Sensory Boxes

Most sensory boxes help build fine motor skills while your child learns about different textures and senses.  I have a number of sensory boxes.  Some I let my two-year-old have easy access too and others I keep out of reach so that she has to ask for them (these ones contain items that I feel she still needs to be supervised while using, such as scissors).  I love these boxes because when I am busy (or still exhausted from her waking up an hour earlier than usual) I can just tell her to go pick out a box and she can entertain herself.  I make an effort to change out the sensory boxes occasionally but I do not do that as often as I should.    I will add photos and descriptions of my sensory boxes as we play with them over the next couple weeks.  I am always looking for great ideas for sensory/discovery boxes so please share links and ideas.

Okay when I say sensory box I usually do not mean "box" literally.  I use what ever I have handy that fits in the spot I plan to store it. 

The above "box" is currently my daughter's favorite and it is super cheap and easy.  Baking pan, pompoms, ice cream scope, measuring cup, teaspoon, spatula, large plastic spoon, and a watermelon baller.  Not pictured are two ice cube trays, one cube and one cylinders. 

I have seen her use every utensil to scoop up pompoms and pour them into the trays or back into the container.  I have seen her sort the pompoms based on size and color (without any prompting).  I have also seen her grab handfuls of pompoms and throw them in the air and giggle as they rained down around her. 

This photo is of the first day we did this activity.  I just grabbed the cup full of pipe cleaners from her art table and a plastic strainer that I had purchased from the Dollar Store.  Since then I have actually just stored a handful of pipe cleaners in the bowl of the strainer and now store it in the living room so she can pull it out when she wants.  Cheap and fun fine motor practice.  Plus it almost always becomes a fun hat sometime during the creation process.

This small plastic box holds a few pipe cleaners and a small plastic jars of pony beads.  I have tied a knot at the end of half of the pipe cleaners so that my daughter can thread the beads on without worrying about them staying.  The other half I left straight so that she has to use her own critical thinking skills to figure out ways to keep the beads from falling off.  I've seen her try a number of different things such as, holding the end with one hand and using the other hand to lace the beads, holding the end against the carpet, bending the end or shaping the pipe cleaner, I have even seen her run to the kitchen and grab a chip clip to place on the end.

This is one of the "boxes" I keep out of reach.  And I do so only because it can become really messy.

The photo is from the first time we did this activity and I have since made improvements.  Originally I stored two magnetic containers on a baking sheet.  The containers are full of tiny beads.  I loved that I could store the entire sensory box vertically on her bookshelf but I had to change that because the baking sheet did not do a good job of containing the beads during play.  My daughter is pretty good about not making messes (at least not intentionally) so I thought that the baking sheet would be a good enough container (I did place it on top of a dry erase board as you can see in the picture to help keep beads out of the carpet in case of a spill).

I am amazed by just how far these tiny beads can bounce even when poured out close to the tray.  My daughter gave me a "Oh O" look as we watched the beads bounce from the baking sheet to the dry erase board to the carpet.  Lesson learned!  Now the bead containers are stored in a shoe box and are played with in areas that do not have thick carpet.  Along with the beads, the show box has a small jar and a infant formula scoop so she can practice scooping and pouring.

This is our color sorting box.  I added four color flash cards to use as collecting spots and grabbed a bunch of small items around her room that matched the flash card colors.  Ideas for items- Crayons, Markers, Rocks, Pom Poms, Feathers, Magnets, Pipe Cleaners, Beads, Cookie Cutters, and Clothes Pins.

1 comment:

  1. What fun ideas!! I love the idea of sensory busy boxes. Sensory activities are the best!