This post was contributed by Sarah of Little Bins For Little Hands.
Traveling? Take Some Early Learning With You!
Sensory Bins are wonderful hands-on early learning opportunities for young children. The tactile sensory input they provide can be calming and engaging for many children. Sensory bins provide great opportunities for parents and children to connect and talk with one another. Talk with your child about what he is experiencing, feeling, and observing. Wonderful language skills will emerge! Sensory bins are also amazing for developing independent play skills, practical life skills and fine motor skills. Combining early learning activities and sensory play is a real hit in our house. Liam loves seeing a new sensory bin put together for him to explore and now he especially enjoys the activities I plan to go with them!
We will be leaving on vacation soon, so I thought I would pack up a sensory bin filled with early learning activities and simple play to take a long with us. We will be staying with family and I know he will enjoy showing this to everyone too. I kept the sensory bin small and compact. Even better, I kept it very budget friendly! All the items can be found easily and most are from a dollar store. We love to use and reuse our items to create new activities from old activities! Take a look at all the activities we can do together!
I started a with a bin full of colored rice but white rice will be fine too! Rice is very quick and easy to color with a little vinegar and food coloring. Liam loves colors so I have kept our rainbow rice from one sensory bin to the next. Store your sensory bin fillers in gallon zip lock bags and you will have them whenever you want to make a new one! The activities included focus on counting, letter recognition, fine motor skills, colors and matching! You can have as little or as much involvement as you like with each one depending on your child’s skill level and need. Keep them simple or make them more challenging so several ages can play together!
Early Learning Activities to Include in Your Travel Sensory Bin
- Lower case alphabet puzzle search and find
- Flower counting game three ways. Simple roll and count one player, two player roll and count to see who has more, or a two player more or less version where each player rolls and counts and the player with more gets all the flowers.
- Bead lacing. Make patterns, spell words or name, practice colors or count beads.
- Fine motor search and find with colored gems.
- Matching with fun erasers.
- Simple scooping, pouring and dumping play
There are so many easy ways to play, Liam will be happily occupied. I imagine at some point a few construction vehicles will make their way into the bin to do some construction with the gems, flowers or letters. Think about what your child enjoys! Pack a couple trucks or mini animals.
Although vacations are a time to relax and do different activities than you normally do, I find it helps to bring some familiar things along with us. Children do love routine and sometimes a little something familiar eases any anxiety from being away from home and also fills times where it isn’t possible to be on the go! I always like to pack a few activities that Liam hasn’t seen before as a surprise. Although the activities are new, he understands the time we spend on them together is always the same. Enjoy your next vacation and pack a mini sensory bin to go!