This rainbow yarn sensory bin is a great addition to your St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschoolers! The kids can go digging for gold in the rainbow, and there’s even a free gold coin printable to go along with it.
Grab your own set of gold coin ten frames at the very bottom of this post!
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Related: Rainbow Corn Sensory Bin
Rainbow Yarn Sensory Bin
I must admit I LOVE St. Paddy’s Day! Leprechauns, Ireland, and celebrating with the kids is just plain fun.
So, in that spirit, I wanted to share a simple fine motor activity many of my students over the years have enjoyed – hunting for gold.
The sensory bin is full of fun and learning all by itself. It’s also great paired with a printable gold coin ten frame!
St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin Materials
Strolling through a craft store, as one does, I was enamored with the variegated rainbow yarn I happened upon. It looked like a big ball of rainbows. And, as we know, many preschoolers love all things rainbows! So I knew I had to grab some off the shelves.
Yarn is a wonderful filler for sensory bins! It’s soft, easy-to-clean up, and you can use it for any of your preschool themes.
To make the rainbow yarn sensory bin, you’ll need (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Rainbow Yarn
- Plastic Gold Coins
- Gold Pompoms
- Child-friendly Chopsticks
- Plastic Tweezers
- Small Pot to hold their gold
- Gold Coin Ten Frame Printable (grab them for free at the end of the post!)
Preparing and Exploring the Rainbow Sensory Bin
To set up this activity, I cut up rainbow-colored yarn and placed it in our sensory table.
You can also do it in a large plastic tub, or a smaller Tupperware if you’re making individual sensory bins (as seen below).
Related: Preschool Rainbow Activities
Then add gold coins and gold pompoms. If you don’t have those manipulatives, you can use pennies or yellow pompoms. Or you can cut circles out of gold craft foam. Anything that’s yellow or gold will work, and of course, the sparklier, the better!
Here’s what our very first version of the rainbow bin looked like:
Related: Rainbow Messy Play
The yarn acts as miniature rainbows for the children. They hunt through the “rainbows” to find gold coins that leprechauns left for them!
The kiddos can use their fingers to search, but chopsticks and large, plastic tweezers make everything more fun!
Have the kids search through the rainbow-colored yarn and locate the hidden gold. When they find a piece, they can use the tweezers to pick up the coin and transfer it to their pot of gold.
Related: Spring Activities for Preschoolers
This rainbow yarn sensory bin is a very simple idea, but the children enjoyed themselves immensely.
In the process of “hunting for gold”, they strengthened their fingers and hands, stretched their imaginations, and just plain had a blast!
Using the Gold Coin Printable
Explain to the children that they’re going to do some fun St. Patrick’s Day math using gold coins. If they’re unfamiliar with ten frames, show the kids one of the printables and explain its name. Have the kids help count each of the boxes to help them understand why it’s called a 10-frame.
Then model how to use the gold coin ten frame. Bring one out and point to the number on it. Say the number out loud. Then grab some gold coins (or your favorite manipulative) and count out the correct number.
Be sure to show the kids that you fill the ten frame in from left to right, top to bottom (just like reading and writing – so you’re working on a basic literacy skill alongside all of the math).
Then pair the printable with the sensory bin! Have each kid select a ten frame. Then each coin they find in the rainbow yarn bin can be put in place on the printable. Keep searching for coins until they have the correct number. Then empty the coins back into the sensory bin, grab a different numbered printable, and start again!
More St. Patrick’s Day Learning Ideas and Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes book suggestions, printable plans, over 30 learning activities (whole group, small group, and centers) related to the theme, and corresponding printables.
Click on the image below to learn about each resource! They’re perfect to use alongside the rainbow yarn sensory bin.
Free Gold Coin Printable 10-Frames
Members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community can grab the 10-frames below. Just enter your email address to get it sent to your inbox.
If you’re not a member, don’t worry! You can join via the same form. Enter your information to join us, and you’ll get the printable as a welcome gift.
If you can’t see the above form, click here to access it.
This post was originally published on February 17, 2013.