Sensory bins are a simple and inexpensive learning tool that can benefit all children. Through sensory play kids use all five senses, improve focus and concentration and build fine motor, math and language skills. An added bonus is the imaginative play and fun doesn't seem like learning. I've watched kids of all ages (and adults) enjoy the quiet, meditative experience of playing with sensory bins.
These are especially helpful for kids with sensory disorders because they receive loads of tactile stimulation that can calm the body, desensitize them to various textures and develop a more refined sense of touch. My daughter is very messy and this controlled mess is a good compromise to my neat freak self.
Sensory bins are easy to make. All you need to start is a clean plastic bin that is plenty big to encourage play inside the bin and less mess.
Fill the bins with beans, rice, water, sand, beads and any other substances you want to try. Obviously with little kids supervise them and be careful about choking hazards. Next, add a scoop, cup, shovel, funnel or little toys to hide amongst the beans or filler of your choice. You can be as creative as you have the time or energy to be.
My children are old enough to read, and the added sign "Keep all beans in the bin" is about 80% effective.
I would love to hear if you used Sensory Bins and have found them therapeutic for your children. Please share any experiences or filler ideas below.
You might also be interested in reading; My child is not a bad kid, she has a sensory disorder, understanding your child's sensory signals and why my daughter room will never look the ones on Pinterest.
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