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Make a simple and engaging Christmas sensory bin for your toddler or preschooler to explore this holiday.
Sensory bins are a fun way for young children to facilitate learning in children and let them practice their fine-motor development.
This Christmas sensory bin is really easy to put together and you can use it to practice fine motor skills, counting, patterning, or just to have fun and play with!
So let’s get started and create a simple and engaging Christmas sensory bin for toddlers or preschoolers!
Supplies Needed for the Christmas Sensory Bin for Toddlers
1. Start by adding your cotton balls to the bottom of the plastic container.
2. Next, add the pom poms and jingle bells.
3. Add the tiny presents. I made presents by wrapping Lego Duplo pieces in construction paper.
4. Finally, add scoops, tweezers, bubble tongues, and bowls to the sensory bin.
The sensory bin is finished!
How to Play with the Christmas Sensory Bin
- Show your child how to pick up the pom poms and cotton balls using the tweezers.
- Use the bubble tongs to sort the pom poms and place them into the different bowls.
- Bury items under the cotton balls and let your child scoop them up with scoops.
- Invite your child to explore and play with the Christmas sensory bin. They are practicing their fine motor skills as they manipulate the scoops, tweezers, and items in the bin.
The most important thing about any sensory experience is that your children are having fun while learning through play!
How to Expand the Use of the Christmas Sensory Bin
Keep exploring the Christmas sensory bin for a couple of days or weeks by dividing playing with the sensory bin into different learning activities:
Start by inviting your child to explore the content of the sensory bin without any directions.
Encourage them to put their hands in the bin and feel the different textures and explore all the different objects. This self-directed learning and sensory exploration is the primary focus of our sensory bins.
2. Language Development
Incorporate language development into playing with the Christmas sensory bin by:
- Naming cotton balls, pom poms, presents, jingle bells, and any other objects you’ve added to the bin and ask your child to locate them.
- When they know the name of each object in the bin, ask your child to pick up any object they want, and name it.
- Point to different objects in the bin and practice the colors.
- Play “I Spy” with your child by taking turns describing an object using its physical description, i.e. colors, shape, size, and texture.
- Make up a story using some of the items in the sensory bin. Maybe Santa lost the presents in the snow and need your help finding them, or you can pick up the bells and sing Jingle Bells.
You can incorporate counting into playing with the Christmas sensory bin in a few different ways :
- Choose an object and count how many you can find in the sensory bin.
- Choose two different kinds of objects. Find all of those items in the sensory bin. Count how many there are of each and then compare the two numbers. Which is more, less or are there the same amount?
- Roll a dice and find that many objects.
- Roll a dice and decide what number is one more than the number rolled. Find that many objects and then do the same with one less than the number on the dice.
Sorting is always fun and it’s a great way to work on fine motor skills by sorting the objects using tweezers and bubble tongs. Sort objects from the Christmas bin by:
Pattern activities can easily be implemented into playing with the Christmas sensory bin:
- If your child is just getting started patterning, make a pattern for your child. Then ask him or her to copy it or extend the pattern.
- Create a pattern and ask your child which object comes next.
- Invite your child to come up with a pattern on their own.
More Christmas Fun
Looking for even more Christmas activities to try with your kids? Be sure to check out the Top 30 Gift Ideas for Creative Kids Who Love Art and Top 100 Easy And Fun Christmas Crafts For Kids to Make.
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