Make a simple Christmas sensory bin for your students this holiday season. It’s the perfect addition to throw into your rotation of Christmas science experiments and sensory play activities!
When I think of children around Christmas time, several things cross my mind. Two of those things are colorful Christmas trees and fun Christmas carols. And “Jingle Bells” is a childhood favorite!
So when my friend Ann shared this holiday sensory bin idea with me, I knew the Christmas tree confetti and festive jingle bells were perfect.
This sensory bin is super simple, so let’s jump right in!
Christmas Sensory Bin
Kids love sensory play activities. Throw in some Christmas-themed materials and it’s an instant hit with the little ones.
I love watching my students’ eyes light up any time we do holiday activities. Even better is watching your own child having fun with Christmas activities and getting all wrapped up with the Christmas spirit (pun fully intended). It’s such a wonderful time of year for the kids.
Related: Individual Sensory Bins
Whether you’re in a classroom, virtual learning, or homeschooling, this activity is perfect for the kiddos!
Preschool Christmas Sensory Bin Materials
One of my favorite things about sensory bins is that you can really add anything to them to fit your preschool themes. For this particular bin, we went with sparkly red jingle bells along with red and green Christmas tree confetti.
As always, you can add other materials that you have on-hand or change them up to best fit your learning unit. This one is really simple with only a few materials.
Here’s what we used:
- White navy beans
- Christmas tree confetti
- Large jingle bells
- Measuring spoons
- Large bowl, bin, or even a sensory table if you have one!
See? This activity is so simple!
How to Prep the Bean Sensory Bin
The prep for the Christmas sensory bin can be done in a minute flat and the clean-up is a breeze! It’s perfect for short school days, like early dismissals or two-hour-delays. It doesn’t take long to set up or clean up, it’s a great learning activity, AND it’s super fun!
First, pour the white navy beans into the container of your choice. This time, everything got poured into a larger wooden bowl. A big bowl is perfect if just one or two children will be using the sensory bin.
If you have a large group of children, you’ll definitely want to use a sensory table or large bin. Make sure the container holds significantly more contents than you’re actually planning on adding. Hopefully, the extra space will help you avoid that not-so-fun game of 1,000-bean-pick-up.
Once you have the beans in a container, add in the other materials. We put the jingle bells and Christmas tree confetti in small red and green containers. That’s just personal preference. And it gave the children yet another tool to manipulate the contents of the sensory bin.
Throw the measuring spoons on top and there you have it – a super simple and super festive sensory play activity!
Related: Christmas Messy Play Ideas
Christmas Sensory Play and Learning
So, now what? One word – P L A Y! I personally love to set sensory bins out and let the students decide how to use them.
You may see some students shaking the jingle bells and singing while others scoop up the beans. Some might even choose to bury the Christmas trees under the beans. Whatever the children choose to do with the Christmas sensory bin, rest assured that learning is taking place.
Here are just a few of the preschool concepts they can explore:
- Sense of touch
- Color identification
- Sense of sight
- Fine motor skills
- Descriptive vocabulary
- Conversational skills
This list is certainly not exhaustive. You can guide students through different learning concepts as they come up naturally, or adapt situations to fit your lesson plans.
Jingle Bells and Books
If you’re a regular reader of Fun-A-Day, you know I think reading aloud to children is super important. Read alouds help children grow and learn in so many ways.
The Christmas sensory bin would be great to include after teaching the class “Jingle Bells.” Add a book in the mix for even more fun! Here are a few books you may consider reading along with this sensory bin activity:
I love to add activities to my plans that relate to a story we are reading, or vice versa. What is your favorite activity to pair with a book? Let me know in the comments below!
Big thanks to my friend Ann, a former blogger who has shared some of her photos and activity ideas with me . . . so I can share them with YOU!
Christmas Lesson Plans
Lesson planning is so important to the organization of our classroom but it’s just so time-consuming. And with Christmas just around the corner, life can be hectic! Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you time this holiday season with some comprehensive lesson plans, complete with printables, book suggestions, and activity ideas.
Click on the images below to learn more about some of our Christmas-themed preschool resources!
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