Friday, February 22, 2013

Kid Craft: Dollar Store Sensory Bin for Kids!

Dollar Store Sensory Bin for Boys

The kid craft we are working on this week is a sensory bin. Why a sensory bin?  Well… my little boy is having surgery next week to remove his adenoid. The surgery is called an adenoidectomy and will require him to be put under using general anesthesia {I am a bit of a nervous wreck about it}. After the operation his activities will be restricted and we will need some calming activities for him to do. So we have come up with a number of toys and activities to keep his hands and his mind occupied while his body recovers. One of these activities is a sensory bin.

A sensory bin can have a calming effect on children. It works on developing fine motor skills and can help to soothe a child by encouraging them to focus on manipulative skills such as pouring, sifting, and scooping. By adding color to the sensory bin there are a number of educational activities that can be incorporated into play as well. Perfect for a little boy recuperating after surgery.

I spent about a half hour at my local dollar store picking out everything I would need to make my little boy a bright and cheerful sensory bin. I bought the plastic container, the rice and pasta noodles, and the toys for this bin. I decided halfway though my trip that dying the noodles and the rice would make it even more fun, so I picked up some rubbing alcohol too.

Once home I let my oldest son help me dye the pasta noodles and rice that we would be using for the sensory bin. This was easy to do and did not make a huge mess since we used freezer bags instead of bowls. This in itself is a fun craft for preschool age children to do, so I thought I would share how we did this. It is always nice to know how to dye rice and how to dye pasta noodles!

How to Dye Pasta Noodles & How to Dye Rice

What you need:
·    Pasta noodles of various shapes and sizes (I used macaroni and ziti)
·    Long white rice
·    Rubbing alcohol
·    Food coloring
·    Freezer bags

You will need 1 bag per color you plan on dying. We chose to dye our rice and pasta noodles four different colors, so we used four different bags.
Place 1 Tablespoon of rubbing alcohol into each bag.
Then add the food coloring of choice to each bag. Close the bag and squish it around in your hands to distribute the color.
Divide pasta noodles and rice into each of the freezer bags. Use one bag for each color {feel free to mix and match the various pasta noodle shapes}.
Close the bags and squish the mixture of pasta noodles, rice, rubbing alcohol, and food coloring together until it is thoroughly mixed and the color has been distributed.
Line a cookie sheet or other flat surface with parchment paper or tin foil {to avoid staining} and then spread the dyed pasta noodles and rice and let dry overnight.

Sensory Bin for Boys

Once everything was dry and ready for play we dumped the dyed pasta noodles and rice into the dollar store plastic bin and then added some rice we had not dyed as well as some pinto beans to the mix. Then we added the rest of our dollar store toys to create our very own sensory bin. We have sea creatures, Easter eggs, and sand toys in our sensory bin; but anything that encourages creative play would work as well.

Have you ever played with or made a sensory bin?

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