I find that coming up with sensory bins in the summer is so much easier than in the winter. Not only are themes somehow easier to think of, there are not as many limits because clean up is so much simpler. If it’s a bin that is going to potentially become a huge mess, I can set it up on the deck or in the lawn and the mess is no longer a consideration. This seaside sensory bin wasn’t that messy but it still floated between outside and inside as the kids took it where they wanted it.
When I was grocery shopping on the weekend, the pool noodles were on clearance so I picked one up knowing that I could find a use for it. Out of one pool noodle, I was actually able to make this sensory bin, a busy bag, an activity, and still have half leftover that is currently being used by my children as a sword!
To create this sensory bin, use a serrated knife to cut pieces of the pool noodle. In one area of the bin, put sand and seashells to create the shore. In the other, put the pool noodle pieces, glass beads and little blue foam bits. I chose these items both for the variety of texture they created. I also thought that the pool noodle slices gave the illusion of waves and the little foam bits looked like bubbles.
The seashells make great scoops for play. The kids also invented a game of holding one of the pool noodle pieces in their mouth and having others stack the rest of the pieces on top of that piece to see how high of a tower they could create without it falling. It’s not quite what I had in mind when I made the bin, but I like to let them direct their own play.
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