I love making new sensory bins for my almost 2 year old to play with. Being the 4th child she gets a lot of hand me downs, so something new and just for her is something she gets excited about. That’s not to say that my older kids don’t get in on the sensory action, they do, they just don’t sit and enjoy it as much as she does anymore.
Sensory activities are so great for toddlers when they are playing. Using multiple senses while playing gets their little brains working hard. For my daughter it’s one of the few times she sits still, calmly scooping up whatever material I’ve provided, dumping it out, and bringing other things into the bin to see what will happen.
Our sensory bin has both a cover and is small enough that I can drag it into whatever room I need to get something done in and let her have at it. It affords me enough uninterrupted time to prepare a quick lunch or pay a quick bill online. Score!
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As will any activity with children this age I caution you to keep a very close eye on them when providing them with items that they could put in their mouth and choke on. If your child is into everything in their mouth right now, wait a month or two to try activities like this and play with your child so you can quickly remove any items that they may put into their mouths.
Most of the time when we have sensory play we also have a mess, at our house anyway. However, this Thanksgiving bin has been relatively mess free so far. As I say this and she’s napping I can almost hear her plotting to hide pasta under the couch, ha!
To make this bin I dyed two 16 ounce boxes of pasta with soft gel paste. I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste colors: Red Red, Lemon Yellow, Orange, and Chocolate Brown for this project. I chose Rigatoni and Ziti shapes because my older daughter has been asking to make pasta necklaces for a while now and I figure we can take some pasta from this sensory bin and do just that. Then I added some cute themed items: footballs, and a few pilgrim ducks. I also gave her some containers to use for scooping and dumping out.
She quickly found a mini Frisbee and monster truck to add the mix. Whatever keeps her happy!
Need help dying your pasta? It’s relatively pain free and you probably have the supplies in your kitchen already. I have a quick how to dye pasta for those of your who have never done it before, or those who would like a mini refresher.