As a preschool teacher I was always a fan of my sensory table. I would have tons of different bins: coffee beans, rice, pasta, flour, water, & corn. The kids loved it, especially the flour. :)
Jordan made Saryn a sensory table for Christmas a few years ago and she wasn't that into it. I didn't really pay that much attention to it until about a week ago. Our sensory table is packed in the storage unit and I decided to make some small bins for the girls. Saryn likes the sensory bins - just not the toys I was putting in. Neither of my girls like to scoop, pour etc with cups or spoons. What children don't like that?! My preschool kids loved scooping and pouring!
They like playing with little figurines, dolls, or animals in the bins. Last night they played for an hour and 20 minutes in a colored rice bin with some toys from our dollhouse. An hour and 20 minutes! I did 3 loads of laundry and cleaned 2 bathrooms!
I'd recommend pulling these out when you don't mind taking 5 minutes to clean up the mess. I put a towel under the bins that catches most of the mess. I have found doing this on carpet is easiest. The contents don't bounce as easily. :) My rule is they cannot throw the contents of the bin and if they get too wound up we put the bins away until another time when they can play the correct way.
Here are a few that I've made for them this week.
Flour. Always a big hit and a big mess. They usually play with this when I'm cooking or baking. Keeps them happy while I'll get to prepare a meal without them under foot.
But, I don't let them play with this unless I know it's bath night and the floor already needs to be vacuumed! It is by far one of their favorites.
Doggy Bin with white rice
Bird Bin. To color rice, all you need is food coloring, hand sanitizer and ziplock bags. Pump about 4 squirts of sanitizer into a baggie and add 3 drops of food coloring. Add about a cup or so of rice, shake the bag until the rice is colored. Air dry on a tray before using.
Valentine's Day Bin
Coffee Beans. Looks like fun right? They took everything out and wanted to just play with the beans! I'll need to add some toy dogs or cats and then they'll be happy. :)
Colored rice with dollhouse toys. They loved this one!
Do you have any sensory bins your kids love? I'd love to hear about them. I'm thinking of doing popcorn with trucks next.