Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumn / Fall Sensory Bin with Learning Activities


Our new fall sensory bin may look rather unassuming, but it is CHOCK FULL of learning opportunities and a sensory explosion!

The tools are not in there. Once they are, the bin really has very little extra room. We had to remove the Indian corn when it wasn't being used.


WHAT IT CONTAINS
FILLER
(2) 42 oz/1.19 kg Large containers of old fashioned oats
(1) .75 oz/21 g container of Pumpkin Pie Spice
*I bought a third container of oats, but 2 was sufficient to fill it nicely.

MANIPULATIVES
12 Pinecones [found, but they do have in floral at Dollar Store]
12 Each red, yellow, green silk leaves [Dollar Store]
12 Small mixed colored pumpkins [Dollar Store]
12 Each red, yellow, green multi-sized pom poms as apples
(1) Mini straw bale [craft store]
(3) Ears of Indian Corn [grocery store]
(3) Toilet paper tubes [from NEW rolls]
(3) Autmn/fall 4" pom poms as apple trees [yarn from WalMart]

*I purposefully didn't use any real pumpkins or apples due to wanting to re-use the filler at a later date. So, nothing organic that could drop bits if played with roughly. They have those for other areas and other activities. They also must wash their hands well prior to playing in it.

TOOLS
Mini scoops [formula measuring cups]
Tongs
Ladles
Large tweezers
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Scrapers
Funnels
Tubes
Various small containers
Various misc. items to scoop with or into.

Here are the regular tools in their tool box. Additionally, they are open to bringing anything they want from other play areas, such as funnels, play dishes, figures, cars, etc. I try to keep the manipulatives fairly small, so no great big measuring cups, since the goal is fine motor and sensory, not massive dumping with immediate results as we have in our outside sensory areas.


WHAT IT DOES
As with all my sensory bins, this one is set up to work specific preschool/kindergarten skills.

COLOR MATCHING/SORTING. Leaves, pumpkins, and pom poms can all be sorted and grouped by color into the colored bowls, as the girls were doing here, out on the table, or within the bin. Or, individual items can be sorted out by color. 

SIZING. The pinecones and pom poms can all be sorted by small, medium and large. The pom poms can be advanced to 2-characteristic sorting by color and by size.

They can also sort the pom poms by color or size ONTO the apple trees, adding in an additional element.

COUNTING. Works on 1-12 and the concept of a dozen, the children can count out the 8 different elements that have 12 items within the bin.

1-1 CORRESPONDENCE. The children can match pom poms to leaves, pinecones to pumpkins, apple trees to ears of corn, etc.

DIRECTIONAL. "Look, I put a pumpkin on top of the straw bale!" was one of the first things I heard. Apples ON the tree. Items IN the containers. Leaves UNDER the pinecones. Pom poms going THROUGH the TP tubes. 

SENSORY. BUMPY, SOFT and SMOOTH were said about the corn kernels. CRINKLY was said about the corn husk. ROUGH and SCRATCHY were said about the straw bale. YUMMY was said about the oats and spice mix. That was within the first 5 minutes of play.

SHAPES. Sphere, cylinder, circle, cone, square, rectangle, cube, rectangular prism, 

FINE MOTOR. Filling, scooping, stacking, placing, moving manipulatives. Writing into the oats. 

GROSS MOTOR. It's a large bin. The children have to use quite a bit of gross motor work to reach everything they want to and move items from one end to another.

Filling the pumpkin pie spice jar that was emptied into the oats.
They ask to play in the sensory bins every day! 
LOVE THEM!

Keep in mind that if you don't want to spend much money, even having one sensory bin for each season is a great place to start. Seasonal ones can be used for the 3 months with just changing out a few items here and there. Purchase items on clearance for the season just past for next year. 
Tags: autumn, fall, season, seasonal, sensory, bin, sensory bin, kids, child, childcare, math, science, shapes, counting, oats, apple, pumpkin, leaves, leaf, pinecone, straw, tools, how to, fine motor, gross motor, care, daycare, preschool, kids, theme, unit

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