Inside: Sensory play for toddlers idea that can be used at home or in the classroom.
What’s your comfort level on sensory play?
Does the idea have you running to the store to buy out strawberries (see that post here), or are you subconsciously picking up the Windex upon the first mention?
Either way, this activity is for you because I have seen how sensory play can engage thinking, creativity, and development.
Curious how I introduce other learning concepts? Check out our Activity Cards! 20+ ideas to calm your mornings
So what actually is a sensory bin?
A sensory bin is a way for your toddler and/or preschooler to engage their senses. This engagement helps build cognitive development and better understand cause and effect. You can read even more about the benefits of sensory bins from Busy Toddler here.
For this sensory bin, I wanted to experiment with the invigorating smell of lemons and the ever so popular skill of color mixing. What I got, was a sensory explosion of awesome.
Check out this simple supply list:
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Bag of Lemons – Look for the ones that most people are passing over.
Remember, they are buying the lemons for their Chicken Piccata. YOU are buying for kids to squish their hands into.
I kept this set-up easy breezy.
- Cut your lemons in half.
- Add the lemon squeezer into the bin.
- Add water and food coloring into each small container.
- Add your jumbo eyedroppers to the colored water.
- Invite, and let your toddler and preschoolers explore!
Invitations to create can be so much more rewarding tha activities that have a specific start and end point.
Don’t get me wrong. Kids need to understand the organization of structure as well. It is just that unstructured free play seems to have loads more benefits. You will learn SO much from “How the New Preschool Is Crushing Kids”. I have this article bookmarked. I cannot read it/share it enough!
As my four-year-old was engaged in the color mixing, my almost-three-year-old could not take his hands off the lemon squeezer.
Basically, this FREE-PLAY took care of the following skills:
- fine motor development
- hand-eye coordination
- object exploration – looking, touching, grasping
- locomotion – transporting
- senses – color, texture
- creativity – art
- action – investigation
YUP! All that in a quick, easy breezy setup. Who knew?!
Pin for this summer!