Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

Playful Parenting: Bringing Play to Every Day

Build Your Own Sensory Bin

Explore a variety of textures, sights and sounds by making these easy sensory bins at home. This activity is great for helping young kids develop motor skills and use their senses to explore new things. Best for ages 1 to 3.

What You’ll Need

  • Storage bin or large mixing bowl (make sure it has a lid if you plan to store the sensory bin for another day)
  • Kitchen utensils to scoop and dig (spoons, funnels, measuring cups, colander)
  • Dry pasta, rice or beans (avoid red kidney beans, as they can be toxic when uncooked)
  • Small toys, plastic animals or trinkets

What You’ll Do

  • Lay out a sheet, tablecloth or towel. Not only does this protect the floor, but it makes cleanup much easier.
  • Fill the bin or bowl with dry pasta, rice or beans.
  • Add spoons, scoops, toys and whatever else you have on hand into the bin.
  • Play!

Safety Tip! Keep a close eye on kids when playing with small parts that could be choking hazards.

Add Fun! Give your sensory bin a theme. Use blue colored sand with small plastic plants and fish toys for an underwater themed bin. Or add a toy of every color for a rainbow bin. The possibilities are endless.

What Kids Learn

How to Support the Play

  • Embrace repetition – give children time to do something again and again.
  • Avoid imposing one right way of doing things.
  • Focus more on the doing, less on the outcome.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES

HANDS-ON ARTICLES

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Kinetic sand is an easy project that allows kids to explore their senses, build fine motor skills and strengthen their imaginative play muscles.

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Have an empty milk carton on hand? Spark some creativity and fun – and put it to good use – by creating a DIY bird feeder.

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DIY Marble Run

With cardboard tubes, boxes and other recyclables, kids can experiment and build critical thinking skills in this fun STEM activity.

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