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Easy DIY Sensory Station
The little princess loves her sensory bins and lately I have been changing them out it feels like daily as we find new things to play with. I had this 10 drawer organizer (like this one on Amazon, not a affiliate link) sitting in the corner. Normally we use it to sort out the work but with the new curriculum (more on that later) I won’t be needing it anymore. We decided to put it to better use. I emptied out the drawers and created 10 different play bins in each drawer. It wasn’t hard to find 10 different materials to play with. I plan to change them out once a month or more often for the materials that may ruin.
Labeling the bins was a breeze with these awesome chalkboard labels from Labelia. You can find them on Amazon here. They stick onto the front on the bins easy and look great. They come with a liquid chalk pen which is erasable meaning when I change the bin, I can change the label easily. There are 50 labels in the pack so I have a feeling I will be labeling other things in the classroom too. I’m thinking it’s time to add early reading labels to all the different parts of our classroom. I just love the way they look. Be sure to check them out on Facebook here.
We picked several different materials so that she could explore all her senses while playing. Materials you use don’t have to be elaborate for the kids to have fun. You can use shredded paper with different cutting tools or sand with sand tools or toys to bury. You can create theme sets such as our Valentine or dino dig bins. Or you can create bins geared more to education such as our counting Pinto Bean bin.
Water play is always fun but I chose to not put water in the bin to stay but the toys are in the bin and when she wants to play, we add the water. The water beads are there but I keep them close to the bottom because they tend to be a little heavier with the little water we keep in them to keep them bead shaped.
You can also do seasonal themed bins such as our newest bin with seashells (post coming soon). In winter you could do something with ice, snow, winter themed play toys. I’m thinking Spring would be nice to add some fake robin eggs and straw. I saw some floral materials at Walmart that would make for a fun bin for Spring. I would suggest that if you do something like that to discuss with children that picking up real birds eggs would be bad for the baby birds and if they find a bird’s nest that it’s best to just observe and not touch.
A few other ideas for sensory tools would be to add tweezers, magnifying glass, measuring cups, cookie cutters, shovels, scoops, and buckets. I’m thinking about adding a small box of tools to the station as well. They could sit on top and be transported between bins.