Crafts and Activities Funschooling Homeschool Preschool - K

Frog and Turtle Sensory Bin

Creating a Frog & Turtle Sensory Bin has been a wonderful addition to our summer play time.   Themed sensory bins create learning experiences in literacy, mathematics, and the sciences! Water play is a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to keep busy — it also helps them to use fine and gross motor skills and learn through their senses!

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Our Frog and Turtle Sensory Bin is a fun way to bring science learning into the homeschool for the littlest children.

Frogs and turtles are in abundance during the summer, so this is a great opportunity to use words like “reptile” and “amphibian” while keeping their learning playful and fun.  You could get creative and create life cycles for either a turtle or frog to adapt this small world play for older children.

Sensory play can enhance speaking and listening skills for toddlers!

Speaking: Ask your child what he feels and thinks.  I ask him what he likes about it, what he feels, what he thinks.  Continue asking questions about their experiences, expanding on their answers, even if they are inaudible.

Listening: Listen to what they have to say about the experience.  Listen for new sounds or words in their vocabulary — words and noises that come with play time! Encourage this language building time by sitting down and listening.

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What is a sensory bin?

A sensory bin is an invitation for children to play and imagine and explore!

You can easily make a sensory bin with items already in your house.  If you decide to buy a few things, you should be able to find some items that are inexpensive.

Steps to make a sensory bin:

  1. Find a bin.
  2. Add a sensory base (beans, rice, lentils, water, snow, dirt, corn, etc.).  Here, we used water!
  3. Add themed objects such as small world animals.
  4. Add in measuring cupsspoonsfunnelstongsscoops, and other practical life items to help with fine motor skills.
  5. Place the sensory bin in a safe place–on the floor over a sheet or towels, or outside!

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

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Our Frog & Turtle Sensory Bin: what’s included?

  • Bin (ours is from Ikea)
  • Water
  • Greenery found in the fish tank department
  • Shiny stones (big enough for my 21 month old to play with, though supervision is a must!)
  • Frog & Turtle Toobs (or you can also find these items at a Dollar Store!)

I let my son fill our bin, which he felt very proud of.  I provided the items in a smaller bin, but we also had our little backyard pool out too.

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My son began counting the stones.  My daughter began transferring the stones to our pool nearby.

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A rare moment of sibling friendship.

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My daughter (21 months) played with the rocks and animals for at least an hour.  It was a hot day, so they both loved playing with the water.

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A great opportunity to talk about frogs and turtles, while having fun in the sun!

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Want more Frog ideas?

More Turtle ideas?

Creating small worlds such as ours is a fun and engaging way to keep learning fun.  I hope you try a Frog & Turtle Sensory Bin for your big and little ones!

What small world sensory play does your child enjoy? Do you find that your child learns through sensory play time?

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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