Looking for ways to keep your younger child occupied? Sensory play offers great developmental benefits, but is also a tonne of fun. Our sensory tables make it easy to create ‘bins’ with different themes and materials that will keep your child happy and busy, learning through play.
Here are some tips:
- Choose a container. Our sensory tables come with Ikea Trofast bins and lids for easy storage. You can have different bins that are stacked in a closet when not in use, or filed neatly in a Trofast Storage Shelf. But you can also use X-Large ziplock bags that you pour out into a bin later.
- Choose a base, or filler. Your bin is most fun when there is a lot of one type of material – a base or filler – that children can scoop, sift through, and dig their hands into. Look for materials that are inexpensive and non-toxic. DollarTree, Walmart, and other discount stores carry inexpensive brands that can be used as fillers. Other fillers might be simply water, foam, water beads or sand.
- Choose a theme. For added fun, you can use themes for your bins. Themes can be anything from ‘colours’ to ‘animals’ to ‘scooping’. You can rotate themes based on the seasons, holidays, and other timely events in a child’s life. It also makes it easy to introduce and reinforce concepts – for instance you can do a sensory table theme around ‘numbers’ to reinforce books you’re reading about numbers, or animals, or hockey, or whatever other subject your child is interested in!
- Have fun! Put your bin together and have fun! Always supervise small children who might put items in their mouth. Talk with your child about what they are experiencing – this stimulates language development. Talk to them about how items in the bin feel, smell, and sound. Give them ideas and items to scoop things into or sort with. Provide ladles, measuring cups or salad tongs for sorting and picking things up with, to help with fine motor skill development. Here’s an ultimate list of sensory bin tools that add to the fun!
Here are some sensory bin ideas to get you started:
The possibilities are endless!
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