Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our First Sensory Box

Ever since becoming a Pinterest fanatic, I've started reading and seeing these posts and pictures about sensory boxes.  I have to be honest- when I first looked at them I saw... MESS.  And beyond the MESS, I wasn't sure how much my kids would really like it.  I mean, we take them to the beach all the time- that's the hugest sensory box out there, right?! 

For the next 8 days, Ryan is working until 7 PM.  (UGH).  That means the kids and I are flying solo for everything except baths and bed time.  The kiddos absolutely love their time with Ryan, and I wasn't sure what we were going to do during those haunting hours (that's what I call them) between nap and dinner time. 

I jumped on pinterest, and have now compiled a board filled with activities for "when dadda works late."  On the menu for this week is,
  • a shaving cream table (spray barbasol all over our little tikes table outside and let them go at it)
  • 4 different sensory boxes
  • bath tub fishing
  • and a bunch of our normal run of the mill, arts and crafts stuff
As far as the sensory boxes go, I decided to start verrrrry basic.  I'm creative to a certain extent... but not like the uber pinners on pinterest (where do they come up with this stuff???)

The Dollar Tree was where I started out.  Here's my list of items:
  • rice, rice, and more rice (like 8 bags of it...)
  • beans (red, ham and black)
  • 2 HUGE containers of oats
  • 2 clear storage bins
  • 2 packs of fake bugs
  • 2 packs of fake coins (thank you mardi gras!)
  • 2 packs of beaded necklaces
  • 2 packs of mini farm animals
  • fake flowers
  • fake birds
  • construction paper
Yeah... I spent around 37 at the DOLLAR TREE... where everything is $1.00- I had about 20 bags coming out of that place.

Anyways, I assembled two of my sensory bins last night- our garden bin and our bug bin.  (which in hindsight. really could have- should have been combined into one bin)

Today we did the bug/bean bin.  I cannot tell you how pleasantly surprised I am with the success of this project.  The kids were enthralled with it.  Henry had absolutely no direction- he just spooned the beans from buckets to cups, and ran his trucks through them.  I had a few activities for Maeve to do with hers- the first order of business was finding all the bugs.  This dollar pack of bugs, hidden in a bunch of beans, delighted my child more than I can tell you.  Every time she found a bug, she'd get a huge "OHHH" on her face, just beaming!

Along with bugs, I also stuck in "leaves" (construction paper cut-outs) with numbers on them.  The goal being, to find all 10 leaves (one for each bug).  And because I could think of nothing else to stick in this bean/bug bin, I cut out yellow squares- yeah... what?!  haha :)  Still though, Maeve loved digging for them!

Here are a few pics of our afternoon.

(disclaimer- these pics are straight out of the camera- no cropping/editing/nada... they're not pretty!)

On tomorrow's agenda- the "garden bin" (black beans with fake flowers, worms and gardening tools)

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jennifer said...

Don't limit the shaving cream to the play table... if your dining room table is wood, it will be the shiniest it has ever been after the shaving cream project!

jennifer said...

Oh, another fun project... equal amounts shaving cream and glue. It makes puffy snow paint.