In honor of all the snow we are getting in this area I thought I would share with you all one of our favorite sensory bins. Now remember this is very easily done with an EMPTY STORAGE BIN or even a cake pan. We even took our sensory table apart so the girls could play in the snow upstairs…where it is a bit warmer. No fancy sensory table required.
What you will need:
- A bin to contain snow
- Tools and utensils (to keep little hands safe from freezing snow)
- A container or two
- Sand toy
- Towel (not pictured, I always forget to add the towel until someone spills some snow)
Now add the snow!!!
Right off the bat my girls built a pathway with the shovel. This prompted me to grab a couple additions for their play.
Enter some jungle animals…no judgement. It is what I had on hand and I’m sure Mr Elephant has always dreamt of a day in the snow!
Items for imaginative play (think of your Childs favorite play item right now…can it get wet? Then throw it in!) We have done this sensory table 10 times in the last little bit. I have added princes bathtoys, plastic trolls, fake food, lego people. Really there is no limit here.
Gloves for a more hands on approach. I save these till a bit later because the snow often ends up OUTSIDE the sensory bin. But it is such a fun addition I take my chances and just monitor a bit closer.
Colored Water is a fantastic addition. After interest starts to wain I place a small cup of water, with a few drops of food dye in it and a couple paint brushed in front of my girls and the clock basically resets itself. We love how the snow changes colors. It also becomes denser and more wet (great for packing). You can add as many colors as you want!
Today my older was making snow cookies with the tongs and then both girl were painting them so they could sell them to all the jungle animals! Ha! Those imaginations though!
This activity always keeps my girls happy and intertwined for 30 to 60 minutes! I love it because they get to enjoy this amazing snow…we keep getting and I don’t have to worry about the freezing temperatures. Also the baby and I get to watch them play in the comfort of the warm house.
Don’t get me wrong, this sensory bin is not a substitute for getting outside and being active and sliding head first down the crazy snow banks. It is simply a different way to enjoy the snow.
- Lay out a few ground rules before you bring in a shovel of snow.
- The snow stays in the bin.
- Are they allowed to eat it?
- Are they allowed to get in it? (sadly this often needs clarification)
- Because of rule 2 I prefer to do this activity right after some fresh snow has fallen, it makes me cringe a lot less as I watch my girls gobble the snow cookies they made.
- DONT FORGET THE TOWEL. My girls know they can’t take the snow out but often the tools get laid on the floor COVERED with snow and then it melts all over my rug.
- You can use a cake pan for this activity but the bigger the bin the less mess you’ll have.
- This is a fantastic activity to follow up with hot chocolate and an excess of marshmallows!
If you don’t have any snow I will gladly send some your way! We are a bit buried over here.