I’m SO busy at the moment, what with packing and getting rid of LOTS of unnecessary stuff we seem to have accumulated over the years.  So, having activities to hand for J is a real must! After loving the glow in the dark Alien Planet last week, I used all the bits along with some sparkly stars to make a mini sensory bin for J.  The beauty is, it take less than two minutes to put together and once play is over, pop the lid on and it can be put away for another day.  J has loved it.

To make the mini sensory bin I used:

  • a small plastic tub with a lid
  • some star confetti in gold and black
  • a balloon party table stand
  • alien figures
  • glow in the dark planets

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J has played with this on numerous occasions over the last few days and although I put it out of reach (due to the small parts), J has been asking for his space box a lot.

The first play J had with it, he examined the balloon party holder for ages, asking me if he could unwrap it and pinging the curly ribbon.  It then became a rocket and blasted around the house several times.

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After the expected role play, J began making something with the stars on the tray.  He kept asking, ‘Can you guess what it is Mummy?’  He started picking the stars out one at a time rehearsing his pincer grip…

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… after a while, he tipped the contents of the box out into the tray; swishing and sweeping the stars around with his hands.

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Today, J played with the box again and this was probably the sixth or seventh outing of the box.  This time, he played at his table in the kitchen.  I certainly aim to make many more of these kind of boxes for J – he just loves them and the fact you can store them away for another day means you always have a ‘box of tricks’ to hand for when they’re fed up with their toys.  I am to make many more of these boxes for Christmas and I know they will keep J entertained for much longer than an overpriced toy ever could.

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J loves the sensory feel of these stars and enjoys pouring them through his fingers.  These stars would make a lovely basis for lots of sensory bins; J is interested in space, but these could easily be a fairy princess bin, nursery rhyme bin, bonfire night bin, night time bin and so on.  The confetti stars are lovely though and could be used for a sensory bin to do with your child’s interest.

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I had to laugh when I turned around and saw J playing with his planets like this (photo below)!!! He is hilarious! Even this funny play of blowing with planet along the floor is good for J’s development.  The blowing action, is great for developing J’s oral muscles and helping with his pronunciation and making his speech clear.

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As you can see in the photo below, J got out his ‘Stars and Planets’ book whilst playing with his sensory bin today.  It really is a nice idea to link your sensory bins to stories or non-fiction books; anything to encourage children to read more is a good thing and if children see books as an important part of play, this will only encourage and nurture a love of reading.

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What did J learn?

  • Used senses to explore
  • Creativity with the stars
  • Investigating planets
  • Role play and imagination
  • Speech and language

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