I currently have a toddler that loves to jump from activity to activity because the world is her oyster! At least for this age it definitely seems that way! Her senses are growing and integrating constantly, so exposure to different textures, smells, sounds, etc. are not only fun they are IMPORTANT!
Not to mention that teaching new vocabulary related to events we experience during seasons can be a great way to generalize new words across all sorts of environments! With that being said I respect that parents are busier than ever before. These bins are not only super simple to make, but they can be sealed up and stacked on top of each other almost like puzzles! Your child can play with them for days or weeks for expanding learning!
These are the storage bins I purchased. I live in the city so space was a concern. If it isn’t an issue for you, you can always order larger bins!
Scary Squishy Sensory Bin: WATER BEADS! These are one of my personal favorites and this kit comes with tools for picking the beads up that target fine motor skills as well! My husband agrees with me that feeling these immediately results in feeling relaxed, but some people might experience a different sensation! These are non toxic as well, and as a warning a little bit of water beads go a long way. I added in bouncy ball eye balls for Halloween effect! For vocabulary you can target colors, wet vs dry, pick up, slippery, BOUNCE, eyes, shapes, and numbers! You can even sort the colored beads into different bowls with older kiddos!
Farm Life Bin: This one is so simple, and I fully encourage you to use what you have if you already have farm animals! You just need to get a small bale or bag of hay and burry the animals inside! That is it! This is the PERFECT activity to do at home after visiting the farm! Identifying animal noises is a developmental milestone/considered meaningful vocabulary for language development. Expand this bin by having multiple of each animal and sorting them. Have pretend food handy for feeding the animals if you want! Teach animal noises each time your child finds a new animal and engage in pretend play! The learning opportunities are endless!
Pumpkin “Vines” Bin: I have been to the pumpkin patch this fall more times than I care to count because my daughter has enjoyed it so much! This bin is a super cool textural experience, and adding in the pumpkins creates opportunities for targeting counting, pretend play for “picking off the vines”, and so much more! All you need is green food dye and one box of spaghetti noodles! Cook the spaghetti until soft and at the end add the food coloring into the water to dye the noodles. The coloring will probably come off on your little ones hands! But, it washes off! Practice picking up the noodles, use them to create letters for graphemic awareness skills, count the pumpkins, and so much more!
Spider Bin: You can get your spiders anywhere! I found cute spider rings at the grocery store that were all different colors to incorporate color ID with my daughter. Next you just need a bag of the fake spider webs! Hide the spiders inside the “web” and have your child pick them out! Another great way to target fine motor! Incorporate a fake magnifying glass to “spot” the spiders! Add other bugs and sort spiders vs. other bugs by counting legs! I could go on and on!
Enjoy the season! Play around!