Sensory bins for toddlers keep kids busy while learning. Making fall-themed sensory bins is a fun and festive way to help your little ones develop their fine motor abilities while strengthening their pencil gripping muscles. If you're wondering what to put in a sensory bin, use colorful chickpeas as filler.
Your child will love exploring this fall-themed sensory bin. It's a great Thanksgiving activity to do with your family when your kids are off for the holiday break.
- Dried chickpeas
- Acrylic paint (or food coloring)
- Zip lock bags
- Baking sheet
- Parchment or wax paper
How to dye chickpeas for toddlers' sensory bin
Step 1: Measure chickpeas and put them in a zip lock bag
Measure out about a cup of chickpeas and place them in your zip lock bag. We dyed our chickpeas in sandwich-sized ziplock bags, but you could also use gallon-sized ziplock bags if you're creating larger amounts at a time.
A sandwich-sized zip lock bag can hold roughly 1 cup of chickpeas at a time.
Step 2: Add a few drops of acrylic paint to the bag
Add in a few drops of acrylic paint to the zip lock bag seal it closed. You can also use liquid watercolor in place of acrylic paint if you prefer to do so or if you don't have any acrylic paint on hand.
Step 3: Spread the color around evenly.
When making your sensory bin filler ask for your toddlers help. Allow them to help squish the bag around to spread the acrylic paint on the chickpeas evenly. You can use gloves for this step if you'd like. Add a few more drops of paint to your zip lock bag if needed.
Step 4: Line an old baking sheet with wax or parchment paper
Cover an old baking pan with wax or parchment paper to prevent the chickpeas from sticking to the bottom of the pan or each other while drying.
Step 5: Repeat the process with the rest of the colors
Repeat with the remaining chickpeas, following the same process as before.
Step 6: Let your chickpeas dry
Allow the chickpeas to air dry for at least 24 hours. This ensures that the chickpeas are thoroughly dry before you place them in your toddler's sensory bin.
What to put in a sensory bin for toddlers
Place the chickpeas in your sensory bin or container of choice. Add fun toys like poofy pom pom balls, pipe cleaners, fabric, felt acorns, and mini pumpkins for extra fun.
It's exciting for the kids to play and experiment with tools like scoops and funnels too.
Sensory bins are excellent for assisting toddlers and older kids in learning numbers and for introducing cognitive concepts to young children. Your little one will learn to count while playing and sorting the chickpeas. Sensory bin activities are also a great way to strengthen your toddler's developing finger grip strength, essential for future writing abilities.
If you want more ideas for sensory play, check out our post on 10 creative ideas for sensory play.
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