If you’re unfamiliar with sensory bins, they’re just what the name implies – a bin filled with items that appeal to a child’s senses. In this case, my daughter Riley could hear the rice crunch and the bells jingle; she could see the bright colors and the sparkles of the pom poms; and she could feel the textures of the rice, paper, and ribbon as she manipulated the items. This particular bin also provided opportunities to work on fine motor, sorting and counting skills.
In our Winter Sensory Bin, we included the following:
Rice dyed blue (I put a few cups of rice in a large Ziploc bag, added a couple squeezes of hand sanitizer and drops of food coloring until I reached the desired color.)
White basket filler paper
Blue and white polka dotted ribbon
Sparkly pom poms
I placed all these items in a tote I already had on hand and stuck it in the freezer for about 15 minutes (I figured it should be cold since it was a wintry sensory bin.). After it was thoroughly chilled, I gave Riley some measuring spoons and cups and let her go to town.
She loved pretending she was cooking with the rice and feeding her concoctions to the snowmen. After some independent exploration (with adult supervision, of course), we sorted pom poms, bells and snowflakes. We also counted a variety of objects.
As I’m sure you’ve already figured, we had blue rice and paper pieces scattered around the room. Riley enjoyed helping me sweep and vacuum almost as much as she enjoyed playing in her winter wonderland.
**All items except the paper and the supplies for the dyed rice were purchased at Hobby Lobby. They have mobile coupons and great sales!