I know it’s officially summer now, but who says you can’t play with snow during this season? Well, you actually can’t--at least not in NYC, but you can if you make fake snow. When my children created two sensory bins in one day, they were over the moon. In fact, my 6 year old enjoyed it more than my 3 year old! To create this snow-like consistency sensory activity, you’ll probably want to take a look in your kitchen cupboard and underneath your bathroom sink. That’s right, underneath your bathroom sink!
If you do not have these materials readily available, I would suggest buying both from your local dollar store because it is inexpensive. The more ‘snow’ you want, the more baking soda you’ll need. I used 3 boxes of baking soda and about 3/4 of the coconut hair conditioner (I wanted to tap into my children’s sense of smell which is why I opted for coconut scent). First, you'll need to pour 3 boxes of baking soda into the bin.
Then add about 3/4 of the conditioner to the baking soda. I initially used two boxes, but my children poured too much conditioner, so we had to balance it out with the third box of baking soda.
Recommendation: Regardless of the amount of baking soda used, add a little hair conditioner at a time, mix it in well, and then use your judgement to add more. I initially used two boxes, but my children poured too much conditioner in, so we had to balance it out with the third box of baking soda.
After pouring the contents into the bin, encourage the children to mix it all in. I have to warn you, it is very mushy in the beginning until everything mixes well. The end result should be firm to make a ball.
Sensory bins can be messy, but there are so many benefits to your child's development.
Language: Language is an important part of children's development. By providing many opportunities for your child to express him/herself, it helps to further develop their expressive language. Ask questions about the activity and avoid questions that will only provide a yes or no answer. Extend your child's sentences if needed. For example, let's say my son said, "It's mushy", then I would extend his sentence by saying, "The snow is mushy". Also, engage in conversations with rich vocabulary and explain what those new words mean. Your explanation will add a new word to your child's growing vocabulary and build comprehension. Without context of the new word, it doesn't help to build comprehension. While my children played, there were multiple exchanges between the two about the fake snow. I asked my 3 year old to talk about the texture of the snow. For my 6 year old, I asked her to use adjectives to describe the texture of the snow. Both children spoke about the texture but the requests were different.
Fine Motor: Allows your child to strengthen the hand muscles by manipulating objects when scooping, pouring, and picking up small objects.
Social Play: Children learn to share and communicate with others as they engage in play.
Math/Science: Sensory bins help with counting objects, estimation, and even making predictions about about the contents of the bin (cause and effect).
Sensory: Exposes your child to new textures, sounds, tastes, and smells.
Hi, I am Odessa. I'm a mom of two wonderful children and a teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Science in Childhood Education with over 10 years of PreK and Kindergarten experience. I am a lover of all things literacy for children and their curiosity of the world. Get comfy and click around my site. I hope you find something you'll like, and something your kids will love! P.S. Akwaaba means 'welcome' :)
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