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Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin

I love love love Boogie's Valentine's Day sensory bin! I think this is my favorite so far.


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So, what's in the bin? First, the base is rice. But not just any rice...


As you can see, it's not 100% uniform in color but it still looks really nice and bright. I got the idea from Teach Preschool. It's very easy to make and you can involve your child.

1) Put rice in container until you have the right amount for your bin and your child (Boogie likes to dump and pour so I use 1/2 inch to an inch throughout the bin).
2) Put rice into a large ziploc bag.
3) Empty a Kool-aid packet into a measuring cup with maybe an ounce of very hot water and stir until dissolved (you can add more or less water based on the amount of rice and the color you want. But don't add too much because you don't want the rice to be wet).
3) Add the Kool-aid mixture to the bag of rice
4) You and your child can knead and shake and stir the bag until the Kool-Aid is mixed throughout.
5) Add food coloring and repeat step 4 until the rice is the color you want it to be. (Depending on the amount of rice and the color you want, the amount of food coloring will vary)
6) Lay rice out to dry several hours. It should not be wet if you didn't overdo the water and food coloring, but I left it overnight to be safe.

I took some pictures of the process, which Boogie helped with a little bit.


Mmmm, smells good!
Okay, now, what ELSE is in the bin?


* table scatter hearts- counting, manipulating (scooping, dumping, pouring, picking up) (Target $ spot)
* red flat marbles- counting, manipulating (scooping, dumping, pouring, picking up) (Micheals, I think.)
* pipe cleaner hearts- counting (Walmart, I think.)
* homemade red pom poms- counting (Bought a giant thing of yarn for $2.5 at Michaels)
* heart shaped measuring cup and spoon- scooping, dumping, pouring, transferring (Target $2.5)
* red scented rose soap- smell, counting (Walmart. 9 for $3 but only 2 red)
* red popsicle sticks- counting, drop and dump in candy container (Dollar store, already colored)
* variety of sizes of red pom poms- size sorting, manipulating (scooping, dumping, pouring, picking up), counting by total or size (Michaels, I think.)
* red foam hearts- counting (Target $ spot in September in a pack with other shape counters)
* red feathers- counting, drop and dump in candy container (Walmart)
* heart containers- open and close, counting, scooping, dumping, pouring, transferring (Target $ spot- Part of a 6 or 8 pack.)
* heart ice cube tray- 1:1 correspondence, patterns, counting (Target $ spot)
* heart candy container- scooping, dumping, pouring (Dollar Tree)
* rose petals- counting, scooping, dumping, pouring (100 for 1.97 at Walmart)

I am re-using the feathers from Thanksgiving, the pom poms from all kinds of activities, and the foam heart counters. 
This bin appeals to Boogies sense of sight, touch, smell (rose scent and cherry scent) and sound (shaking things in the heart container or candy container).

There are a variety of textures to explore through his sense of touch- lots of plastic, some natural things (rice and feathers), soft things (pipe cleaners, both kinds of pom poms, rose petals), wood (popsicle sticks), glass (marbles), foam, silicone, and the soap.

You can see Boogie's other sensory bins on my sensory bin page.

Linking up to these great parties!

34 comments:

  1. What an awesome sensory bin! You've given me some great ideas!
    :-) Mommy Provost (http://angelsandautism.blogspot.com)

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    1. Thanks, Mommy Provost :) I hope you have fun making one for your kids too!

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  2. I bet that smells delicious. We added cherry jello to our playdough :)
    -Jada roo can do

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    1. I have been wondering about using jello for dye-ing play dough and rice. Have you tried Kool-Aid before? I would be interested in how they compare with smell and brightness.

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  3. Hi Sierra!!!! I LOVE it!! I love all the red! You rock with sensory bins!!! I've been wanting to try coloring rice, but just haven't done it yet! Visting from many of the same linky parties we link up too! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Trina! You are so sweet :) Coloring the rice was so easy and it is such a cheap filler option. You should give it a try!

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  4. It looks so fun with so much to explore!! I have been wanting to try kool-aid for awhile to color/scent play-doh, but I might give it a try with rice too.

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    1. Kool-Aid is such a great cheap option to add brightness and scent. I am so glad I discovered the idea because I knew I wanted red and not pink and everything definitely turned out red.

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  5. OK...I can see why this is yoru favorite! It's great! Thanks for linking up at Thematic Thursday.

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  6. Thank you for linking up your great sensory bin with the Play Academy - I'm featuring it in our Play Planner post tomorrow :)

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  7. Oh, that's a great one. I love all the variety in the box!

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! As a former English teacher, I love the concept of your site :)

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  8. What a great sensory bin!! Thank you for sharing it at Sharing Saturday! Have a great week!!

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  9. What a gorgeous sensory bin! Almost feels like a lucky dip... I would love to have a go too ;-)

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!

    Maggy

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    1. Thanks, Maggy :) I always enjoy playing with Boogie in his bins!

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  10. I love this...great bin! Thanks for linking this to Hey Mom, Look What I Did on Adventures In Mommy Land!

    hope to see you again!!

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  11. I LOVE how you used kool-aid to color the rice! So fun, and I bet it smelled awesome! I'm definitely doing this one! Thank you so much for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday!

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    1. I am glad I found the idea to use Kool-Aid! So easy and you're right, it smells wonderful :)

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  12. PS. I'm linking to this on my PreschoolPowolPackets FB page!

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  13. this is fantastic!!

    Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday Link Party!
    Hope you can join me again tomorrow

    Natasha xx

    www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

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  14. Amazing sensory bin, Sierra! And I love that you've created a Sensory Bin page ... I always look forward to seeing your new sensory bins! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

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    1. Thank you, Deb, for the nice comments and the feature! I love that blogger makes creating pages so easy :) Glad you appreciate it!

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  15. we got those same scatter hearts from target! great minds think alike! this looks like fun, quite a variety of items for him to work with! thanks for linking it up!

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    1. Hi Andie! Gotta love the Target dollar section :) Hope Bear is enjoying the hearts, too.

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  16. I can never get enough of sensory bins and the rice is fantastic! Thanks for linking up to Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

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    1. Thanks, Lori :) Rice is such a great filler! I might never use anything else again :)

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  17. I am just hopping over to thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop! This looks like a fun sensory bin with a lot for your little ones to explore. I hope to see you link up again this week.

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