Friday, January 2, 2015

Toddler Sensory Bins

Winter Break has been a delight for the Hubs and I, both of us being off work. Kid has gone to daycare a couple of times so we could finish up some cleaning and Christmas shopping. Other than that, we have enjoyed our time together.

For the most part.

Kid will be 2 in April, and I think we have reached the terrible twos a few months early. He can be downright nasty.

Like 99.9% of moms, I love my son to the moon and back a thousand times. He has my heart.

And like all moms, sometimes, I need a break. The tantrums, the whining. Sometimes, I just need a break.

I've noticed in the last few weeks that Kid has needed task-oriented activities. Playing with a truck on the floor doesn't keep him occupied for more than 2 minutes. Building a puzzle train will hold his attention for 10.

Cue sensory bins.

We had plenty of sensory bottles at the preschool where I used to work. We have a water table and sand table where I currently work. But I didn't want a bajillion little bottles floating around my house filled with noodles and pompoms. Plus, Kid isn't so interested in those. I also didn't want a sand table inside my house. There is a sandbox outside for that! And a water table?! Well, you might as well just take a bath!

I wasn't planning on picking up the materials for sensory bins any time soon. It had just been on my mind. But, then. I walked into Target and saw that their organization stuff was on sale! Woo hoo! I picked up the necessary materials and headed home. Sensory bins were ready to go!

To make the same sensory bins I made (noodles and rice) you will need:
  • 2 medium sized storage bins with lids. Trust me. You need lids.
  • 1 large bag of rice
  • 1 bag of garbanzo beans
  • 3 to 4 boxes of elbow or rotini (or both!) noodles
  • various small objects (I picked up a package of magnetic letters)
  • scoops or measuring cups
The how-to (this is tough, pay close attention):
  • Place your storage bins on the counter and take the lids off.
  • Open the bag of rice. Dump the rice into the first bin and add the letters. I added two scoops, because I knew we would have friends over to play.
  • Open the noodles and dump those, along with the garbanzo beans, into the second bin. Add two more scoops.
  • Done!
If your kiddos are anything like Kid, find a place to store these out of sight. Bring them out when you're ready for some messy fun! And believe me when I say it's a mess. We had rice everywhere!

But! He was occupied. I got to unload the dishwasher by myself! I made lunch without a hungry toddler sitting on my feet. And that, my friends, is a blessing in and of itself.

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