Thursday, January 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin {Couscous Hearts}

Valentine's Day. Do you celebrate it? It seems to be more popular in the USA than it is here in Australia. Whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, this is a fun activity to do with your Preppie or Foundation (Kindergarten for those of you in the USA) aged child.

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Sensory play is not just for babies and toddlers. In the words of Marsha from Differentiated Kindergarten, "Sensory work is not only academic, but it also addresses a student’s learning profile and their interests!" Sensory bins and tables provide so MANY learning opportunities for children and they are so easy to set up; that I can see no reason not to continue offering them to children as they enter primary/elementary school.

Set up for our Valentine's Day Sensory Bin was super easy! Whilst cleaning out our cupboard I discovered an opened box of out of date coucous; rather than throw it out, I chose to use it for the base of our sensory bin. I then placed some heart cookie cutters in the bin, and I was done!

Bubbles quickly added a couple of mixing cups and began pouring the coucous into the hearts. She made comment about how it took more coucous to fill the larger heart than the smaller ones, which led to a mini discussion about volume.

As both Bubbles and Squiggles engaged with the sensory bin, I offered them a couple of funnels for a little bit more of a challenge and abit of hand-eye co-ordination practice. These turned out to be Bubbles favourite tool of the day!

As the girls played, bickering began and it became apparent we needed to adapt the activity to be suitable for two people...I had after all, only set it up with Bubbles in mind. A quick search of the pantry revealed a second box of coucous-this time gluten free and it was just the right amount to fill one side of our water table. I poured the couscous from the sensory bin into the other side, divided up the hearts and added a few more tools aimed at Squiggles development though they presented Bubbles with a challenge aswell.

The table was such a hit it stayed set up for two weeks before Bubbles decided to add some of the coucous to her water play and a new learning experience began!

This post is part of this month’s KBN Kindergarten Blog Hop. This month’s theme is Friendship/Valentine's. We hope that you find lots of fun uses from all of our ideas this month!

Scratch Art cards by Castle View Academy
Q-tip hearts from Our Whimsical Days
Love Heart Number Bonds to Ten by Adventures of Adam
Heart Shaped Fairy Bread by Kidz Activities
Printable Valentine Coloring Book Pictures from Sight and Sound Reading

For more activities like this check out my new book Learn with Play. It’s a collaborative work, written by myself and 93 other amazing bloggers, mothers, teachers and early childhood educators. The e-book comes with links to over 300 activities!
 Please always supervise your infant/child at play.  Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.  You know you're infant/child best, use your own judgement-considering your infant/child's temperament, habits, behaviour and development before you play with a new play medium.

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