The other day we played around with a spaghetti bug bin that was an absolute blast! It was so much fun that my kids have been begging me to do another insect sensory bin with them. While they would have loved to do the spaghetti one again, I needed to find a use for all this pink crinkle paper shred (is that what you would call this?). And so the Insect Inspections Sensory Bin came to be. Gotta love playful excuses to recycle!
Plus it is always a fun challenge to find ways to incorporate the same toys into different sensory bins! We had so much fun with this it would be a close call in deciding which sensory bin we enjoyed more!!
- Rubbermaid Bin
- Insect Toobs
- Crinkled Paper
- Pom-poms (or another type of small manipulative)
- Fine Motor Tools (we really love the tools from Learning Resources)
- Microscope/Magnifying Glass (any type of equipment that will encourage pretend play)
Digging into our Insect Inspections Sensory Bin
We used this bin to work on beginning to understand the concepts of classification and sorting. Even though we did not go into too much detail with this bin (that will come later down the line for my kids), we did discuss the Kingdom (Animalia/Animals), the Phylum (Arthropoda/Arthropods), and the Class (Insecta/Insects). We also discussed that not all the creepy crawlers in our bin were insects. There are also Myriapods (centipedes) and Arachnids (spiders and scorpions).
The point in all of this was not to get my kids to remember all these super big words, but just to start introducing them into conversation. It is amazing how easily kids will grab on to language that is used through play.
Example: Wow that is a really neat Myriapod your found there! How many legs do you think that centipede has? Want to count them with me under the microscope?
The key is to make it fun and follow your child’s lead! About half way into checking out all our bugs Meatball discovered that in addition to the bugs we also had pom-poms in our bin. At this discovery he quickly made his way to his dish cupboard and returned with two bowls.
And promptly began sorting out the “flowers” and the bugs. As he did this he counted…there were a bunch of two’s, “one, two…two…two…five”
Meanwhile Livia sat beside him and compared the totals of both bowls to see if there were enough flowers to feed the bugs.
I am often asked why we love sensory bins so much and this is why. With just a little bit of prep and a whole lot of imagination a simple set up like this can lead to just about anywhere when it comes to learning.