Toddler Activity: Dinosaur Hatching Sensory Bin
Simon loves dinosaurs. He also loves scooping things up and dumping them out again. I have been on a mission lately to come up with more sensory engaging activities for him, as well as play that will keep him occupied and encourage his imagination in new ways. I recently had a moment of inspiration, and threw together this sensory bin for him.
I started with some dried green split peas that I originally bought for the purpose of filling some bean bags I started making for him (a project that I abandoned, and really ought to finish). I poured a layer of the dried peas into the bin and added some painted rocks from Simon’s rock collection, some left over plastic Easter eggs that he keeps in his toy refrigerator, and some little toy dinosaurs that I purchased for his second birthday cake toppers. The idea was that these might be baby dinosaurs, hatching out of their eggs.
Simon was absolutely delighted. He played in the bin for a very long time. His favorite part was scooping peas into the opened eggs and pouring them back into the bin, or from egg to egg. He also made the dinosaurs “walk” all over the place and shouted “Roar!” as they went.
Sensory bins do exactly what their name implies: they stimulate a child’s senses, most frequently, the sense of touch. For example, in my bin above the dried peas, and their small size, create a tactile experience when little hands dive and dig in. However, because I chose brightly colored items, the visual sense was also stimulated. Sound might come into play when Simon poured the beans out. The only senses I did not involve were taste and smell.
There are so many different ways to create sensory bins for your child(ren), from the elaborate to the simple. The best part is, you do not have to spend any money if you do not wish to. You can simply gather up items from around the house, or even from nature. The possibilities are endless! I hope to share many more examples of my own ideas with you in the future.
Have you done sensory bins or activities with your kids? Please share!