Cruising the Ocean Blue ~ Sensory Bin

In honor of our vacation with the grandparents {which is where we are NOW-this post is scheduled!}, I made the kids a Cruising Sensory BinIMG_9244

I hid tons of blue items underneath blue aquarium rocks, and then put the cruise/ocean related toys on the top…

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They LOVED this bin!!!The boys found all of the blue toys and decided to keep these in a separate bin, so they could sail around in the rocks…IMG_9305

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Ladybug had a great time with the rocks, and loved transferring them into a metal bowl…IMG_9386Feeding the fish was a big hit too…IMG_9396

This bin was great fun and a great way to share our excitement for our upcoming vacation, I will share all about our trip when we return! IMG_9555

A bit of info on where I got some of the stuff:

  • BLUE aquarium rocks-from the pet store
  • Cruise Ship Toy Set {got on a former cruise}
  • Fish toys {from various places}
  • Sea Shells {collected from past beach trips}
  • BLUE stuff:  unifix cubes, marbles, beads, color squares, bottle tops, straws, cups, buttons, spoons, clothespins
  • Oriental Trading has tons of awesome sensory bin items, just search by theme! We got the mini star erasers from them for sure, and a few other things!

 

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Solar System Sensory & Imagination Bin

I have been preparing for this Solar System bin for awhile now, with the generous help of my mom, who sent us a surprise box in the mail filled with items for this bin!

IMG_7434 This bin is really hard to photograph because of all of the black items!  Here’s another view when a layer was peeled off after the kids had played a bit…IMG_7492

 

This bin has led to many hours of imaginative play with all 3 children, here are some shots from just the first day…

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A bit of info on where I got some of the stuff:

  • Astronaut Tube BIG HIT!
  • Planets in a Tube
  • Polished rocks { we got a neat bag from AC Moore for about $2} BIG HIT!
  • mini star bucket {from $1 Target aisle}
  • wooden stars, and moons
  • star erasers and buttons
  • Long furry pipe cleaners {I think from Michaels-my mom sent them}
  • Large bouncy balls {to represent planets} Ladybug’s favorite item!
  • Glow in the Dark-planets and stars {the flat kind made for walls}
  • star/moon/sun shaped cookie cutters were from this set
  • BLACK stuff:  unifix cubes, pom poms,  jewels, marbles, beads, color squares, bottle tops, straws, cups, buttons, spoons {yellow spoons too}
  • Oriental Trading has tons of awesome sensory bin items, just search by theme! We got the mini star erasers from them for sure, and a few other things!

Looking for more inspiration?  Here are some outer space bins I found while searching around online! {if I missed yours, please leave a link to it in a comment on this post}!

I will be sharing our bin in upcoming Tot School and Preschool posts as always, so you’ll be sure to see it in action more!  We play with our bin almost every morning as a whole group. 

 

See more Outer Space Learning Ideas on Totally Tots!!!

See more Solar System Learning Ideas here on 1+1+1=1!!

 

Use this button to jump to all of my Sensory Bin posts anytime. Sensory-Bins6

Transportation Sensory & Imagination Bin

It was time for a new sensory bin!!!  The Valentines Sensory Bin is actually still put together since Ladybug is enjoying it so much, I am just now rotating in a new transportation bin, to go along with our current transportation theme.

This one was a bit tricky for me because it seems our entire home is one big transportation themed bin!  With 2 boys, we are filled with cars, trains, planes and more.  I tried to think beyond the actual vehicles and came up with this…IMG_7098

For this bin I went with the colors black and yellow {for roads} and anything little and transportation-y!  It has an assortment of different items that would not normally be put together in hopes of inspiring creativity and imaginative play!  Here’s a sampling of their first day playing with this bin…

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The gel clings were a HUGE HIT, I highly recommend swinging by Target soon to see if they still have these, I just got them last Friday in the $1 section.  I cut them all out {or peeled them off} for this bin.  I know they will get destroyed being used this way, but I really love the sticky feeling they have and the kids loved playing with them!IMG_7101

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Our “Cars” cars are out and about for our transportation week since we are using some of my Cars Tot Book for Ladybug.  She is obsessed with Cars books right now so it was a perfect fit!  The kids had fun using the bin items to make a race track for the cars…IMG_7127

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As you can see they had a blast and have already come up with some out of the box ideas that I never even thought of.  The wooden ramps were an add on as we looked for something to hook the gel-clings onto and also for a road.  They were wonderful!!!  They are just empty shelves we had stored away!

A bit of info on where I got some of the stuff:

  • transportation gel clings-BIG HIT with the kids, got these recently in the Target dollar section
  • mini Cars erasers
  • various loose wheels we had around the house. If I could afford it, I would have loved to make the base of the bin with this set of Lego wheels ;-)
  • yellow/black pieces and wheels from Guidecraft Construct-it set
  • transportation puzzle pieces, this set and this one
  • transportation themed cookie cutters were from this set
  • BLACK and/or YELLOW stuff:  unifix cubes, pom poms, clothespins, spoons, jewels, beads, color squares, bottle tops, straws {some of these items aren’t in the bin yet as I add things each day}
  • Oriental Trading has tons of awesome sensory bin items, just search by theme!

Looking for more inspiration?  Here are some transportation bins I found while searching around online, there weren’t too many as you can see! {if I missed yours, please leave a link to it in a comment on this post}!

I will be sharing our bin in upcoming Tot School and Preschool corner post as always, so you’ll be sure to see it in action more!  We play with our bin almost every morning as a whole group. 

See more Transportation Learning Ideas on Totally Tots!!!

 

I added a button on the right sidebar at the bottom so you can jump to all of my Sensory Bin posts anytime.  I am also adding buttons of other popular posts. 

Sensory Bins

Valentine’s Day Sensory and Imagination Bin

We have a new Valentine’s Day Sensory and Imagination Bin!

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin



I absolutely love changing out the sensory bin!  I am silly like that, but the joy I get in creating a new one makes up for all of the sorting and cleaning I have to do to put the old one away!  The kids thoroughly enjoyed the winter sensory bin for several weeks and they even helped me sort the bin and put it away the other day ~ knowing that I would be preparing a new one behind the scenes!  They love sensory bin revealing day!  Believe it or not, Pac Man gets the most excited about it!

For this bin I went with 3 ideas in mind…hearts, red and pink!

IMG_5950I have been collecting fun little heart things for years so I had a lot of that and even my mom sent me a sweet package with some items she found in the dollar section at Walmart and Dollar Tree!

I also went through our toys and gathered a wide variety of pink and red items.  The kids always love finding their toys mixed into a bin!  Not everything I have was in the bin today, I gradually add things in over the weeks while it is out.

Here’s a peek at their bin time the first day…

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The bracelets were a BIG hit with Ladybug…

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They all loved making shakers out of the little heart containers…IMG_5989

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We always have tons of fun sorting and counting with our bins.  This red serving tray was perfect for this tub!IMG_6017

A bit of info on where I got some of the stuff:

  • red spikey balls, squishy heart bracelets and heart slinky things were from Walmart
  • wooden hearts with designs on them were from bead packets at Michaels
  • mini plastic heart containers, hard plastic heart bracelets were from Dollar Tree
  • heart buckets are from Dollar Tree, AC Moore, Michaels and JoAnn
  • heart shaped cookie cutters were from this set, and a set I got last year from AC Moore
  • RED and/or PINK stuff: Learning links, unifix cubes, mini letters{Walmart}, large wooden beads, pom poms, clothespins, spoons, jewels, beads, color squares, bottle tops, stirring sticks, popsicle sticks

I also have collected a wide variety of items from Oriental Trading over the years.  I can’t even remember all that I have gotten from them, just search around in their seasonal shop and you’ll find tons of fun bin stuff!

Looking for more inspiration?  Here are some bins I found while searching around online {if I missed yours, please leave a link to it in a comment on this post}!

See more Valentine’s Day Learning Ideas here on my website!!!

Winter Sensory/Imagination Bin

Winter Fun Sensory Bin



 

My kids had SO much fun with the Christmas Sensory/Imagination Bin, I couldn’t wait to get the winter bin ready for them!!!

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I decided to go with a white/silver/blue color theme and just threw in anything interesting I could find.  Here’s what I have so far…

  • white packing peanuts
  • white beads
  • white pom poms
  • silver plastic ornaments {got last week at Target, $1 section}
  • mini snowmen & penguins {from Michaels}
  • mini snowmen and penguin erasers {Michaels}
  • mini snowflakes and white stars {Michaels}
  • mini snowman tin, and other wintery buckets {Michaels, and Target}}
  • small snowmen {one is a Weeble-Wobble and one is from a Little People winter set}
  • clear and white lids {from our bottle top collection}
  • clear and blue lights {from the Christmas pack, also from Michaels}
  • penguins {1 stuffed, 1 Animalz, 1 Little People, 1 plastic, 1 pez container}
  • polar bears {Little People, Anamalz}
  • Pengaloo Penguins {we love this game!}
  • silver garland {got it for 25 cents last week at 75% off Target dollar spot!}
  • winter stuffed animals {I gathered our polar bears, penguins, and seals to have close by as they play}
  • large snowman bowl {I bring this out to play alongside of the bin, it’s obviously too big to put in the bin}

Here’s a glimpse at our winter bin in action {these photos are from 2 different days}…IMG_4363

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I think the penguins were kissing ;-)IMG_4388

She wasn’t so sure about the tinsel…IMG_4623

Spontaneous sorting makes a momma happy…

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I plan to use our bin as the focus of our Tot School time, using the various manipulatives as items to work on Tot Tray type activities.  I plan to bring in different containers, spoons, tongs, etc. each day to work on different skills.  I also plan to add anything new “wintery” I find while it is still in rotation!This may just be the new relaxed approach I am seeking for Tot School right now as I am having a hard time balancing detailed plans for all 3 kids.  We’ll see!

 

Here are some blog posts I found featuring other winter sensory bins…

 

Have Fun!!IMG_4637