Friday, November 16, 2012

Mini Sensory Bins

Acorn dumping out the money bin
Lately we've been doing a lot of different things with sensory bins. One of our most popular things right now is the mini bins - small containers with sensory activities. As you can see above, coins have been pretty popular (and he loves throwing pennies into fountains too).  We also have a container of rice, and a container that holds a bag of 15 bean soup mix beans:

These are great when we don't have a lot of time to clean up a big mess. Acorn is really into the sorts of bins he can pour and stir and scoop, so we're sticking with those sorts of things for the containers.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Piggy Bank for Pagan Kids

Earlier this year, I wrote a little bit about banks and money and Pagan kids.

Today I wanted to share with you the solution I came up with:

a 4-part bank, created from a paper mache box.

Each side of the box is labelled with an element and a purpose for that portion of the bank:

Earth: prosperity - money to put aside for investing, in a way that it can grow, like a plant grows from a seed
Air: thought - money to save for something bigger, something we've thought about wanting and worked towards
Fire: passion - money to spend on things right away, the money that's "burning a hole in our pocket"
Water: compassion - money to give to charity or to give to help people

Inside the box is also divided into 4 parts to keep money separated. 

I'll be posting a tutorial on these over on soon. It was both easier and more difficult to make than I anticipated.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Under the Sea Sensory Bin

This past week, I dug out the Samhain sensory bin from last year. We hadn't done one in a while - this summer we had the sand and water table outside, which we used on a nearly daily basis when the weather was nice:

But now that it's chilly again (low 40s and rain), we need some indoor options. Especially since we're looking at a likely diagnosis of sensory processing disorder for Acorn  (IEP next week, hopefully with helpful results).

He's been enjoying the rice in the bin this week, and Leaf has been cautious about it, but since it's now November, it's time for a new bin, and I'd had a water theme in mind for quite a while, so here we go.


We have a new bin - this one is clear, and has a latching lid that Acorn can't open.  I'd heard about water beads a while back and thought they would be really neat for a water themed bin, so I started half of the package soaking a few days go. Unfortunately, what looked like a lot of beads turned out to only be about 3/4 of an inch in the bottom of our new bin (and it's smaller than the dishpan I was using before, so it'd've been even less there). Since I'm swapping out bins on my day off, I just added the rest of the package of beads, a few cups of water, and threw the fish and such in on top of them. I made sure to leave a spoon and some cups of various sizes for pouring the beads back and forth.

I expect this will be a challenging texture for both Acorn and Leaf - we'll see how they do, because too challenging might result in a quick change of bins, and I only really have one other theme in mind.