An Ocean Sensory Bin was the perfect activity for today. We’ve been finding wonderfully creative ways to keep cool in this these hot, summery temperatures that we’ve been enjoying this week. You can click here, here and here to see how we’ve explored, concocted and experimented with water, mud, and other backyard goodies in the past few days.
I’ve had this sensory bin in mind for a long time. In fact, it was last July when I went to the beach and collected my supplies for this activitiy. I filled a container with tiny pebbles from the shallow shore-line and gathered up a bunch of small, round stones, brought them home, washed them, dried them and packed them away until now. Here’s how I made our Ocean Bin:
A plastic storage container on a stool makes the perfect work-station for something like this. You could also use a more box-shaped storage container instead if you don’t have a stool. If you find your container slips around on the base, pop a rubber place-mat or a couple of anti-slip pads in between the two.
This was cute: as I was walking back and forth in the yard, setting things up, I glanced back and saw the littlest Hooligan investigating things. Apparently she thought we were doing the baby bath station again. heehee
I set out a simple variety of materials for the Hooligans to add to their ocean: the pebbles and stones that had been in hibernation-mode for almost a year, a few plastic water-dwelling animals, a basket of corks and coloured glass beads, and several large leaves from the garden to serve as lily pads.
I filled the bin with some water and a few drops of blue food colouring, set the tray of materials beside it, and called the Hooligans over. My work was done. I stepped back and gave them complete control over what, how and how much they added to the bin.
One of the cutest lines of the day: At the end of the afternoon, one of the Moms came into the yard to pick up her little guy, she came back to where he was playing at the bin to see what he was up to. She got right down to check out all the materials and observe how her son was playing with them. She pointed to the corks and said “Wow! Look at all the boats you have!” He (not quite 3 y.o.) said “They’re not boats!”, and she said “Oh! What are they?”. He looked at her and exclaimed “They’re CORKS!”.