Looking for Valentine’s sensory bin? You’ve come to the right corner of the web. What better way to use those dying flowers than to create a Valentine’s sensory cutting bin to explore scissors and texture? It is the sensory activity you need for February.
RELATED: Valentine’s Day activities your preschooler will love.
What makes this sensory bin great
This preschool sensory bin was an instant hit with my almost-three-year-old. As my toddler snipped the petals, he also wanted to know about the different parts of the flower.
Look, mom. A petal!
What’s this part called, mom?
Eventually, we gathered our favorite books in our spring booklist about flowers for answers. Kids are so curious about the world they are in, and this sensory bin gave us a starting place.
RELATED: Is it your first time setting up a sensory bin? Use my step-by-step guide on introducing the sensory play to help get you started.
Setting up Valentine’s Sensory Cutting Bin
- First, I pour water into our under-the-bed storage bin.
- Next, I hand my 2.5-year-old the bouquet and child scissors (listed below) that he is already interested in.
- I invite my toddler to explore snipping and pulling the petals off the flowers.
We can often use the tools and supplies around us to guide the setups. The importance of sensory play is that sensory play engages the senses. This means a child may smell, touch, taste, listen, and look in a single play prompt.
Why is this important? Engaging the senses invites more thinking. – And more thinking means nourishing and building upon prior knowledge. Such a win!
Using nature to play is a way to incorporate more sensory play—this informative article by the naeyc on using nature contact to support children under stress.
Tips as your toddler plays
It is important to note that I stay close as my toddler uses the scissors. I also want to make sure the scissors have rounded edges. This practice will help his fine motor strength.
However, this isn’t the first time my toddler has been cutting. We cut a lot.
If it is your first time introducing scissors, read my guide to introducing scissors to kids.
The more practice a child gets holding scissors, the more comfortable he will get holding and using them correctly.
Not ready to introduce scissors? Allow your child to pull the petals from the flowers using thier hands. This, too, will strengthen small hand muscles for future pencil grip.
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The main players here are your wilted flowers and an under-the-bed storage bin. I am adding our favorite child scissors here because knowing which scissors work best for little hands can be overwhelming.
Westcott Scissors for Kids
Cutting activities for toddlers and preschoolers
If you notice your child enjoying scissors, you can offer a few more play opportunities to practice. This will also help explore the curiosity of cutting.
Get Blunt-Edged Scissors: Find blunt-edged kid scissors for your child to practice with.
Show and Tell: Show your child the scissors and explain what the scissors are used for. “These are scissors. We use scissors to cut paper like this. Would you like to try?”
Invite Them: Hand the scissors to your child. If willing, help position the hands. If they are unwilling, try to keep kid scissors available for more practice. You will see improvements in grip over time.
Smiley Face Thumbnail Trick: If your child needs help holding the scissors, place a smiley face on the thumbnail (pictured below) to encourage the thumb to stay up when cutting.
Walking with Scissors: Show your child how to walk with scissors and where to put the scissors away after cutting. We like to keep ours in the art cart.
Create a Curiosity-Friendly Space: Allow scissors to be accessible. You can set limits or boundaries when using the scissors, but making child-friendly scissors part of the everyday routine helps with cutting curiosity.
Help your child hold scissors by offering time and space to practice cutting. When willing, draw a smile on your child’s thumb, reminding them to keep the smile up. The best way to improve a child’s scissor grip is to practice.
Here are 25 cutting activities for toddlers and preschoolers to improve fine motor strength, hand-eye coordination, and accuracy.