You don’t need a college degree to teach your child.
Finding new ways to teach fundamental things, can be overwhelming. We use Sensory Bins for unique ways of learning. Sensory bins are instrumental in learning experience, with so many different ways to use them, and ease of use. Whether your looking to implement, or start something new in your homeschool, I have you covered. I also wanted to introduce P.A.T. (Parents As Teachers), a wonderful program that is used around the U.S. You won’t need a college degree to teach your child some simple educational aspects.
Sensory bins have so much potential for adding educational value for your child. Studies have shown, children exposed to a variety of sensory methods, show considerable improvement in language abilities and cognitive function. When you let children experiment with materials on their own, you help them to develop and refine, their fine moto, socio-emotional, creative, and language skills.
Cognitive and Problem Solving
They learn cause and effect, which starts early science skills. When children play, they examine and learn differences: smell, feel, sound, and different types of material. They learn by moving objects in different ways, thus drawing conclusions, based on what they observe. In addition, shapes, size recognition, counting, and sorting, can be introduced as a beginning of early math skills.
Hands on learning helps develop children’s language. As they try to explain what they are seeing, feeling, and doing. It’s an opportunity as a parent to help them learn new words. This can promote imagination as well, by letting them describe what they are doing, seeing, and feeling.
With 2 or more children playing with sensory bins, your child learns valuable lessons. They learn about how to share, build relationships, and conflict resolution. This type of play can be very calming for children. There is no right or wrong way of playing in sensory bins. Imagine, how calming is it for you to just slow down for a minute or two?
Fine Motor Skills
Children develp hand eye coordination gy grasping, scooping, pouring, and feeling material in their hands. These actions support development of large and swmall muscles necessary for dressing and writing. Sensory bins allow your child to be in control, which improves focus.
Creativity and Imaginative Play
Sensory bins provide the opportunity for your child’s imagination to run wild. Children of all ages and stages, use imaginary play. As your child starts thinkin more creatively, their imagination will blossom. They will start to have higher self esteem.
Sensory Bin Basics
You don’t need to spend money to make a sensory bin, you can use stuff you have around the house. I like to keep extras of these in our school room, you can pick extras up at garage sales or flea markets. Worst case scenario use Dollar Tree, can’t beat a buck an item.
- Tub or Container- You can use plastic tubs (shoebox holder, Tupperware, or use you plastic containers like butter and coffee) you probably have some laying around the house not being used and collecting dust. You can also use empty bottles (Plastic), water, soda, and juice jugs. These all work for sensory bins. You can even buy a sensory table over at Toys R Us or Wal-Mart.
- Funnels, Measuring cups and Spoons- Here is where the extras come in. Your children use these items to dig, scoop, and learn.
- Ziploc Bags- For holding the items you use in the sensory bin. No one wants rice or beans running all over the floor, not to mention the hazard of falling.
- Fillers- Rice, beans, shredded paper, and/water
- Discovery Items- This can be a very broad spectrum, depending on what you are teaching your child. Whether its alphabet, number, shapes, animals, or colors, depends what you will be putting into the sensory bin. I will have some pintables at the end of the post to give you some more detailed ideas.
- Tools- Your kids will need items to help promote fine motor skills. Tweezers, grabbers, and items to pick up and examine with. Helping Hands- Fine Motor Tool Set is a great set. You can also find these at garage sales and flea markets.
- Toys- For boys, I use construction toys. Dirt diggers, dump truck, and tractor toys. My 3 yr. old loves these. For my daughter I used tea sets, cooking sets, and clean, used make-up containers.
Ideas of Sensory Bins
The ideas are endless. You can teach your child anything, just by what you add to your bin. Below, I have simple explanation of each type of bin we have used, along with some ideas.
This is a great way for the kids to get outside and play, I don’t recommend this for inside, unless you incorporate it into bath time. You can make water sensory bins to learn about the sea and ocean life, farming, and cooking. Go ahead and get in on the fun with the kids, its the best way they are going to learn.
Why not let the kids pretend they are cooking right along side of you. This is a great way to keep them out from under your feet, and they are learning at the same time.
- Apple Pie Sensory Bin over at Stir the Wonder
- Making Dinner- Have them use bowl’s and plates, let them explain what they are doing.
Use the time of year to base your bin. We love to incorporate the different season’s into our bins, as well as Holiday’s. Here are some of my favorite’s!
Use leaves as a filler, after you go on a hike and pick them with the kids. You can teach them about what happens to the leaves during fall. You also can explain about, hibernation. Get some toy animals to add to your bin, and have the kids get them ready for hibernation.
We all know it is coming, I feel winter is a love hate relationship. You can do so many themes in winter. Snow, Christmas, Nature, Cooking, and the list goes on. We are doing a sensory bin this year with the Elf on The Shelf, stay tuned and check back to see what kind of mischief he will be getting into. You can use snowflakes cut out of foam, or felt. Add in some acorns, bird seed, and stuff the animals will be needing thru the winter.
Parents As Teachers
Parents as Teachers, is a valuable resource for parents. You have a trained teacher, go over with you the milestones your child should be at, areas to work with your child, and tips on educating your child. They normally have a monthly meeting, for parents and children to get together and do a learning activity. The most recent one we attended, happened to be Sensory Play, both of my little ones really enjoyed it. The Parents as Teachers website is http://www.parentsasteachers.org/