Rice Sensory Bin Challenge & Blog Hop
Creating Independent Play With Sensory Bins
Join us for child led play and easy sensory bin making ideas!
This sensory bin challenge is for first time sensory bin makers and seasoned creators of fabulous sensory bins! Have you ever made a sensory bin before? Or have you made a ton? Does your child like sensory play or avoid it? Have you made wonderful themes to find them completely ignored or only played with for a short time? This might be your kind of challenge either way! Let your child be the maker.
What does child led mean?
Child led is simply the process of following your child’s lead or particular interest without imposing yours onto him or her. Parents often step back, observe and join in by following the path of the child not by changing the path of the child. To often do we spend way more time planning elaborate themes and play ideas that our child may not really need when a simple sensory bin is perfect for simple, uncomplicated play. Quiet observation will yield great results on your part!
What is a sensory bin?
A sensory bin is a basic tool for tactile (touch) sensory processing. Sensory bins are wonderful early learning tools for engaging the senses, gaining attention, and teaching fun skills while playing. They are awesome for language development. Children with sensory processing disorders may find them calming too. These bins are often filled with a basic filler that is pour-able or dump-able but mostly pleasing to the senses of the child. Each child is different! Read more about sensory bins versus small worlds for more detailed information.
Why a child led sensory bin challenge?
I decided on a child led sensory bin challenge to get back to basics. I simply wanted the chance to observe Liam’s interests and his sensory needs and most importantly how he chose to play with a simple sensory bin filler. I asked some wonderful blogging friends to join me in this challenge and leave the sensory bin planning to the kids! Please hop around and visit everyone to see what each child has come up with for child led sensory bin play!
How do I do my own challenge at home?
Find a good-sized bin! I love clear bins from the big box stores. Fill it with rice, white or brown. That’s it! There’s your sensory bin challenge set up. Leave it out and available. See what your child chooses to do with it. Maybe your child will ignore it for a bit or casually find a truck or shovel. Let them if it’s appropriate and safe. He might ask questions, like what can he do with it. Try to answer with your own question rather than give suggestions. Now, if your child needs help, offer simple suggestions or open-ended suggestions and try to step back as long as possible. You will read that our child led challenge had some hiccups.
Our Rice Sensory Bin Challenge Results
What I love about this challenge is the story that unfolded and the levels of play that evolved from the simple invitation to play. I did exactly what I said I would do and left a bin of rice out for him to explore! Check out our afternoon of play and read our story. To enhance the play, I took far less pictures so as to not disturb him.
Liam has classic tools that he feels needs to be included in all sensory bins! Scooping and pouring are always welcome. He loves this cut plastic gallon jug I attempted to make into a scoop. It still gets the job done.
He is a bit funnel obsessed and quickly grabbed these. I keep all our favorite sensory bin tools in basket for him to grab anytime he wants to add something to a sensory bin. He knew right where to get what he needed. He often enjoys odd plastic containers from the kitchen! Make sure the funnel openings are big enough!
No here’s the fun part. I enjoyed watching Liam enjoy his rice sensory bin with tools of his choosing. However, what I do know is that Liam also needs some help thinking about what more could happen. Often his Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Diagnosis get in the way of free play, child led play to be exact. He requires direction and waits for instruction far more than I thought a child would. I wanted to encourage him to go farther with this rice sensory bin.
I noticed he had taken to wearing his pirate hat while playing with the rice sensory bin, so I started to ask questions. What are you looking for? His answer, treasure! Do you have treasure, I asked? No, I could go get some was his answer. He went downstairs and came up with boats and airplanes from our TOOBs collection. Later on he retrieved some coins and necklaces from St Patrick’s Day. Not to long after, he got out his pirate books and declared we needed letters.
He went on his own pirate adventure and filled his sensory bin. Together we read our pirate books and he dug for buried treasure. He certainly had collected quite th rice sensory bin by the time dinner rolled around. With a little clever assistance from mommy, he put together his own sensory bin.
Rice Sensory Bin Challenge Results!
As far as a child-led sensory bin goes in our house, I would say we take the prize for sensory bins. I might be more of a helicopter mom then I would like to be, but I have to with his multiple diagnosis. I seize every opportunity I can to step back and watch him play (if he allows it)! I have to think quickly and remember to guide instead of instruct whenever possible. We complete this rice sensory bin challenge and had an easy fun afternoon too.
It’s A Sensory Bin Challenge Blog Hop!
I have several resources you may enjoy for sensory bins!