3 Rainbow Sensory Bins

We’ve been playing with a rainbow theme alllll week around here.  These are three rainbow sensory bins that we have been exploring.

Any time that I pull out the corn bin, everyone gets very excited.  I added ribbons in different colors and some “gold coins” (aka yellow Connect Four game pieces!)

Another little sensory bin that we’ve been playing with is a simple bowl of these Fuse ‘M Beads.

I added a couple of pairs of tweezers and an ice cube tray and let them go at it!
This was a fun fine motor activity, but mostly they just loved running their hands through the beads.
Baby Girl loved exploring these little beads.
((These are really little, so if you play with these…or any little parts…keep an eye on your little ones if they tend to put things in their mouths.  Baby Girl does pretty well and won’t put things like this in her mouth.))

This last sensory bin used the Fuse ‘M Beads again.  The next day, I put the beads and some cotton balls (clouds) into a big ol’ bowl and added a melon baller and kitchen tongs. 
More fine motor skills and sensory play combined into one colorful activity!

We hope you get some good ideas from these sensory bins.  have you done any fun sensory bins recently?
~Colleen

Color Matching With Play Dough

This was an easy and fun way to spend an afternoon.  And when Baby Girl woke up from her nap, she loved it too.
I put out six colors of play dough and a little bin of colored beads, paper clips, and other little things.

               Fine Motor Strengthening for kids

They had so much fun matching up the colors.  Baby Girl just loved pushing the little beads and things into the Play Dough. 
I love her little knuckle dimples 🙂
Pushing the little objects into the dough is resistive and an excellent fine motor strengthening exercise for little hands.  They are also working on their tripod grasp when they push the beads into the Dough. 
  Big Sister said we needed to wash all of the little objects after we were done.  We put all of them into a bin of water and everyone had fun swishing them around.   
 Drain them into a colander and you are good to go 🙂

Fine Motor Play with crafting pom poms

Fine motor play for toddlers is a win in our house.  Toddlers seem to love moving, scooping, dropping, and sorting items, so why not incorporate fine motor skills into the activity?   


Looking for more creative ideas for toddlers?  Try these ones




Fine Motor Work for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This activity is so easy to put together and fun for different ages.  My Toddler and nephew (both 16 months old) were immediately loving this one.  They saw the pile of crafting pom poms and the bottles on the table and were instantly popping the fuzz balls into the empty water bottles.
NOTE: If you try this activity with little ones who love to explore with their mouths, please keep a very close eye on them.  Or put this one on hold for a few months. 
Pushing the pom poms into the bottles is great for working on a tripod grasp, and the littler kids tended to push the ball into the bottle by using their index finger (Index Isolation).
 When kids develop isolation of individual fingers, it improves their dexterity, separates the sides of the hand, and allows them to manipulate small objects with accuracy. 
As they progress in fine motor development, you will see the ring finger, and pinkie finger fold down into a fist as they use just their thumb, pointer finger, and ring finger to manipulate little objects.  The ring and pinkie fingers are then able to stabilize the hand during activities such as handwriting, cutting with scissors, and shoe tying.   


Color Sorting for Preschoolers

Little Guy (who is 3) sorted the different colored pom poms into bottles.
 We had fun with this for a long time.  They were occupied before and after nap time with this one!
To get the pom poms out of the bottles, I was able to pull them out quickly.  The little kids were not able to get them out, but it was not too difficult for Big Sister.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bilateral Coordination for Toddlers

The toddlers had a little trouble at first, managing the bottle with their helper hand while concentrating on putting the pom poms into the bottle top.  This is a really great activity to work on bilateral coordination for little ones.  After a while, they both got better at it.  That was pretty neat to see.  It really helps, too, that the bottle made a loud crinkly sound when they squeezed too  hard.  What a great auditory cue for them to lessen their grip on the bottle
Don’t have the pom poms at the house???  Use cotton balls.  
Have fun with this!



MORE Fine motor activities your child will LOVE:




DIY Light Box

 

This DIY Light Box was something I’ve seen around Pinterest and have wanted to try for a while…Once we had our Christmas lights outside, I thought we would definitely be doing this project after we pulled all of the lights back in.  So, after we brought the Christmas lights in from the outside bushes, this was easy to put together for a cold evening’s play!

I put all of the (already bundled-up) strands of Christmas lights
…seriously, this does not get much easier :)…
 
into an under-the-bed storage bin,
connected the strands,
and plugged in!
 

Once you put the top on, it is perfect for tracing pictures!
 

 
This is so great for new (or seasoned) hand-writers.  They are working on pencil control, line awareness, hand-eye coordination…and end up with a super cool horse picture they can be proud of!
 
 
 Big Sister LOOOOVED doing this!  And, I have to say, that she was doing the tracing thing for so long, that we had to turn the lights off because the bin was getting warm. 
 
 
 
 
We went around the house looking for cool things to place on top of the bin.  Magnetic letters looked really neat with the light glowing through…Baby Girl had a lot of fun playing with this.
 
 
What a great learning tool…Shapes:
 
 
Letter Identification, spelling words:
 

 Color and sensory discrimination:
 
 
 
…All in a new and fun manner!  We had a lot of fun with this, but have since put our Christmas lights back up into the attic.  We will be sure to do this one again next year, once the lights come back out again 🙂
 

Colleen

Please: if you do make one of these light boxes, keep an adult eye on it, as the box did warm up…not to burning warmth, but I would worry about the lights becoming over heated.  This is NOT something that kids should play with unsupervised!

Textured Shaving Cream Sensory Play

 There is something about kids and a pile of shaving cream…They Looooove to play in it!
We added some old sprinkles from last Easter to give this Indoor Play Idea a different twist.  They loved feeling the texture of the sprinkles on their hands while they played.  It probably has a great exfoliating factor too 🙂
Get both hands involved for crossing midline and engaging both sides of the brain while using the large muscles of the arms and shoulder girdle…
Draw letters and stars in it…
See what happens when you draw with a plastic ball…
Take a break for a dance party…
 And draw a little more!
Such a fun time!!

Definitely try adding textures to shaving cream for fun sensory play.

Colleen

Indoor Snow Play

Grasp Strengthening and Learning Colors With SNOW???

Some days, it is just HARD to get the kids dressed up in snowsuits/gloves/hats/boots/scarves…only to bring them back in 10 minutes later because the baby wants to follow the big kids, but can’t pick up her boots to walk through the snow that is up to her mid-calf…so she stands still in the yard until I  pick her up…
Today was one of those days.
We needed an activity for after baby-nap-time and before dinner-making-time and this was just the one!
I had this idea in mind since right after Christmas when we got some snow, and I wanted to dye it using eye droppers.  After looking everywhere around the house, I just can. not. find the eye droppers!  So, on to another idea…
Turkey Baster
Spray Bottle
Scoops and Spoons.


These kids were so beyond excited to see me setting this up.  They helped stir the food coloring into the bowls of water. (Get Dollar Store food coloring for projects like this!  So cheap, and it will last you many, many projects…)  But they could not guess what we were doing with it.  Once I brought the snow in, there were cheers!

 We did some mixing of colors on the snow…What does red and blue make?  We had green in the spray bottle and it was fun to change the stream to get more color on the snow.  They were pretty excited to get brown, of course 🙂
 

Squeezing the turkey baster bulb and the spray bottle nozzle is wonderful for grasp strengthening in hands. 

The strength of the whole had is needed for so many fine motor work in play and school based activities.

This was the extent of the mess…not too bad! They kept the tray on the right pretty clean of color mostly since that was Baby Girl’s side and she was busy eating the snow 🙂

This was a fun indoor play time for everyone!
Colleen

Golf Tees and a Hammer

Counting Manipulatives and Fine Motor Skills 
I picked these golf tees up earlier this year during a shopping trip, figuring we would use them for some activity…or actual golfing 😉 They were only a buck for 100 tees. We have these hammers from a Melissa and Doug toy and I thought we could use that to hammer the tees into some egg cartons. 

Little Guy used the golf tees (or Golf Teeth, as he called them), to count out how many he needed for the egg carton, learning to count out manipulatives. 
He’s working that tripod grasp to hold the tees, pushing them into the egg carton for resistance, building those intrinsic muscles for fine motor dexterity. 

Little Guy LOOOOVED this activity! He said, “Mom, when I grow up, I am going to do this because I’m going to be a Dad and Dads hammer.”  He has been asking to do the “Golf Teeth Hammer Game” every day, several times a day, ever since. 

Look at that Tripod Grasp. This is such a great activity for pre-writing and working on the correct and most efficient way to hold a pencil.

Holding the tee and the hammer provides awesome bilateral coordination (using two sides of the body together) and eye hand coordination. These are needed for so many functional skills in play, dressing, handwriting, shoe tying.

You could do this with a cardboard box or Styrofoam. Putting it on an incline or vertical incline would add an extended wrist for improved grasp on the tee. 

We will be doing this activity again, for sure!
~Posted by Colleen