Sensory Bin Games

We have had a Christmas Sensory Bin for years now and it is always a favorite.  The bin itself begins with only the red/green base of items. The fun little Christmas additions come out one a day until they are all in the bin!

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    The Christmas Sensory Bin gets the most play by far, of any sensory bins we do.  The daily surprise factor is probably the reason.  I also am very intentional about playing some little games with the kids during the Christmas season too.  Here are a couple of the games we play together. You can play these with any sensory bin, not just a Christmas theme!

    Listen Carefully!

    Listen Carefully Sensory Bin Game

    I get out a few items, 2 of each thing.  This game I photographed I happened to be playing with Krash, age 6, so this is on his level.  With Ladybug I only use two very opposite sounding items. 

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    Take one set of the items and put them into a stocking {or other container in which the items can’t be seen}.
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    Leave the other set of items on the floor for a visual reminder of what is inside {for older kids, don’t do this, make them use their memory!}.  Secretly reach into the stocking and grab one of the items and place it in a metal {or other hard} container that closes securely. 
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    Have your child shake the container and listen to guess what is inside!
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    Then have your child pick up the item they think it is…Christmas Sensory Bin-5116
      Then open the container to check!
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    Feel & Find

    Same layout as above, except you get another stocking {or something similar} and have your child reach in and guess by feeling. 

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    Variations of the game ~

    • Challenge your child to find something specific, find something you describe {to work on listening skills and vocabulary} ex: “I am thinking of something smooth, cool, and small” {a small gem}.
    • Put 5-10 different items in the stocking but don’t tell your child what any of them are.  Have your child feel around and when s/he thinks he can identify and object just by feeling have him guess aloud and then pull it out to check!  To be sure my kids don’t “cheat” I have them find a matching object from the sensory bin and lay it on the ground in front of them before they pull it out to check.
    • For a younger child, put in just a few very different items and lay matching objects out and have her pull one out and match it.  If she can guess before pulling it out, great!  If not, just have her match once it is out!

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    A few other ideas for play ~

    Hide and Seek ~ play a simple game of hides and seek with the items.  One person hides a few objects and the other finds them!

    Sorting ~ Match together all of like items in various combinations.  This is still a favorite thing with all of my kids.

    Counting ~ this is pretty obvious, but be sure to work on 1:1 correspondence with young kiddos.  Have them touch the objects one at a time as they count.

    Patterning ~ again a simple concept.  Be sure to introduce more complex patterns as they get older!

    If you haven’t read the Montessori Minute post about sensory play, be sure to read that to see why these bins are so wonderful for kids!  See a Behind the Scenes look at Sensory Bin play with videos here!

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    Looking for more Christmas Sensory Bins?  Living Montessori now has a great collection post!