My preschool students, my babysitting kiddos, and Engineer all enjoyed this coffee and flower sensory bin! A sensory bin with flowers and pretend dirt isn’t a new concept by any means, but all of my kiddos enjoyed our little “twist” on it. To set up this sensory play experience, I set out play dough, fake flowers, and a tub of “dirt” (coffee beans mixed with black beans). All of these were materials I had on-hand — from previous play or my kitchen cabinets.
Both at home and at school, the children came right over to check out the sensory bin. A few asked me what I was doing, but most of them delved right in! I didn’t give an explanation beyond, “here are some things I thought you might like to play with”. I wanted to see what the children would do without any preconceived notions.
I rather enjoyed sitting back and just observing the kids as they played.
- I saw children just playing with the play dough, squishing it in their hands.
- Some of the children pushed the flowers directly into the play dough.
- A few children set about adding beans to the play dough in a detailed manner, one-by-one.
- Still others took lumps of play dough and rolled the play dough in the beans.
- Quite a few of the kiddos enjoyed placing their hands and arms in the bin of beans over and over again.
I definitely had fun listening to the children as they explored the materials, too.
- “I don’t like how this smells! It’s yucky!”
- “Why do these beans look different than the other beans?”
- “Oh, my mommy drinks coffee in the mornings.”
- “I’m making a giant flower in the play dough.”
- “Look, it’s an alligator!”
- “Hey, listen while I pour them all out!”
Even though this was an incredibly simple activity, I loved it for a variety of reasons. The kids all had fun with the coffee and flower bin, which is the most important reason to me. :) Beyond that, it allowed them to explore using their eyes, their hands, their noses, and their ears. The bin included different textures, especially when comparing the play dough and the beans. What about you? Have you done something like this with your kids before? How did they like it?
If you’re interested in more flower ideas, please check out my Flowers & Plants Pinterest Board.