As winter takes hold and we still don't have any snow where we are staying, I wanted to create a little winter snow spectacular for my girls that could play with. Last year, Shiloh was very disturbed by snow and didn't want to touch it at all. This year, we drove through a snowstorm and she was brave enough to stand in the snow without crying, but still didn't want to touch it with her hands. I thought this would be a fun way to experience the colors and fluffiness of snow without the cold and the wetness that she dislikes so much. Besides this snowflake sensory bin is just beautiful with the light bouncing off the glittered snowflakes.
Materials we used in our Snowflake Sensory Bin:
White tissue paper
White fiberfill (pillow stuffing)
Snowflake buttons (we found ours at Michael's. We also used them in this snowflake play dough set.)
Icy blue and white glitter pom poms
White and blue bells
Silver glitter snowflakes from the scrapbook section
Snowflake cupcake liners
Measuring cups and spoons for scooping
Fun little tip: If you turn the cupcake liner inside out then you can see the design while they are sitting in the sensory bin. Otherwise, the cute decorations will be hidden underneath.
Shiloh started off exploring it slowly by sticking the measuring spoon in between the fiberfill. I think she liked the way that she could put it all the way through to the bottom because she did that for quite awhile. I asked her if she could scoop the balls (pom poms), so she moved on to that next. Scooping small things is great for building fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination in addition to the concentration that it takes to get the balls from once place to another. That's a great skill builder for a child who has a hard time concentrating on little tasks.
After that she made some cupcakes and we had some pretend play with me eating all of her creations. This is great for teaching social skills and manners. We're working hard at getting 'thank you' and 'you're welcome' in the right order. Right now when you prompt her to say 'thank you' she automatically responds with a 'you're welcome' instead of mimicking...lol!
Then the sensory bin became a huge bubble bath for their tiny little dolls. From a learning standpoint, it's great that a child can take one item and use it in multiple ways because that encourages flexibility.
If you wanted to turn it into more of a learning opportunity, you could choose one of the following ways to extend the activity:
Sort the pom poms into cupcake liners by color or size
Count the number of bells as they are placed in a cupcake liner
Build patterns across the snow with the pom poms, bells, buttons and snowflakes
Find matching pom poms from the variety of sizes and colors
Use the pom poms to create shapes in the snow
After you are finished with the sensory bin, be sure to check out the other ways that we have used these same materials to create other learning opportunities!