The night sky is a source of wonder for people of all ages, but children especially. I completely love that for #PlayfulPreschool this week we are exploring the night sky! We explored the solar system with the older kids over the summer, but we took a different route today to make it more skill-appropriate for Shiloh. I loved the way that this night sky sensory bin turned out! The sparkles contrasting with the black rice were so fun to explore!
I had a blast putting this sensory bin together for my little one. I had originally planned to put together a DIY light table, but my budget said that this would be a better option. I also contemplated glow-in-the-dark star and solar system stickers, but as fate would have it, my craft store did not have them.
Then, I saw the glitter foam stars and inspiration struck. It was all sparkles and fun from there on out!
Here’s what I used to create the Night Sky Sensory Bin.
Glitter foam stars
Gold metallic pipe cleaners
Gold pony beads
Gold tiny bead
Gold bead garland from the dollar section
Black dyed rice
Black glitter foam sheets
My goal for the sensory bin was to introduce some new words to Shiloh. I did not expect her to say the words independently, but I wanted to expose her to the words in a limited environment.
We counted the tiny rhinestone stars as we put them into a cupcake liner.
We also lined up the foam stars in the bin and counted to three as we did.
Big & Small
We compared big stars and small stars with the sparkly foam sheets and the foam stars. We stuck the sticker to the foam sheet according to size and separated them with a metallic gold pipe cleaner.
Long & short
We used the gold beaded garland to compare length. I cut the garland into several lengths and we compared the different pieces.
Then we worked on fine motor skills by threading the gold pony beads onto the pipe cleaners. Shiloh is great with her fine motor skills. Especially picking up and manipulating small beads, but she lacks understanding that she needs to push the bead further down the pipe cleaner before adding a new one, so we worked on that skill.
We also had some fun making star cupcakes which was also great for building fine-motor skills. She worked hard at aiming the handfuls of rice into the cupcake liner. Then she decorated it with beads and garland.
To help extend the fun, I created a simple printable for practicing patterns. You can use the foam stars or the printable stars that are included. Then have fun creating your own patterns with the stars.
For MORE Playful Preschool Nighttime Activities:
Nighttime Alphabet Treasure Hunt at Growing Book by Book
Glow in the Dark Letters Sensory Bin at Mom Inspired Life
Shoe Box Constellations at Rainy Day Mum
Find the Big Dipper at Tiny Tots Adventures
Nocturnal Animals KWL Chart at Still Playing School
Night Time Musical and Dance at Learning 2 Walk
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh for #PlayfulPreschool at The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Studying Bats with a Hide and Sonar-Seek Activity at Raising Lifelong Learners
Night Time Sky with Playful Preschool at Powerful Mothering
Book-Inspired Preschool Owl Craft at Fun-A-Day!