We are all familiar with sensory bins. They are everywhere and they are fabulous. But so often, I hear from you mamas out there that they are expensive to make and take up a lot of room. And yes, building a world in a big box can be pricey. And there is definitely the storage issue. Where do you store all these enormous bins? Another concern some parents have, is that they only have 1 child and don’t always need a big bin. And finally, how do you tailor one bin to a whole group of children with different interests and of different ages? THIS is the problem I have here with the smalls. ( Not to mention the fussing and arguing over who gets what in each bin!)
And so the Imagination Bowl was born. They are small, inexpensive, and easily tailored to ages, interests and skill levels. Today we learning about things on the earth and things in the sky. With these bowls, I was able to create an activity for each child that represented something from today’s discussion!
The bowls cost me a dollar each at Wal-Mart, and the rest of the resources were pulled from our toy bins. The rice and the beans are kept in ice cream buckets in my storage room and we re-use them for all kinds of different projects.
Here are each of the bowls in detail…It is designed so that the children can fill the pots with dirt, add seeds (the packets are full of pumpkin seeds and beans), and water their “plants”. When they were finished, I put the seeds back in the packages to be played with again later.
The space bowl has puzzle pieces buried in the beans for the children to fish out and place in the correct place on the puzzle. This was fun for the toddlers…they love the bury their arms deep in the beans, searching for the pieces!
This one was paired with a beloved book, Little Cloud, by Eric Carle. And yes, my copy has a rogue blue sticker on it! One of the toddlers got a little over zealous with stickers one day and I let most of the dots stay where they landed!
The activity was so successful, the toddlers were an hour late for nap! They were so busy and happy, I didn’t have the heart to pull them away from their bowls.When they were finished with their particular bowl, they traded with each other and just kept on playing. And as they played, I thought of all the possibilities one could hold in a plastic mixing bowl. Oh, there are many! You just need a little imagination!
Now, its Co-op time!! That means you can browse all the delightful ideas that other bloggers have already linked up, and you can link one up yourself! Link the Co-op badge on your blog somewhere, so your readers will know where to come to see all the other kid-friendly ideas. Oh, and have fun! That’s what it’s all about!