Sensory, sensory, sensory. Is this a new buzz word? For good reason, it’s a great word! A sensory bin is a plastic container filled with items that are used to engage a child’s senses. Typically, these include items such as pompoms, kinetic sand, shredded paper, dried foods such as rice or beans, buttons, packing peanuts, and more. Essentially, anything that is fun and safe to explore with the senses can go into a sensory bin. Of course the best sensory items are the messiest, which is why we love putting them into bins. There are endless developmental benefits of sensory bins, but here are our top 5!
- Sensory bins are a great way to allow children to explore multiple senses at the same time in a fun way. This includes touch, smell, sight, and even sound. Learning to engage with and stimulate several senses at once in a healthy way is incredibly beneficial and loads of fun!
- Sensory bins can boost your child’s motor skills. Additionally, adding toy tools such as shovels, spoons, and tweezers can help develop coordination as well. Actions like scooping, digging, and pouring toys and materials will all help improve motor skills.
- Sensory bins can be a great tool to help your child learn! Oftentimes, children will learn to sort the items in their sensory bin. They may sort them by color, shape, or size. Additionally, these can help with numbers and letters as they play with and learn about the items in their bin.
- Sensory bins can help with language development. Talking about the items in their bin as they play with them is a great way to boost language skills as well. The toys and items present a perfect opportunity to work on communication, expand their vocabulary, and learn to express themselves.
- Finally, sensory bins are not only fun, but can be calming too! These can be a quiet, relaxing time for children, individually or in groups, to help them wind down while also having fun. The tactile input they receive from the items in the bin are often very calming to the nervous system.
When your child engages in sensory play, it’s amazing for their development. These bins help provide children with an opportunity to explore the world around them and learn through hands-on play while engaging their senses. You can theme the bins for special holidays and seasons, adding to the fun and learning for your child.
Sometimes sensory play can be difficult for some children, but that’s where our occupational therapy program comes into play. If your child is struggling with this type of play or you believe may have some type of sensory issue, give our office a call to meet with one of our therapists today.