I use ideas from many different curriculum and of course Pinterest is my best friend. I am so thankful that so many truly creative people share what they use to teach their children or classes. I had no clue how many ways you can use sensory bins to reinforce the things you are teaching at the moment, and how much the children would look forward to working with them.
I use different size bins, depending on what type of fillers I am using as well as how many children will be working with it at the same time. I picked up these "dish washing bins" from a Family Dollar store for a couple of dollars and I am always on the look out for baskets, bowls, etc. that would work with the different seasons and themes we are working on, like the plastic leaf dishes I found at Dollar Tree. I really love finding wooden bowls or baskets at Estate Sales.
We are obviously working on the letter "A", and the Fall theme, so one bin is just all of the different apples we have in our toy groceries, and I added our "A" items from the alphabet boxes I made, as well as the letter A beanbag, and some textured paint swatch things with the letter "A" written on them. I also have a set of Search & Find Alphabet bags so I put the "A" one in also. Our Fall bin is more for working on our fine motor skills using tongs. I threw in all of the different magnetic letter A's that we have and gave them the metal trays to stick them on as they found them. We used Fall colored pretend leaves and flowers, dried miniature pumpkins, and fake acorns because one of the kiddos has severe allergies and I would rather be safe than sorry.
The kids favorite has been our pretend pumpkin patch. As soon as I saw other daycare providers, homeschooling parents and preschool teachers posting their pictures of their pretend pumpkin patches, I had to do one for my daycare kiddos! They did so well with taking turns being the shoppers and the sellers.
I overheard one of the daycare boys saying, "Hey, let me scan that pumpkin, you haven't even paid for it yet." He is definitely on top of things.
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