Moon Excavation! Construction Sensory Bin with Exploding Frozen Stars –MAN that’s a mouthful! The things our kids can come up with when you let their imaginations run wild! This month we have been working on shapes with Meatball and for some reason or another, the one he is having difficulty recognizing are the stars. Whenever he is shown a star, he labels it as a triangle. I suppose they are made up of a bunch of triangles, so on some level the confusion does make sense.
This sensory bin made from taste safe moon sand and frozen baking soda stars was used to explore a variety of different stars to try to reinforce the shape through conversation and play.
This bin is also a hodge-podge of a bunch of Meatballs favorite things right now. Cars…we can never get enough of those. Construction — Good Night, Good Night, Construction site is a go everywhere with us favorite (we even made a sensory bin to go with it). Anything and everything Outer Space, hence the moon sand. And of course dirt, mud, sticky, ooey-gooey messes.
Items Needed for a Moon Excavation! Construction Sensory Bin with Exploding Frozen Stars
- Baking Soda
- Food Dye
- Vinegar and plastic bowl
- Taste Safe Moon Sand (follow link for our simple recipe)
- A Rubbermaid Bin
- Scoops, Shovels, and Sand Toys
- Eye Dropper (we also added in other tools to explore transferring the vinegar with like a bubble wand)
- Silicone Star Ice Tray (we got ours at IKEA, but you can also find them here)
- Glow in the Dark Stars
Setting Up Play
This sensory bin does require some planning and set up the night before, as you do need to give your stars some time to freeze. To make your stars you are going to want to mix baking soda, food dye, and water. You are going to want your baking soda mixture at a consistency that is packable with your hands, not runny. To do this I would slowly add in your water until your baking soda is completely saturated. Fill your ice trays and freeze overnight.
The next day I made our taste safe moon sand, added in our toys, added in our frozen stars, filled a bowl with vinegar, and took it all outside to play with. This activity is messy so is a great one for outside. All purpose outdoor blankets such as this one are great for indoor messy play if getting outside is not an option.
And then PLAY! This bin is great for exploring so many different concepts. Meatball pretended that he was drilling the moon to find fallen shooting stars. He was on a mission with his magic potion to give the stars back their BANG!
On top of exploring stars and his imagination, Meatball worked on his fine motor skills and explored bicarbonate reactions and changing states of matter.
We talked about how the stars fizzed and why once they were done fizzing they turned the Moon Sand into mud.
And experimented with which tools worked the best on dissolving the stars. This sensory bin was a blast!