After a long 6 hour drive, I need to spend sometime unpacking and getting our life back in order! Welcome Lindsay and her beautiful son… thanks so much for sharing Lindsay! Can’t wait to try this out with Bubba!
Hi everyone! My name is Lindsay and I blog over at You Are The Roots! It’s an honor to be here on Samantha’s blog today! I’m a first-time mom to an 18 month old little boy named Ethan. I stay home with Ethan and we spend a fair amount of our days doing something called “Tot School” which — I promise — isn’t as torturous as it sounds. Tot School is a play-based learning experience that allows Ethan to hone certain skills, like hand-eye coordination, or to learn his colors and other basic skills. A great deal of that play and learning is done through sensory activities. I get asked all of the time by friends for suggestions on easy and fun sensory activities for toddlers. Enter the sensory bin.
Sensory bins are a great way for your toddler to explore new textures, use their creativity or even learn colors. The best part is they’re inexpensive — I always make ours with random items from a dollar store or items we already have laying around at home — and provide endless entertainment and learning for your little ones!
Anything makes a great addition to a sensory bin. Some of my favorite items to include are things with unique textures, such as feathers, pipe-cleaners or sponges. Including smaller items such as crafting pom-poms, fruit puree pouch tops in various colors or tiny bouncing balls alongside larger items that can serve more than one purpose like measuring cups, empty toilet paper rolls or empty jewelry-style boxes also encourage creativity and learning. Ethan loves to take the tinier items and see how he can use them alongside the larger items, such as using the measuring cups to collect the bouncy balls and then dump them into the bin or taking the pouch tops and sliding them down through the empty toilet paper roll one by one. It’s always just so cool to see the things they come up with when giving free reign of their little imaginations!
Other great additions to sensory bins or even as sensory activities on their own would be anything you can string. Ethan realized at around fifteen months that stringing was difficult for him. It was interesting to watch his determination as he figured out how to do it and the way he beamed with pride when he figured it out. The fun part about stringing activities are that you can string, well, anything. Case in point:
Dyed pasta is always a fun favorite. To dye pasta, simply add a few drops of food coloring to dry pasta inside a large gallon-sized plastic bag. Add a splash or two of rubbing alcohol and shake up the bag so that the color and pasta are combined. I like to leave the dyed pasta out to dry overnight after it sits in the dye for an hour or two, just so any remnants of the ugly rubbing alcohol smell go away. Dyed pasta is fun to string on necklaces, on shoelaces, on pipecleaners, on just about everything! Also slicing up an old paper towel or toilet paper roll into rings is a great stringing activity, especially for little toddlers with clumsy hands still learning the ropes!
Thank you so much for having me (and Ethan!) today and I hope we were able to inspire some easy, fun toddler-and-me projects!