Dinosaur Sensory Fun
Sensory play is a great way for kids to get their hands dirty and explore new textures. Play itself, is an important part of any curriculum, no matter how old the child. A child doesn’t outgrow play. My ten year old has just as much fun playing in this sand as my three year old… so do I for that matter. There is a time for math, reading, writing, work books, and studying but there should also be ample amounts of play time. Play develops and improves social behavior, motor skills, exploration skills, cognitive development, and logical thinking. I’m now getting off my soap box and moving on.
We have these huge pink tubs we use to put toys in because they are easy to manipulate and keep things sorted…at least that is what they are there for not that they are used for the sorting thing. I emptied one out and put in several bags of Sands Alive we got the kids for Christmas. Sands Alive is white sand and has kinda a strong odd odor to it. It also feels really soft and molds together well. Than I put in their dinosaur toys and let them loose. One of the added benefits of Sands Alive was they used them to make surprise dinosaur eggs. They molded larges amounts of sand around a dinosaur figure and each one took turns opening the eggs.
For the figures we used several different figures. Plastic dinosaurs we have purchased over years of dinosaur obsession. I also found these cute dinosaur LEGOish figures on Amazon (I say LEGOish because they are not LEGOs but look alikes) and purchased them for the boy for stocking stuffers at Christmas. I think there was 6 or so in the pack for less than $10 and free shipping. Well worth the fun we have had with them. However, the green one was kinda cheeky. He was very mischievous in his torment of the brown one.
Somehow the dinosaurs learned to build a mode of transportation and decided to take over so we had to get a larger play area. I used a short thin plastic tub. These 41-Quart underbed storage containers make great sensory bins. Lots of space for the kids to move around but still easy to contain. It took 3 sets of Sands Alive to get this much into it. My son wanted to play with his cars in the bin and since this whole activity was about open ended play, I let him add anything he wanted. Which eventually lead to a group of LEGO men explorers looking for dinosaurs.
They buried all the dinosaurs in the sand and then pretended to be the LEGO men uncovering the fossils. Their creativity opened up room for discussing fossils and paleontologists. I’m thinking of getting a few little brushes and adding them to the bin so they can brush off their “fossils”.
Note: There are links to Amazon in this post.These links are not affiliate links and just used to show you the products we are talking about.