I love to do sensory bins with my kids, love, love, love them! I enjoy planning them, I love setting up the offering, but most of all I love watching the kids play in them. Two kids 4 years apart sharing the same bin and each playing in their own little way. My Sun loves to build, pour and plan what he’s doing. My Star loves how things feel. She likes to touch things with her toes, climb in the bin, sometimes tasting them. Very few things hold little stars attention for long but they are sensory bins and food.
For this sensory bin I knew I wanted to do a beach theme but I also knew the kids were due for some waterbead play. Waterbeads are small non toxic, biodegradable balls that are used for flowers and centre pieces. You can find them at walmart, dollar stores, flower shops and some party stores. Added to water and left for 8 hours the expand to become small squishy balls that even bounce. Water beads are wonderful fun, we’ve done a few discovery times with them before.
Wanted to try something different it was neat that I came across this http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2012/02/water-bead-seaside-sensory-tub.html on pinterest. Exactly what had been running through my brain. I ran to the dollar store and bought a few sheets of art foam and a few more coloured rocks, I also picked up a few little new toys from the dollar store just so the kids would be that tad more excited. So I made up the beads while the kids were sleeping, from previous experience I know that if I make them during the day then the smalls want to put their hands in them and squish them which tend to make them breakdown faster. However, if you are doing this activity with an older child (sun is almost 6) it is very cool to show them how the waterbeads change as they get bigger, it is a great opportunity to talk about how they feel and what they are doing. After making the water beads I remembered we were travelling to Amma (grandma) and Popas (grandpa) for the weekend, they live 2 hours away. So I loaded all the tools into a bag and taped the lid onto our bin and extra container of waterbeads and brought them along. Luckily the weather was excellent.
They are ready to play in the “squishy, slippery, slimy, bouncy, wet” bin.
They played for around an hour, both of them ending up inside the bin. We usually pour our waterbeads into a container and bring them out another day to play with. These beads can last over a month and if they start to dry up you just add more water. Thanks for stopping by and seeing our Beach sensory bin. Come back again soon and if you make a sensory bin I would love to see pics!