Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spring Garden Sensory Bin

I don't know about you but I have a bit of spring fever and have gotten into the gardening and planting mood. Oh wait, you thought I was referring to my own personal garden?! No way! I'm talking about my educational play garden. Not only are sensory bins a fun tactile way for kids to play and learn, they can be used with any kind of toys/manipulatives you have laying around.

I filled a plastic shoe box sized bin with dried black beans (about 4 bags). I then added plastic fruits and veggies from Target (see below). I felt like I hit the jackpot with this purchase! It came with 2 cutting boards and 2 knives. Win!

My children had a BLAST with this one! We worked on verbs (digging, finding, hiding, cutting, etc), labeling, following directions ("Give me the __"), 'wh' question comprehension ("What is the orange, crunchy vegetables bunnies eat?"), yes/no questions, and categorizing.

I paired this activity with "The Fruits We Eat" to provide additional reinforcement to work on vocabulary. We used one of the last pages as a reference the help identify whether or not a selected item was a fruit.

**Edit: I found a great book that targets vegetables called "Our Community Garden". My kids loved learning about all the different veggies that can be grown in their own garden.

What else can I do with the bin you ask? How does planting flowers sound!? I couldn't really find any cool plastic flowers in the store, so I decided to make my own out of pipe cleaners (thank you YouTube!)

My "bouquet" 
I made the flowers in an assortment of colors (pink, red, blue, and orange). Add a toy shovel and planters and you're all set for some gardening!

Kids have so much fun using the shovel to dig the "dirt" into the planters.

 With this activity, skills such as requesting ("I want the red flower"), sentence expansion, 'wh' question comprehension, following directions, yes/no questions, can all be targeted.

Do you use sensory bins in your sessions? What materials do you use?

I didn't want to make a separate post, so I'll just let you in on a secret I've been hiding. I'm pregnant! Hubby and I are so excited to be expecting a sweet baby girl this August. If I end up MIA again, you'll know why :) Please find the obligatory bump pic below:

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