I love incorporating sensory bins in my program every chance I get. Studies about sensory tables will show that they are not only beneficial to children with special needs but for all children. My students go crazy when we have sensory activity set up for them and I love to see how amazed and engaged they are with the different types of sensory bins. Here are my top 4 sensory activities I often put out for my students.
Magic Water Beads- (there seems to be a number of different names for this product but I search water beads on amazon and a wide selection appears) Water beads are tiny hard balls that quickly grow many times their original size once added to water. The beads then turn into bouncy, squishy beads with a jelly feel to them. I purchased a case of blue water beads to create the illusion of water. I then added plastic ducks and frogs and explained to my students that the ducks and frogs were playing in a pond.
Play Snow- This past winter we did not have much snow and my students started to ask me if snow would ever come. I knew I couldn’t make mother nature give us snow but I could bring snow to the classroom. I found this recipe for now and instantly fell in love. Combine a ½ cup of conditioner with 2 cups of baking soda. The result is an easy to mold white dough. The best part about this recipe is it makes your classroom smell amazing!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Dough- I have several students with gluten allergies and I hate for them to have to miss out on an activity. I found this recipe for pumpkin dough and not only did it smell amazing and was reasonably cheap to purchase the ingredients but, it was also gluten free! You will need canned pumpkin (I bought the largest size), cornstarch and pumpkin spice. After combining the canned pumpkin with the pumpkin spice, you slowly mix in the cornstarch. Once the pumpkin mixture is not so sticky it is ready to be played with.
BioColor Putty- Our school orders through Discount School Supplies and in the catalog there is a product called BioColor Putty. What you’ll need is to purchase BioColor paint and the BioColor Solution. The products will come with directions and the outcome is easy to make slime that will keep for a few days so students could take it home with them.
Amanda White is currently the Program Director for the North Branford Family Resource Center. She has been with the North Branford FRC for five years and is currently a Master Student at Sacred Heart University in the Communications