We've done 5 fun Valentine's Day Sensory Bins over the last 2 weeks.
Most were very simple, leading up to our last which was a more "busy" and detailed sensory bin.
I bought some simple Valentine's Day themed items from the Dollar Store such as heart shaped measuring cups, small red and pink buckets, heart shaped candy moulds, heart cupcake tins, etc. and we've used these for play with all the bins. These were all really fun!
Simple sensory play with red beans and white rice. I shaped the heart using a big heart shaped cookie cutter.
My boys love playing with salt bins! They are so simple too.
Pink Scented Waterbeads
If you are unfamiliar with water beads, they are teeny tiny beads that when put in water for a few hours, expand to form these squishy beads which make really neat sensory material. They come in a large variety of colors and can be found in the floral section of craft stores, dollar stores, supercenters such as Walmart, and online as well. Wedding Star 8543-17 Water Pearls- Peacock Green (Google Affiliate Ad) It's important to note that while they ARE non toxic, they are choking hazards and if you should choose these as a sensory material, smaller children should be completely supervised--as always. Visit Teach Preschool's wonderful post All about Water Beads to learn more about their hazards as well as the ways you can safely use these for fun and exploration. Also, see my Sensory Bin Caution at the bottom of the post!
How to Scent and Color the Water Beads
I colored and scented our clear water beads by adding food coloring and rose water to the water they were "growing" in. You could also add scent to these by adding a few drops of essential oil or food extracts or immitation flavorings.
My 18 month old is not a mouther, but I vigilantly watch him with ANY sensory bin material. He really loved these and especially loved squishing them. I've often heard that parents introduced these to their kids but they didn't really find them that interesting, but just liked to squish them. Squishing them is part of the fun of exploring these! B LOVED squishing them and sat concentrating on squishing one after the other for a good 15 minutes!
"The Love Bug Bin"
Pink Colored and Strawberry Shortcake Scented Rice
and Colored Gems
I called this the Love Bug Bin because it reminded me of a lady bug. I used our Homemade Colored and Strawberry Shortcake Scented Rice, and red glass floral gems.
Click HERE, to see how to make our scented rice.
L is using a funnel to pour rice into a glass Christmas bulb ornament, which we use with many of our sensory bins. Because it's glass, only L (4 1/2) gets to play with this.
Valentine's Day Swag Bin
White rice with lots of pink and red items and
dollar store Valentine's Day "stuff"
It never fails, B (18 mo) always ends up in the larger sensory bins.
It starts with sticking his feet in, then in just a few minutes, he's got a full body sensory experience going lol.
CautionAlways use proper vigilance and precaution when younger children are exploring with any of these sensory materials, and use your parental discretion when deciding if this or any activity is right for your child based on their age and developmental abilities.
To see ALL of our Sensory Bins, click the photo below!
More Ways to Follow the Fun!