As a working (outside the home) mom, I am always on the hunt for easy craft ideas. I wish I had more time to look for ideas, plan, cut, sort, prepare…but I have had to accept that I just don’t. Instead, I have realized I need to focus on things that really are feasible for me with the limited time I can devote…premade homeschool packs, printables, and our new favorite sensory bins.
Sensory bins are great if you only have a little time or you can be very creative with a little more effort. They are great for every budget as many of our items came from the dollar store. It is also very easy to get started with a few bins and to continually add just a few things here and there to increase themes and create/rotate bins. They are a huge hit with my 2 (now 3!) year old daughter and my 4 year old son. Best of all, they fit right in with schedule, routine, education…and babywise principles. I was afraid that we were late into the game since we only started using them a few months ago, but I really think they are one of my very favorite activities. We use them for structured table time, rainy afternoons, free play, boredom busters, sensory stimulation, learning. They are fabulous for teaching early skills like pouring, scooping, transferring and just getting hands messy. Then they work well for more advanced imaginary play or measuring/math skills as children grow. As part of their namesake, they are also immensely helpful to increase sensory/tactile skills for children that are sensory seekers and sensory avoiders.
I decided to compile a list of our favorite bins but I am even more excited to list all of the other ideas that my fellow babywise moms gave me! We are still building/rotating bins but I think we will start working on themes next. Most bins can be broken down into filler items, tools, and props (thanks, Robin!). Our current bins include homemade moon sand, macaroni pasta, dried beans, rice, and river rocks. Our tools/props include playdoh tools, measuring cups, plastic lizards/dinosaurs, pom poms, spiderman lego action figure, foam cubes, and Noah’s ark random animals.
Here is a list that my friends helped me compile:
Fillers/Medium (cleaner to messier
Cotton balls/pom poms
Rice (colored for fun)
Silk leaves/plastic apples (fall)
Gold coins/shamrocks (St. Patricks Day)
Dollar store finds
Sorting containers (small Ziploc, yogurt containers)
Ice cube trays
Garden bin: soil, plastic flowers, mini shovels, bucket, plastic frogs
Nativity bin: green split peas, mini pinecones, star buttons, tiny nativity ornament set, miniature tree to decorate
Ice cream bin: pom poms, bowls, paper cones, spoons
Helpful sites for more ideas: