I love sensory boxes and really enjoy making them for O as well as watching and joining him exploring them. I saw the idea for a Christmas Sensory box from the Pinterested Parent and knew I just had to make one for O to explore!
We were at the Avenues over the weekend getting O’s hair cut and thought I could get my Christmas decorations for the sensory box whilst we were there. Carrefour have a great selection of decorations at really reasonable prices – most single pieces and tinsel are 200-300 fils each plus they had boxes of different sized and coloured baubles on offer – about 400 fils for the larger ones that are in our sensory box and even less for the smaller baubles. I set the box up during O’s nap on Saturday and watched in delight as he noticed the box on his craft table when he woke up. He dived right in and was pulling out different decorations explaining the shape or colour of them. But his favourite bit was the shiny red tinsel and he kept pulling it out and wrapping it around his neck saying ‘It’s cold! Scarf!’.
Not only are sensory boxes or bins fun and visually appealing and can be easily changed depending on the time of year, topic or texture you want to explore. They also have so many benefits:
- Fine motor skills – picking up objects, scooping, pouring, using tweezers to pick things up
- Mathematics – counting objects, colours, shapes, matching, measuring, estimating, patterns, sorting etc
- Emotional benefits – calming, soothing, relaxing, building confidence and independence
- Exploration – textures, colours, sizes, materials etc
- Language – naming and reinforcing the names of different objects, colours and shapes
You can use sensory bins in so many ways and children can explore them alone, with friends or with an adult. You can play ‘I Spy’, ask them to find a certain coloured object, name the different colours they can see, explain the different textures (soft, rough, hard, dry, wet, fluffy), you can sort the objects into colours, sizes or shapes, and you could even tell a story with the different objects. And the great thing about this sensory box is I can leave it out for O to explore when he feels like for the next couple of weeks and over the Christmas period and then I plan on bagging them up and pulling them out again next Christmas time.