{Dig Into Treasure Hunting} Back to School Learning Bins

JDaniel4's Mom
This is the final Dig Into… post this summer. Previously I have shared  {Dig Into Gardening} M.O.M. Container Garden, {Dig Into} Exploring Underground Animals-Tunnels, and Dig Into Construction Sites with you. This final post in the series called is {Digging Into Treasure Hunting} Back to School Learning Bins.

Why I Made Back to School Learning Bins

Bethany of Kidding Around Greenville  invited me to join her at a Back to School event at our local mall. I helped her share information on the wonderful blog she and her friend Susan run. I was also able to bring some hands on activities to share with parents and children that stopped by our table. Knowing that I wanted to create a treasure hunting post with you this week I decided to make I Spy Back to School Learning Bins.

I created two bins to share along with I Spy sheets for each bin. The children and parents had a blast digging through the bins to find the objects JDaniel and I had hidden. They had fun finding the objects and they also enjoyed re-hiding them.

Some parents were already working with sensory bins at home. Many were excited about trying them at home. Once I explained how I introduce learning skills through questions as we explore bins, they were really excited.

General Questions to Ask After Exploring Bins

Here are some I ask JDaniel :
  • Can you tell me about the object’s shape?
  • What color is the object?
  • What is sound does the object start with?
  • What is another word that starts with that letter?
  • Can you find an object that is smaller than this one?
  • We found three paper clips. What object is there more of in the bin?
  • What vowel sounds do you hear in the object’s name?

What I Put in the Bins

As I mentioned I made two Back to School learning bins to dig into just as you might dig for treasure. I selected plastic bins that were  big enough for two or three children to dig into. Into each bin I placed shredded brown paper bags. My original thought was I would use brown paper bags since I took my lunch in brown paper bags to school. After some thought I realized that children might not do that anymore. JDaniel and I had already shredded every brown paper bag by then so, we went ahead and used them. Then we added the objects to be found to each bin.
I Spy Letter and Number Sensory Bins

I Spy Letter and Number Sensory Bin

Into the Letter and Number Back to School Bin  I put letter and number cookie cutters we have used in in the kitchen. (We happened to have letter and number cookie cutter, but you could easily use letters and numbers from a puzzle, a magnet set, cut out from magazines, noodles or a foam bath play set.)

Then I made a worksheet titled Alphabet Sensory Bin Hunt. The worksheet contained all of the alphabet letters and the numbers 1-9. (I guess the worksheet should have been titled Letter and Number Sensory Bin Hunt. Ooops! I will redo it if I get to share the bins again.)

The goal was for the children to find each of the letters and numbers and cross them off as they worked.

I Spy School Supply Sensory Bin

I Spy School Supply Sensory Bin 

Into the I Spy School Supply Sensory Bin we placed a bunch of school supplies from the Office Depot Back to School Giveaway I offered recently and some school supplies we had around the house. There were probably fourteen objects in the bin.

I made an I Spy School Supply sheet that featured collage of school supplies that I made on PicMonkey. It was super easy to place pictures the school supplies into the collage and insert it into a Word document.

When JDaniel did a trial run of the activity, he placed the objects on top of their picture on the I Spy sheet. It was interesting to watch the children at the mall. Some of the children just put a check mark on the picture and threw it back in the bin. Some laid it on the picture as JDaniel had and some lined the found objects up on the outside of the bin. One family of four girls worked together to find all the found objects and they had to discuss how they would display the treasures they had dug out of the shredded paper.

What school supplies went into the bin? 

  • a marker (taped shut)
  • an empty glue stick
  • a penguin pencil sharpener
  • three index cards
  • five pencil top erasers
  • crayons
  • three paper clips
  • a ruler
  • two pencils
  • a pencil pouch
  • brass fasteners
  • a paint brush

I wasn’t sure what to put in the school supply bin. I really struggled with what would be safe and kids friendly. Members of the Kid Blogger Network Facebook Group shared their wonderful ideas with me . Kristin of Sense of Wonder shared a link to her Back to School Bin during that discussion. Her bin featured the Eye Spy Chart that my I Spy sheet was based. While both my bin and I Spy sheet look different from her’s I think it important to share that the post on Sense of Wonder inspired this post.

I want to thank Erin of Royal Baloo and Jodi of Growing Book by Book for co-hosting with me in this link up.
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  1. says

    I love those kind of activities. I always have fun playing with the bottle of birdseed and the hidden objects at the eye doctor. Should have made them for the kids when they were little but never thought of it! :) Hmmm…wonder why my feed is 2 weeks old on your side bar. Guess I better look into that. Not good! :(

  2. says

    Love the letter sensory bin. I never thought to have the kids find the item on a sheet and cross it off as they find it. Great idea! Thanks for linking to the Back to School Kid Blogger Network linky.

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