Why I Made Back to School Learning Bins
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.
- 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
Into the Letter and Number Back to School Bin I put the 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.)
The goal was for the children to find each of the letters and numbers and cross them off as they worked.
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 a 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
- 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 learning bins. 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.