Counting Coconuts. Needless, to say, I've jumped on the bandwagon.
This is not an activity that I would incorporate into the classroom, unless it was for a summer camp type of environment, but it's great for home. The theme I chose was "Beach" because we'll be hitting the shore in a few weeks. The only thing I had to purchase for this bin was the base material, which is aquarium gravel (in place of sand- not brave enough for the real thing yet). I found the gravel at Walmart for $5. Everything else in the bin was either from our playroom or I had in storage for practical life activities:
- shells (real and purchased)
- aquarium plant
- water block
- spray bottles
- small cups
- blue and green gems
- wooden scoop
- scented wax slices
- plastic fish
- plastic whales
Forever the Montessori guide, I set up a few "sensory bin groundrules" before we got started:
- All children who play with the bin will be active members of the clean-up crew.
- Small objects do not go in or near the mouth/nose/ears, etc.
- We respect each other while using the bin. Sharing is a great way to show respect.
A sensory bin would not truly be "sensorial" without an olfactory element. I included small green wax slices called "Coconut Lime" scented wax melts. They add such a tropical scent to the bin. I've had them in my bathroom closet for years. I'm so happy they're finally being used! Even the dogs got in on the fun...