Individual sensory bins are perfect to use in a physical distancing scenario or in the home!
Because of the virus, teachers are constantly being told what they cannot do in their classrooms. No sensory tables. No soft surfaces. No shared materials. The list gets longer each time I look.
Here is what teachers need to do:
- We need to remember that we are still experts in the field and we know what children need in terms of development.
- We need to ask why certain guidelines or suggestions exist.
- We need to determine what children NEED, and then find ways to still provide THAT within the new guidelines. Can we get creative?
I think these individual sensory bins could be an option!
Simply label small containers with the children's names and you are ready for sensory play! You can play with the materials at the children's tables OR even on the playground. These bins are also perfect for at home.
Gather inexpensive materials
If you are making these for each child in your class, you need to keep cost in mind. That is why I used inexpensive materials that would be easy to find and split.
First, you need the bin.
I chose these bins from Walmart, because I liked that they were clear. You can find the link here, but I think they are in store only. Look in the food storage aisle for options. You want them to have a lid and stack nicely. Label the bins with the children's names.
Next, you need to fill it.
The sky really is the limit when it comes to sensory bin fillers. You can try water, but I would do this outside first. My favorite dry fillers are: pasta, dyed pasta, rice, birdseed, popcorn kernels, or any type of loose parts.
Finally, you need tools and accessories.
Plastic spoons are great for scooping. Clothespins can act as individual tweezers. Toilet paper rolls can be funnels. I put condiment cups, cupcake liners, and paint palettes in our bins for filling and dumping. You can add wooden dolls or plastic figurines to transition the bins to small world play.