If you’re still trying to practice social distancing during the summer, you may be avoiding big trips to the beach. Why not create some beach fun at home that can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors? Sensory bins are a great tool for younger children for both play and educational purposes. Here is what you need to get started on a beach-themed sensory bin to still celebrate summer while staying safe.
- A large plastic tote such as these storage bins on Amazon. These come in a multi-pack, but you can find them individually at almost any store.
- Play sand for sandboxes. A little will go a long way and won’t be too messy.
- Ocean animal toys such as plastic sharks, jellyfish and other assorted fish.
- Decorative shells. These can be found at a local dollar store or craft store.
- Sand tools such as small shovels and a bucket.
- Optional blue food coloring.
Place the shells in the middle of the bin to act as a barrier. Set the sand in one side and water on the other. They will run together a little, but it will give the effect of the tide meeting the sand. The sand will give little ones great practice with fine motor skills as well as a sensory experience exploring the texture and the way it changes when it is mixed with water. Older children can enjoy coming up with game ideas while playing in the beach box. Have them “hunt” for sharks with a small net and see who can collect the most.
This is a great way to introduce children to sensory boxes in the summer. Thankfully, there are endless themes for each season and they are a great way to occupy time. A good sensory bin doesn’t require much – just a few toys and some sand, rice or water. If you’re concerned about messes from younger ones, place a large towel under the bin and set clear boundaries with them that the items are to stay in or around the bin at all times. They are fun to use outdoors as well, so decide what works best for you and your little ones. Let their imaginations run wild and enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet for yourself while they are occupied!