We haven't had a sensory bin for a couple of months now. Mostly because I just didn't have the energy to supervise or sweep up beans eighty times a day.
But, it was noticeable that Kit missed it. I hadn't realized how many times a day/week/month that she actually occupied herself with it, quite happily, for good chunks of time. Without the bin, those chunks of time were harder to fill than sweeping up beans eighty times a day. It is a very soothing activity for her as well. Today she leaned in over the bin and massaged the beans up and down her belly. She so wanted to be swimming in dry beans!
Despite my low tolerance for sweeping over the summer, I did keep the bin in mind, and anytime I was at the dollar store, or Target, or Wal-Mart, I always rummaged through the sale racks for items that can be used in our bins. And I found many wonderful treasures, which I store in a special box to pull out and add to the bin as needed.
Kit has been especially passionate about colors and shapes lately, so that seemed a perfect theme for the bin. Here's the basics:
2 bags dry black beans (1 lb bags)
1 package of assorted bubble wands
1 package of foam monster stickers
3 pages of smelly stickers, 1 ea. of apple, orange, and srawberry
Various cups, lids, funnels, etc.
It has been a big hit. Kit loves pulling out the bubble wands and proudly announcing the colors, either in word or sign.
And since the wands are different shapes, she is doubly happy. But nothing makes her more mellow than sifting the beans through her fingers. Over and over.
Until she throws them on the floor.
And I have to sweep.