Teaching Toddlers Power Tool: Sensory Bins; toddler activities at home

When your toddler is showing interest in closing and opening containers. Building Developmental Skills.

Added shiny eggs for interest. Make sure eggs are easy to open and close, and the colors are appealing.
If your child is getting frustrated with the inability to close the eggs, use this bin for INTERACTIVE play with you .
Be careful because if a child isn’t developmentally ready for this skill, and is attempting like Aspen above, she will become frustrated. You want to give them activities they are SUCCESSFUL at. And lots of praise YAY!, to build the confidence to KEEP trying.
Putting Pasta in the egg and closing it= Problem solving. Builds hand strength and coordination, confidence.

Exploring Bin & introducing Shapes

Practicing Fine motor skills (writing) while taking out bean . Learning Background knowledge for amounts (math).

I introduce teaching shapes with the heart- because hearts are so common they are easily recognizable.

The sensory bin is red and pink only. This is because I wanted her to focus on the physical shape of the heart, and the feeling of the beans. I actually take her finger and trace it around the heart.

Using a monochromatic color scheme is a great way to introduce teaching colors. This way the child notices one color, even if we are not naming the color.

We played with this bin all of February, but it doesn’t need to line up with Valentine’s Day month. It is for play, when the child is ready to be introduced to shapes.

paper hearts, jingle bell, foam heart, pipe cleaner, Kidney beans

The sensory bin that followed this was to teach YELLOW.

I wanted to use cornmeal but I was out so I used oatmeal with yellow objects that I found. A yellow block, a yellow plastic bear, yellow poms, yellow paper pieces.

For the YELLOW learning bin, oatmeal with poured into a loaf pan with 3 YELLOW objects. The next day I added a different object. Once there were 5 objects with the oatmeal, i found 5 different objects and interchanged 1:1.

I decreased the number of cups and introduced utensils. Different types of spoons for example, and interchanged these also.

I began teaching Aspen as a nanny this past January when she was 16 months old. I have observed her respond and learn and look forward to her sensory bins. Her mom keeps them and uses them as well. Don’t underestimate the power of a sensory bin for learning and practical use as an easy activity to keep a toddler occupied for a few minutes.