This Arctic Sensory Bin has been a wonderful addition to our home preschool this winter. It has been just too cold outside, so we’ve brought nature indoors! Children learn through all of their senses — and themed bins can structure their learning in literacy, mathematics, and the sciences!

Arctic Sensory Bin from Hip Homeschool Moms

Our wintry snowy sensory play has created science learning:

  • thermic touch: hot versus cold
  • measuring the snow
  • states of matter: liquid and solid
  • difference between land and sea animals

What is a sensory bin?

An invitation for children to play and imagine and explore!

Sensory bins need not be complicated or stressful.  You can easily make a sensory bin with items already in your house.  You don’t have to go out and buy more!  (If you decide to buy a few things, you should be able to find some items that are inexpensive. And the items you buy could be kept to use in other ways in your home or for homeschool or just for your children to play with.) And you don’t have to have a theme, either!  (We often put beans or lentils on the floor and my son plays for hours moving them with his trucks!)

The simple steps to make a sensory bin:

  1. Find a bin.
  2. Add a sensory base (beans, rice, lentils, water, snow, dirt, corn, etc.).
  3. Add themed (or unthemed!) objects such as small world animals or cars or legos or ornaments, etc.
  4. Add in measuring cups, spoons, funnels, tongs, scoops, and other practical life items.
  5. Put the sensory bin in a safe place–on the floor over a sheet or towels to contain the mess.

And let them play without guidance (but definitely with supervision!)

Your children will have so much fun imagining!

What have I included in our Arctic Sensory Bin?

Here is our sensory play:

Learning about cold through touch!

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Measuring out the snow — and practices in sharing with a younger sibling!

(Note: My one-and-a-half-year-old has joined in the fun, but the children are supervised at all times. If you choose to have a bin with a base of rocks or beans, it is important to know your child and if he or she is likely to put these things in his/her mouth.)DSC04863

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Sorting through the different animals — land and sea mammals.DSC05399DSC04859

There was a sweet little toboggan included, and my son had a wonderful time driving it around the wintry small world.  He played for at least an hour!Arctic Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are a wonderful way for children to explore themes and seasons.  We like to make one for each holiday!  Check out these Autumn Themed Sensory Bags.

For more inspiration, check out 16 Sensory Bin Ideas here, or you can visit my Sensory Pinterest Board for more sensory learning ideas!

Have you brought the snow inside this loooong winter season?  What snowy activities have you and your children done?  Have you created your own Arctic Sensory Bin?  Please leave your links below in the comments!

About the author

Amy

Amy is a kindergarten teacher, M.Ed., turned stay at home mom to her boy and girl. She loves to watch her children learn through play during their preschool years, and is particularly interested in Classical & Montessori styled education. Amy blogs about homeschooling, natural living, honesty, and Jesus, among other passions. She enjoys cooking, gardening, photography, and serving as a Sergeant First Class in the Army Reserve. She hopes she can be a resource and encouragement to other moms.

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