I find sensory bins are great fun to make, great fun to share with friends and great fun to play with my son, but the sensory experience is really all around us everyday. No one knows that better than the heart and mind of a preschooler and that’s my son Liam, who is three and a half. Every minute he is out exploring, discovering, hearing, tasting, feeling and living, he is having a sensory experience. His body is still new to him, much more so than his tired, R & R deprived mommy, and bursting with the capability to take in so much! His mind is fresh and open and eagerly awaiting what I have to offer him each day. Sometimes it is a life experience and sometimes it is a bin. He has a huge capacity to take in all the new sensations around him, process them, and use them in his life.
Many times these opportunities don’t always come in the shape of a box. Although a sensory bin is a wonderfully creative idea to supplement life’s bountiful, sensory experiences, please don’t miss out on what’s already around you. Just by providing new experiences (bin or not), I know I am sharing a lesson in sensory discovery. I realize this more and more as I am searching through a couple years of old photos looking for neat sensory bin ideas to share with you. Many of my photos are of Liam engaging in sensory play that is just a part of what we do everyday. Our life is our play.
Everyday activities like bathing, eating, and cleaning are sensory experiences for a young child but routine must do’s for us adults. These are experiences that help him to better understand his world and to better understand himself, what he likes and dislikes. However I also photograph the less routine but still ordinary, everyday stuff like Liam enjoying gardening, painting, jumping, rolling in the grass, catching snowflakes, smelling nature, and licking ice cream. I may have taken for granted the simple things my child enjoys but it has certainly been an eye opening opportunity to reflect on the past and move forward with new adventures to awaken the senses in the future!
Of course Liam is still a sucker for a god sensory bin…….and I am a sucker for making one. So on those days when Liam is having trouble understanding himself and processing the world around him, we can pull out a sensory bin. I can steal a few more precious moments sitting next to him and quietly sharing.