Making a Sensory Bin With Items From Around the House!

I love seeing all these super cute and creative sensory bins for kids on Pinterest, but often don’t have the materials for such a thing. I wanted to make one for my son and I wanted it to be somewhat themed for fall. I’m gonna show you how I made Braydon’s sensory bin using mostly things from around the house. It’s not the most perfect or advanced sensory bin, but Braydon loves it! Some of these things you may not have on hand and I will give you some alternatives, your kiddos will love it no matter what!

What I Used:

  • A storage container from Dollar Tree
  • Fake leaves from dollar Tree( can make your own by coloring and cutting out paper)
  • Pom Poms from dollar tree (can use cotton balls as replacement)
  • Colored pasta ( can use rice, pop corn kernels, beans)
  • Straws
  • Play dough (and play dough containers)
  • Old baby spoons
  • Old sippy cup lids

You can add things or take things out depending on what’s available to you; dollar stores have tons of little nicknacks you can use in your bin, so just be creative or do what I did and use things you already have on hand! If you want to color some pasta to use I’ve posted a recipe down below.

Pasta Dying Recipe:

  • Pasta
  • Food coloring
  • Plastic bags
  • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels
  • Strainer
  • Cookie sheet

Directions:

You can use one type of pasta or multiple like I did depending on what you have on hand. First take 1-2 handfuls of pasta and put in plastic bag, cover with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and add about 20-25 drops of food coloring. Make sure bag is sealed tight and shake and mix until all noodles are covered with color. Let your pasta sit in the dye mix for around 2 hours, then strain and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Pat your pasta with paper towels and let sit out until completely dry! You can doΒ this process for different colors and make a variety.

Okay, back to our sensory bin! Now that you have your base, you’re going to want to add some other textures and interesting objects. Because my bin was “fall themed” I added some fake leaves I had bought from the dollar tree; I had them on hand already for various crafts. I then added pompoms which can also be purchased at the Dollar tree, you could use cotton balls instead as this is mainly for added texture. I had some dollar store playdough that was almost dried out so added that as well, some old baby spoons and cup lids for scooping, and plastic straws for blowing the leaves around! That’s it! Braydon really loves it and I plan on changing it up based on the season. I hope this is helpful to you, and if you have made a sensory bin for your child please comment and share your ideas!

 

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Fall Tot School Activities!

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This month we are focusing on fall and Halloween activities, mainly revolving around apples! Braydon had so much fun with our arts and crafts this week! We made a “5 Little Pumpkins” vine, and an “A” Apple Ornament. This was great for teaching fine motor skills, as well as creativity, counting, and Literacy. Surprisingly Braydon’s favorite part was coloring not painting! I pretty much let him so everything except the cutting. For our pumpkin craft I filled some of the paint in and did the laminating process.

“A” Apple Craft:

For this craft you will need popsicle sticks, glue, yarn or twine, markers or other form of color, and paper.

To make this cute little ornament, I helped Braydon glue some popsicle sticks in the shape of an A and we let it dry. After it was dry Braydon colored the “A” with some red markers. I set several red markers out in front of him because he likes to change utensils and I wanted to keep the color consistent. Once he had the A colored I had him glue on some paper that I cut out to make the shape of leaves. I then tied some green twine between it and bam! A nice little ornament. During this craft I had been repeating the words apple, red, and “A” to him so he could associate the color letter and word.

“5 Little Pumpkins” Vine Craft:

For this craft you will need an Apple cut in half, orange paint, paint sponges, large paper, ribbon, twine or yarn, scissors, hole punch, laminator, and green marker.

To Make this craft, I cut an apple in half and covered the flat end with orange paint, He stamped a large piece of paper with the paint (I went back over them with a sponge since he couldn’t stamp it too hard, he still had fun though!)Β and then we set it up to dry while Braydon colored. Once dry We colored some green stems on the pumpkins and then I cut them out. I laminated 5 of them, hole punched the tops, then strung some green twine and orange ribbon through. We plan on keeping this craft and using it as a counting visual for the “5 little pumpkins” rhyme. If you don’t have the book you can find and print out the rhyme online or lookup the cute song on YouTube!

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I hope you enjoyed some of our easy fall crafts and if you have any ideas on fun tot school activities or crafts to do with your kiddos comment and let me know!

 

Gearing up for “Tot School” Apples, hygiene, and independence!

Since fall has just started and my son is going to be 3 in January I thought it would be a good time to start some “tot school” and home preschool activities with him. My goal with this is to not only give him a head start in academic areas but to also boost his independence, confidence, and life skills. Since his little brother will also be showing up in January we need to really crack down on his vocabulary and teach him some responsibly before he becomes a big brother!

For our first couple of weeks of “tot school” I wanted to start with a couple basic themes, so I decided to base our activities around “Apples” for the letter A and “Hygiene” because he is also potty training. Our activities include listening to theme based music on our Spotify (ex. Bath time radio, healthy habits station). Our book of the week is “Mickey’s Alphabet Soup” so I read that to him during story time and any other time he gravitates towards the books. I set up two activities for him that encourage sensory exploration, literacy, sorting, fine motor skills, colors, and counting.

Activity 1 – Pom Pom sorting

Excuse Braydon’s Tarzan ways! Potty training boys require little to no clothes, the beauty of raising boys! Anyway, this activity is taking him some getting use to since he isn’t very familiar with sorting activities. There are a lot of ways to set this activity up; you could use it to introduce colors, numbers and counting, and/or fine motor skills. Right now I just let him play around with it and see what he does (mostly sorting with his hands and examining the tongs), after a while I will encourage more structure with it but as of now he’s just becoming familiar with it and is having fun. This activity is super simple and cheap to put together, all you need is a marker, some pompoms (dollar tree sells them!), coffee filters, tongs or scooping utensil, and a tray if you want to keep the activity more contained.

Activity 2 – Salt Tray Tracing


Now this activity is one of his favorites! It holds his attention and is stimulating his senses with touch. All I did was spread some salt on a plate, place it next to a print out of the letter “A”, drew with my finger the letters in the salt, and let him explore! Of course he wasn’t drawing perfect letters, but he was repeating how to say the letter and doodling with his finger. The key in introducing new activities while trying to educate your kiddo’s is to not force the activity on them, let them have fun and ask questions! (And trust me they will!) they are learning whether it seems that way or not children are like sponges and they absorb so much just through play.

Later this week I will have a couple of our fall kids crafts posted as well as our trip to a local apple orchard! If you like this post or have comments, questions, or any other input please comment below! Don’t forget to subscribe for more fun home preschool/tot school updates!