Monday, September 16, 2013

Create your very own fall sensory bin that kids will love!

It's back to school time for me, too!  That means I'll be making a sensory bin each week to take to my schools!

The first one of the year had a fall theme.  Since some of the children are new to me and to OT, I kept it dry this week, as usually that is easier to handle.
Under the piles of various colored leaves, I hid all sorts of fall colored and themed objects:  apples, oranges, acorns, leaves, and pom-poms. The children sorted them by color into the sorting tray.
Once they got the hang of that, we moved on to finding two objects at a time; first find a green one, then a red one. Finally, we counted all of the "treasures" they found.

Even though it's dry, touching the various textures can still be challenging for some children.  If they're initially resistive to exploring, give them tools to use, then work to using their hands. You can give them salad tongs, tweezers, science tongs, spoons, etc. to scoop out the "treasures".

Add another component by having the children go on a leaf hunt to find their own real leaves for the bin.  That will give it a whole different feel with crisp, crunchy leaves!  Some may even crumble in their hands, adding another tactile component!

While sensory bins tend to be tactile in nature, bring in all of the senses when you can!  Promote heavy work and motor planning by having them perform animal walks or climb trees to get to the leaves.  Even raking is fun for them! I was at my son's school for gardening day and raking was the favorite "job" of the day! Have them rake the leaves into big piles and jump into them! Consider the smell, too! Pine needles and pine cones could add a nice touch to this fall themed bin!

Happy Fall Ya'll and stay tuned for more tactile "finger fun"!

Michelle Yoder, OTR/L

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