This shamrock sensory bin is so very engaging, and it doesn’t take too much to set it up. Lots of sensory play that you’ll want to add to your St. Patrick’s Day activities for preschoolers.
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Calendar Numbers
Sensory play AND St. Patrick’s Day? Yes, please!
Plus, you really only need one simple sensory filler to get all of the fun started? Sign me up!
Okay, so you can likely tell I’m a big fan of sensory play (and St. Patrick’s Day, for that matter). And I am! I love sensory play that is super simple (think a basin of water) to sensory play that’s a little more intricate.
No matter the setup, sensory play is a must-have in early childhood classrooms. It engages the children in open-ended play, letting the kids make their own decisions along the way. And there’s a ton of early learning inherent to sensory play.
I could seriously talk about sensory all day, but let’s jump into how to set up your own shamrock sensory invitation.
Shamrock Sensory Bin
To put this St. Patrick’s Day bin together, I grabbed a variety of shamrock-related items I already had on-hand.
At this point, since I’ve been in education since 2001, my teacher stash is pretty solid. If yours isn’t, that is okay! Just take a peek at what you DO have and start from there!
Materials for the Shamrock Fun
Here’s what I used to set up the shamrock sensory bin:
- Sensory table
- Split peas
- Shamrock mold
- Gold dyed chickpeas
- Shamrock cookie cutters
- Green tweezers
- Shamrock mini erasers
- Green squeezy tweezers
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin
As I mentioned earlier, if you don’t have these exact materials, that’s okay! Choose your favorite green sensory filler for the bin.
Find any shamrocks you have. If you don’t have the shamrock items that I do, cut some out of green construction paper!
How to Put Together a Shamrock Sensory Bin
There’s not much to assembly the St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin!
First, add the split peas to a bin. Spread the peas around so they’re evenly distributed in the bin.
Next, add your tools. I used a sensory table that has two sides, so I placed the peas in the left-hand bin and the tools in the right-hand bin. You can definitely just use a one-bin sensory table too!
I wanted to give the children multiple items to move and manipulate the sensory materials with. That’s why I added the tweezers and the squeezy tweezers. Scoops, spoons, and cups would be great too.
I also wanted to make sure there were a few different items to pour into. Thus the addition of the cookie cutters and the shamrock mold. The kids can definitely just scoop and pour the split peas without any additional containers, too!
Finally, place the additional manipulatives into a few small bowls near your shamrock sensory bin. I put the gold chickpeas into two bowls just to make things easier. The shamrock mini erasers were put in a third bowl.
And then you’re all set!
How to Color Chickpeas Gold
I followed And Next Comes L’s directions for dyeing chickpeas. Her directions are the simplest way to get colorful chickpeas!
Instead of rainbow colors, I used gold liquid watercolors. Next time around, I think I’ll use a slightly thicker paint so the gold is even more bright.
Related: St. Patrick’s Day Crafts
Play and Learn with March Sensory Bin
There are so many different ways the kids can play with the shamrock sensory bin! Place the materials out and then watch as your students interact with the bin. You’ll be amazed at the stories they tell and the ways they use the materials.
Here are some ways they might play:
- Scoop the split peas up with their hands, letting the peas fall back down between their fingers.
- Use the tweezers or their fingers to make designs with the mini erasers.
- Dump the gold chickpeas into the split peas, hiding them for others to find (like a treasure hunt).
- Use the squeezy tweezers or their hands to place the gold chickpeas into the shamrock cookie cutters.
- Transfer the peas and/or chickpeas into the shamrock molds.
Hand-in-hand with all that playing is an enormous amount of learning! It’s a particularly great activity to use for St. Patrick’s Day math. Here are some of the skills and concepts the kids can practice. Keep in mind, this is by no means an exhaustive list:
- Conversational skills as they chat with their peers (and you) about their play
- Sensory exploration (especially sight, sound, and touch)
- Descriptive vocabulary practice
If you get the chance to try this sensory bin with your students, be sure to let me know all of the play and learning you observe!
St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 help make your teaching life easier with full and comprehensive lesson plans!
Click on the images below to learn more about some of our amazing St. Patrick’s Day lesson plans! The shamrock sensory bin will fit right into the activities in the plans.
Make sure to join the waiting list to become a member of The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101! Check out some of our other St. Patrick’s Day resources below.
More Shamrock Activities
If your kids loved this shamrock sensory bin, something tells me they’ll love these other shamrock-themed activities, too.
Click on each link below for more information about each shamrockin’ idea: