SENSORY BINS AND WHY THEY’RE IMPORTANT

You may be looking at sensory bins and simply screaming in terror of the mess that may occur, but let’s be honest, a mess will be made regardless. At least let it be one of purpose, right?

WHY ARE SENSORY BINS IMPORTANT?

Because sensory play is so valuable.

These are all my favourite things to learn from sensory play – it’ll make you feel like Wonder Mom, all for putting some rice in a storage bin. But spoiler alert: number 6 – oh, number 6 is a big one for me and my love of sensory play, and it’s something you might not have thought of…

1. TACTILE LEARNING

This is easy: sensory bins are a tactile way to learn. It even says it in the name: sensory. The foundation of sensory play is played with our senses, aka tactile learning.

When a child is playing with a sensory bin, they use multiple senses to learn about the world. They’re seeing how the rice moves, hearing how cornmeal sounds when it pours and touching all parts in the sensory bin.

If the bin has a scent – they’re learning through smell. If it tastes safe, then they are licking and learning too.

2. LIFE SKILLS

A big part of sensory bin play is the life skills they teach. Life skills is a fancy way of saying “the skills your child will need throughout their life”. In sensory bins, that’s things like scooping, pouring, and dumping.

Sensory bins teach spoon skills and transferring skills, as well as helping kids learn the best ways to fill particular containers.

Adults know you shouldn’t use a wide mouth bowl to pour into a small milk jug…kids learn this through sensory bin trial and error. It’s incredible what they can know to do from a few bags of beans…

These are life skills that will and can impede their futures. Learning life skills as a child is important and will shape their adult life. However, that does not mean that they cannot change, or breakthrough any stress, fears, or more, in the future. What they decide to do in their adult life is well-established in these foundational years of learning. However, with Pure Hypnosis, anyone who is an adult can use a guiding point in their lives and try to find a way back to the centre. When you work with Sean he assists you in how to get your life back Pure Hypnosis | Sean Wheeler but you can also use hypnosis for weight loss near Atlanta. Even if that’s not necessarily your concern for your kids at this time sensory bins are also great for a multitude of other skills like…
Even if that’s not necessarily your concern for your kids at this time sensory bins are also great for a multitude of other skills like…

3. PRE-MATH SKILLS

Think about a toddler sitting with a rice bin, scooping and pouring rice into containers. This toddler is learning about measurement (capacity), estimating, and spatial awareness (understanding one object in relation to another).

Sensory bins might seem like just bits and pieces of a future mess waiting to happen, but it’s not. It’s some serious learning.

4. INDEPENDENT PLAY & PRETEND PLAY

Sensory bins are my favourites for independent play and pretend play. Children concentrate and focus during sensory bin play in a much different way than when they use toys that tell them what to do (think video games) or how to do it (believe light-up toys that talk and ask questions).

A sensory bin is child-driven. The child directs the play, imagines the situations, and determines the tasks. Sensory bins provide the most fantastic opportunity for genuinely independent, uninterrupted space. It’s also why I stand way back when my kids are playing with a container – I don’t want to disrupt the learning that’s going on.

5. FINE MOTOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Think of all the work a child does with their hands during a sensory bin. The moving of fingers, the grip of their hand, the coordination with their eyes to make it all happen.

Compare that to using an iPad.

It just isn’t the same. Sensory bins build motor skills in a way that technology simply cannot.

6. DEVELOPING SELF-CONTROL

When children are playing with a sensory bin, they are following a set of rules/guidelines that are in place to keep sensory bin play safe and “relatively” mess-free (which I’ve learned to let go of the mess-free theory)

Nothing in your mouth.
Keep stuff in the bins.

These aren’t end of the world rules, but they are still rules. Boundaries. And though my daughter is still learning the concept of No, they’re there.

Sensory bins give children an opportunity to follow the rules. They might have the impulse to throw the rice, but they stop. They know the rules. They might have the urge to stick a bean in their mouth. They stop. They know the rules.

Sensory bins are a safe place to instil self-control. To work with something so exciting, but to remain in control of your body.

Sensory bins give us a low stake playing field to practice following the rules (as in, if they break these rules, it’s unlikely anyone will get hurt. Super low stakes.)

Posted by

Melissa Philippe, or Mel, is the founder and creator of Da Modern Mama. An organisation built around the advocacy and support for POC maternal health. After being an English educator for 8+ years, Mel decided to devote her time to being a speaker and advocate for women of colour. With degrees in English, Writing and literature while being a doula and certified Montessori educator and an Adult and Child Psychologist focused on development and neuroscience. It's allowed her to learn from both sides of the fence and use the same practices in our family. Melissa is also a multi-award-winning author, writer, educator, parent coach, and keynote speaker. - Melissa Philippe (Laura Valentine)

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