Since this play-of-the-day for fall is #5 and we have 5 senses, how about a fall sensory bin? All of us use information from the senses for interacting with the world around us. Children also use sensory information for learning about the world.
This wonderful bin was created by my friend Cheryl Weatherhead at Sunhill Montessori. There are some plastic cherries, a few left-over dry, wrinkly real cherries, plastic and fabric leaves, pine cones and some cheerios. Tools are made of plastic, metal, and wood to add to the textures, colors, shapes, and sounds. Kids play with the materials in a variety of ways.
- One of the obvious invitations to play in this bin is to scoop, fill, and pour. There’s lots of discovery just in filling and pouring, because the different materials will act in a variety of ways. Some things will pour in a stream, others will roll and tumble out. The heavier items will make a much louder sound than the lighter ones.
- Hands get to explore different ways to pick up the objects using the cup, spoon, and tongs.
- Some children may sort out the objects and make groups, such as all the leaves, or all the cherries. It’s kind of like looking for treasure to find all of one thing, or at least I Spy.
- The colors of the items are appealing, especially the bright red and deep green. Some children may want to find all the red things or the brown things.
- There’s an astonishing number of different textures with just a few items. Not only do fingers get exercise feeling them, the brain gets exercise thinking of the words to go with the textures like smooth, or heavy, or scratchy, or bumpy. In addition to textures, the items will have different weights.
- Kids will also imagine as they play. They may pretend the cup is filled with juice or that the pine cones are baby trees.
These are only some of the ways that kids will engage with the materials in the sensory bin. We’ll likely see a child doing the same actions over and over. Older and younger children will play in different ways. Are there some things that you can use to make a all sensory activity for your child?