Winter bear rescue is your next ice sensory play activity.
I assure you. Winter bear rescue will not disappoint.
It has been on repeat for days with my three-year-old. He’s obsessed with sensory play, and I am obsessed with watching him explore.
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A sensory bin with counting bears? Yes, please!
You know these counting bears are my ultimate favorite. They are recommended for ages 3+, and we love them!
In fact, they are all over our site:
These counting bears have been on repeat since the start of my teaching days in 2001. How about that for longevity?
So the question is, What’s next for these bears? Freeze them, of course! Add them to your water table and watch them melt as your preschooler learns through play.
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What do you fill a sensory bin with?
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- Muffin pan
- Counting bears
- Squirt bottles
- Under the bed storage bin – aka your water table
- Something underneath – Here, I use our indoor cycling mat.
The star of the sensory play is these counting bears. Once frozen, they become a fun rescue mission for your preschooler. Freeze them in a muffin tin, and now they all have their own little pods to be rescued from.
Set up your winter sensory bin today!
- Place a small amount of counting bears into each circle of a muffin tin.
- Add water.
- Freeze overnight.
- The following day, pop the circles out of your muffin tin.
- Add the circles of ice into your sensory bin. Here I am using an under-the-bed storage bin.
- Add colored WARM water.
- Optional: salt
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Why is this winter bear rescue sensory play important?
I love referring to the book, Loose Parts to help explain the importance of movement.
“When we know how things move, we can predict what caused the movement and what we can do to control it. When we control the way things move, we restore a sense of order to chaos that is caused by unpredictable and random movement.” Loose Parts
Moving the ice, water, and counting bears around the sensory bin will help your child explore gravity, motion, and problem-solving.
Your preschooler will also begin to discover the transition of solid to liquid and what makes the ice melt. (the salt and warm water helps)