill half of your container with that has a texture and ability to be scooped and moved. E.g Sand,kinetic sand, dry rice, water beads, shredded paper
- Some sort of scoop, shovel, spoon or cup – A big part of exploring the sensory bin will involve scooping and spooning, moving and digging through the filler to feel the textures and look for other pieces in the sensory bin.
- Themed items or other sensory items – If you have chosen a theme it’s always nice to try to add items that go with the theme such as small toys or figurines. If you are using birdseed you could include little plastic birds. If you are using sand you could add sand pit toys for building a sand castle. Other sensory items are always a plus, tactile items like pop poms or felt, auditory items like plastic shakers or rattles.
Busy Bean sent us this fun construction sensory bin! They have an amazing fun collection of sensory bins to purchase with or without a container.
Here are a few more sensory play bins from Busy Bean!
You can find out more information about Busy Beans Sensory Play Bins and other products here.
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Follow latest series on play based learning. Each month we will be focusing on how you can incorporate fun play based learning activities throughout the different stages from birth to preschool.
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