Many thanks to Kim for letting me guest post on her blog today! I am really excited to share this fall sensory bin for preschoolers. Before I begin, I will briefly introduce myself. I am an elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom who really enjoys doing playful learning activities with my kids. I started my blog, Mom Inspired Life, to inspire busy moms and equip them to do fun learning activities with their own children.
This fall sensory bin engages the senses and provides an opportunity to work on counting as well. The surprising thing is that it lends itself to counting so well that I didn’t even have to ask my son to count the objects in the bin. He just started counting the pumpkins on his own.
To make this fall sensory bin you will need:
Rice – dyed red, yellow, and orange. I did 2 cups of each color.
Pumpkin gems (table scatter) – I picked these up in the $1 Spot at Target and I also saw them at the Dollar Tree.
Fake fall leaves – I got them at the Dollar Tree, but they are everywhere this time of year.
The first thing I did to bring this sensory bin together was to dye rice red, yellow and orange. I love that the colors were so vibrant and inviting. Once the rice was dry I put the 3 colors in the bin side by side. I then scattered around the pumpkins and leaves. That’s it! I love that, despite the simplicity, it has so much educational value.
I usually let Evan explore the bin on his own before I start giving him any instructions. This seems to work best for him. If I immediately jump in and start telling him how to play with it, he gets frustrated. As he was exploring he started collecting all the pumpkin gems in a small bowl I had sitting nearby. He said they were golden pumpkins and they were his treasure. While collecting them, he started counting them out on his own.
After he had them all collected in the bowl, he started to put them back in the bin with the rice. He said that he was making a pumpkin patch. I encouraged him to put a certain number of pumpkins in each color of rice. For example, I asked him to put 5 pumpkins in the red rice. After we did that a few times I gathered the leaves and asked Evan to sort the leaves by color into the matching rice. Once the leaves were sorted, we counted how many leaves were in each color.
At this point he started to lose interest in counting and sorting and wanted to start scooping and pouring. This is when all the colors of rice were mixed. I was actually surprised by how long it lasted before getting mixed up! He loved raking his hands through the grains of rice and enjoyed scooping and pouring over and over again. When all was said and done, he played with this for 45 minutes and worked on so many different skills. That’s a success in my book!