Sensory idea: Sensory Bins
I have a love/hate relationship with sensory bins. I just need to be honest about that before I tell you to go create one.
Why I love them: they work.
Why I hate them: they make a mess.
My kids (and my husband…) hate weird things touching their feet. After years and years of ballet and pointe shoes, I barely feel it when things touch my toes. But my family can’t stand it.
When we go to the beach, they keep their Crocs on. If any sand gets in those Crocs, we have to rinse them out before we can take another step.
When walking in the backyard and playing in the sprinkler, my eldest can now go barefoot, but my preschooler still needs serious shoes. But at least he’s willing to touch the water now.
We used sensory bins with our eldest, but not nearly to the same extent as we did with our preschooler. When Early Intervention first came for our preschooler, he was two-years-old. The OT had us fill a plastic shoe-sized box with beans. Beans are cheap, so I got a few packs (for variety) of generic beans from the grocery store. Then each session, we worked on getting my son’s feet into those beans for longer and longer periods. Finally, after about three months of this, we went outside and tried filling a container with water for him to splash in.
It worked. The purpose of this was to help him be more comfortable with things like taking a bath or walking outside. It worked. It was a slow process, but it worked.
So what goes into a sensory bin?
-beans (from the grocery store)
-rice (from the grocery store)
–water beads (I wrote a separate post about this because this is our favorite sensory bin idea)
The fun part:
-hide plastic dinosaurs, frogs, animals, etc from the dollar bin within the base so your child has to find them
-for elementary-age kids, hide letter toys and spell words with what they pull out
-use sandbox toys and let them build and create
How to create the sensory bin:
Fill the container with a base. Hide things in that base. Experiment with different bases. If you’re using the shoe box sized container, then it’s easy to create multiple sensory bins and store then on a shelf.