For this sensory bin my initial plan was to have a deconstructed aquarium consisting of the blue rice in the tub and all the other aquarium themed bits just around the side. My vision was that Lottie could choose what bits she wanted to use and then make her own aquarium.
This failed spectacularly! She totally ignored all the aquarium items and just immediately started playing with the rice on its own. I grabbed a few spoons, measuring cups etc and that’s all she wanted to use!
She spent ages tipping rice from one container to the next and this gave us a lot of opportunities to explore measures and use mathematical language: Were the cups empty or full? Which spoon was the smallest/largest? What happened when we tipped a larger cup into a smaller cup? etc etc.
She then decided to fill up some of the larger scoops using only a spoon to pick up the rice. This was entirely her idea and it held her interest for a long period of time. It was a fantastic activity to develop her fine motor control and to help develop her wrist and finger muscles – all good preparation for when she (in good time – she’s not 2 yet!) learns to hold a pencil correctly.
Although this sensory bin didn’t start out as I intended it to at all, Lottie had a great time and I’m sure got far more out of it by using her own imagination to develop her play.
Supplies and Suppliers:
Rice – coloured blue and white (see this post for a How to guide)
Assorted spoons/scoops/jugs/pots etc
PD: sensory exploration, fine motor skills, co-ordination, control, manipulation