I love how this sensory play activity came together. I was at the Dollar Store (where I find a lot of my sensory inspiration) when I saw the cutest mini bath toys. It gave me an idea for a bath time themed sensory bin. I made the “water” out of gelatin that I dyed blue. When I added the bath toys, it looked good, but I felt like it was missing something. I wanted to create the look of bubbles in the “water” and I also wanted to add in another sensory dimension.
After considering a few ideas such as adding a layer of shaving cream to add another sensory element and to create the look of foam, I came up with a different plan. I decided to make round ice cubes and dye them blue. This would create the look of bubbles in the bath.
It would also add another sensory rich experience by adding cold and by allowing kids to explore different states of matter as the ice melted. I really love the way this sensory bin turned out!
Bath Time Sensory Bin:
- plastic bin
- 4 packs of gelatin
- blue food colouring
- round ice cube holders
- small bath toys
- optional: plastic knives, spoons, or scoops
- Make the gelatin according to the package directions, adding a few drops of blue food colouring to the water. Stir it directly in the bin. Allow to set. I put ours in the fridge to set.
- Mix some blue food colouring in a pitcher of water and pour into the round ice cube mould. Freeze.
- Add the bath toys to the bin on top of the gelatin once it has set.
- After the ice balls are fully frozen, place them in the bin.
- Let the play begin!
My kids enjoyed exploring in this bin. One of my daughters wanted to cut the shape of a fish out of the gelatin. She used a plastic knife and was easily able to cut out a jello fish. She later wanted to taste it. Since there’s no harm in that since it’s a taste safe sensory bin, she went ahead and took a bite. I hadn’t added any sugar to the gelatin, so she wasn’t a fan of the taste!
Sensory and Learning Opportunities:
The contrast of the moist, gummy gelatine and the cold, hard ice creates a really awesome sensory experience! This activity engages the visual, tactile, and gustatory (taste) sensory systems.
As kids explore through their senses, they learn about the world around them and about how to engage that world. They improve their communication by talking about what they are seeing, tasting, and feeling and by asking questions. Their vocabulary increases as they learn to describe certain textures, colours, or tastes.
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