Spring Robin Sensory Bin

Spring is in the air!  We’ve been lucky to have a few days of warmer weather and have been outside playing the hours away.  Of course we had to create our first outdoor sensory bin of the season!  This Spring Robin Sensory Bin is sure to get you in the mood for Spring.  We used a few items that you might have seen before on the blog and put together a quick and easy bin for sensory play.  Because nothing says Spring like minimal prep!
Kids will love this Spring robin sensory bin with corn filler.
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Spring Sensory Bin Idea

So, last year we made these egg carton robins.  They are back and made the perfect addition for our Spring sensory bin.  I kept it simple and added only a field corn and black bean filler.  You could use any of our sensory bin filler ideas.
We have a big bin of this stuff ready to go for sensory play.  It’s a great tactile sensory material that little hands love to dig through.  I poured it all into our water table so both of my girls could play easily in the bin.  The height is perfect for my one year old.
Spring sensory bin with a robin theme
To make the robins, follow these directions.  Be sure to make the worms, because we used them in the sensory bin today.  I hid a few in the field corn and placed the rest on the top of the sensory bin.  My four year old had fun burying the worms and then scooping up big piles of corn to find them.  She practiced a few preschool math concepts like one-to-one correspondence by counting out the worms.  She put them one by one into the separate robins on the egg carton.  My 1 year old had fun just playing in the field corn.  This was a great sensory experience for her!
Having our sensory bin outside on a warm spring day was so much fun and a great way to kick off Spring!
RELATED READ: Simple Spring Sensory
Want to see more Spring ideas for kids?  Click the button to see more from a few of my blogger friends:
This is a fun and easy Spring sensory bin for kids
Check out these sensory activities that you will love: 
  Oobleck in the Marble Run  Alphabet Discovery Bottle

Tinker Toys STEM Pulley

This week in our Early Learning series, we’re covering STEM.  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are all over the place these days.  And there is good reason, we love this occupational therapy toy, too.  STEM learning is present in classrooms, summer camps, after-school programs, and even library programs. As a benefit, STEM fine motor activities build coordination and hand strength. Today, I’m sharing classic STEM.  This is the STEM of my childhood and one that I’m so excited to share with my kids: Tinker Toys!  

We used the classic toy, Tinker Toys with STEM concepts to create a Tinker Toy pulley.  Now, this was fun!

Build a Tinker Toys Pulley system and explore STEM concepts in learning with kids.

Tinker Toys STEM project: Build a Pulley

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We were lucky enough to find a set of Tinker Toys at a garage sale but they are available here.  Our set is a little beat up (And it even has original container from years gone by!) but it worked for building a pulley system.  This was a hit with my kids as we discovered and explored all four parts of STEM education:

Build a Tinker Toys Pulley system and explore STEM concepts in learning with kids.

Science with Tinker Toys– We talked about the physics behind a pulley system, including the load and the effort required to make the pulley work. Our pulley was designed to pull a string along a strait path to carry a load from one point to another.  We talked about energy with our pulley.

Technology with Tinker ToysI’ve read that the technology portion of STEM learning can relate to any product made that meets a need or want, including items like a pencil or a chair.   Our technology was the machine (the pulley) that could transport items from one place to another.  We created a machine to do a job.

Engineering with Tinker Toys–  Tinker Toys might be one of the most classic engineering toys there is.  Children of all ages have used these building toys to create whatever their imagination could dream up.  We were able to engineer a pulley system with trial and error to find the right height, length, and support for our pulley.  After trial and error, we determined that our pulley needed a better base of support.  To adjust for lack of width in the base, we added play dough to hold the legs in place.

Math with Tinker Toys–  For our pulley, we tried different lengths of string.  We measured the lengths and decided on the best length to pull clothes pins from one point to anther.  We then added more clothes pins and noted how much the string drooped when we added more pins.  We then had to adjust the distance of the pulley legs to accommodate the weight.   What a great way to combine math and engineering in this “tinkering” STEM activity! 

NOTE: Our clothes pins were multi-colored but I’m not able to find that exact item anymore.  You are able to purchase individual colors of clothes pins, here.  

Build a Tinker Toys Pulley system and explore STEM concepts in learning with kids.
Build a Tinker Toys Pulley system and explore STEM concepts in learning with kids.

Looking for more STEM activities for kids?  Try these:

Build a Tinker Toys Pulley system and explore STEM concepts in learning with kids.
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Tell me, did you play with Tinker Toys as a kid?  Have you ever made a pulley as a child?

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