Valentine’s Day is only a WEEK away! I feel like it was just Christmas, and here I am scrambling to incorporate Valentine’s Day into our daily activities. I absolutely LOVE sensory play. It holds my kids’ attention, and is a great teaching opportunity. We talk about all of the different textures, colors, shapes and sizes of the objects we’re playing with. This Valentine’s Day sensory bin was a fun way to celebrate.
Sensory bins are a really fun way to incorporate sensory play. I love how they are so versatile, budget friendly, and engaging! My kids become instantly giddy when they see the bin come out, and it’s something that both my 2 year old and 11 month old can do together with supervision.
Why use a sensory bin?
According to this article from Parenting for Brain, sensory play has been shown to:
- Stimulate neurological development
- Strengthen the brain’s sensory related synapses
- Inspire creativity
- Build language, cognitive skills, and visual spatial development
Show your child how something is squishy, prickly, rough, smooth, hard, noisy, smelly, etc., but try not to take over the learning experience — learning through play is highly effective!
I was very mindful when creating my Valentine’s Day activity bin and I wanted to be able to reuse the materials again. I plan to bring the contents of the bin back out when my daughter shows interest in learning shapes (hearts), colors (red, white and pink), and letters (H for heart, R for red, etc).
What you need
In my Valentine’s Day sensory bin I included:
- Red and white paper filler
- Foam hearts in different colors and shapes
- Heart shaped doilies
- Heart shaped confetti *
- Sequins *
- Heart shaped beads *
*I only included these items when it was my 2 year old’s turn to play
My 11 month old loved to dig through for different pieces. She would pull each one out and analyze it, smush it, throw it, and eventually put it back.
I gave my 2 year old a ladle and a muffin tin, and she practiced digging through and scooping different items into the tin. Also she discovered that some of the felt hearts stuck to our couches, and had fun learning why some of them stuck while others fell.
When the activity was over, I poured the contents into a large freezer bag and stored them away for another day! That’s the beauty of these sensory bins — the opportunities for learning are endless!
Get creative with what you want to put in your bin! You can walk around the house to see what you have, or make a quick trip to the store.
Ideas of items to use:
- Paper (tissue paper, construction paper, notepad paper, computer paper, etc)
- Pom poms
- Toilet paper rolls
Sensory bins require supervision — it can be really tempting for your little one to test out their taste sense!
Get playing, mama! Have fun and learn something with your babe today.
About the guest author
Lindsey is a mom to two little girls, a wife, and a labor and delivery nurse. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen, making ridiculously messy crafts with her girls, and helping other mommies in all walks of motherhood. You can follow her blog here, or follow her on Pinterest or Facebook, where she shares about all things motherhood, from pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond.
Are you currently pregnant?
Make sure you got all the basics for your nursery covered!
Subscribe to our email list and get a free baby registry checklist.