Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall Flax Seed Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are awesome.
There are so many ways to play with them. They may be a little messy,
but even that mess can be part of the learning experience for little ones.
This bin is filled with flax seed and decorative foam leaf shapes-
both from The Dollar Tree.
 The container itself came from there too
and the lid makes a great tray for learning activities as well.

Here is a little matching activity.
 I glued down a few of the shapes on a piece of cardstock and put it inside a page protector. Laminating would be even better as the open end tends to allow some seeds inside.
There are many decisions to make on how to match on this grid.
There is color, shape, and orientation. I talked with my little one about all of those.
 She was mostly interested in getting her hands in the bin.
The feel of flax seed is very pleasant!

I brought out the spoons, little lids, and medicine measuring cups.
 Practicing these types of fine motor skills are a favorite activity for Little Miss E.

Even spilling a little on the carpet becomes an opportunity to learn about visual and tactile discrimination as she tried to clean up the spill.

Did you notice that up until this point, she had been laying on her tummy while she played?
The benefits of tummy time play don't end in infancy.
Even in toddlerhood, preschool, elementary, and beyond,
 tummy time activities help to build the core muscles.
Those core muscles must be developed
 well before children can spend time at desks
 reading, writing, or doing math without undue fatigue.
The student that slumps at their desk
with their head propped up by one hand
while trying to write with the other,
 may be suffering from weak or underdeveloped core muscles.

What I love here is how she has used her motor planning
 to wedge the cup up against the side of the bin
 so she can hold the cup, fill it, and steady the bin at the same.

Add in another play element.
These are little squirt toys she generally plays with in the bathtub.
In a two year old world, having a dolphin visit a barn yard of pigs and sheep is perfectly plausible. She has just entered the pretend play phase in the last couple of months.
At times like these, I am not sure who is more entertained-
her or me!

If you would like to use the matching grid,
you can click on the picture below and print it out at the size you would like.
As a side note, today is my 15th wedding anniversary.
Fifteen years ago, it was a Saturday.
I contemplated how bad the consequences would be if I didn't go through the church doors,
but instead turned left and kept going to my car and out the parking lot.
Little did I know he was mulling over that same possibility.
How in the world could we ever be ready for a lifetime commitment
as big as this one we were about to make?
Well, in the world, it may not have been possible,
but in Christ, all things are possible-
including knitting together two people who seem very different,
but who are best friends, and the perfect compliment to each other.
 It is not perfect, as anything involving humans is not,
but it is strong and beautiful,
filled with the grace we have been given,
and choose to give to each other.
Mostly it is filled with love.
So fifteen years later,
I am glad I chose to go straight and not left,
and that he was there waiting at the end of the aisle
(even if he almost passed out there).
I love you husband!
Happy Anniversary!

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