Solar System and Astronaut’s sensory bin promotes tactile senses and refines fine motor control and practical life skills in preschoolers and kindergartners while exploring a fascinating Montessori cultural lesson on space exploration.
Space exploration is indeed a fascinating subject any little scout would love! Besides, this play tray requires minimal setup, and you will be using many items readily available at home. So, whether your little explorer likes to learn about rockets, meteorites, lunar rovers, the solar system, or outer space, this sensory bin will cover it all! You can try this space-themed sensory bin at home or in the classroom. While super easy to make, this play tray will provide plenty of opportunities for developing oral language, enriching vocabulary, and enhancing communication skills! Most importantly, with Space Astronaut’s sensory bin, little hands will be busy pouring, scooping, and transferring while enriching vocabulary and learning about the wonders of infinity and beyond!
Sensory Play Trays
Sensory play is extremely important for children as it supports language development, cognitive growth, fine motor skills, problem-solving, and social interaction. As your child learns through play with sensory trays, they trigger multiple neurons when tactile, visual, and language stimuli are sparked off! Besides, ‘learning’ play trays are generally easy to set up with materials you have handy.
You’ll Need for Space Astronaut’s Sensory Bin
- FILLER: look in your cupboard! Beans are a perfect filler since you can afterward clean them and use them for cooking.
- ACTORS: follow your child’s interest! We are using SafariLTD and WildRepublic TOOBs. (Optional: Solar System planets.)
- TOOLS: children 2 yr and older will benefit from tools. Grab utensils like a spoon 🥄, spatula, tongs, small cups for pouring, etc. (Optional: LearningResources scooper and we love olive wood scooper.)
- TRAY: Present sensory play on a tray (similar HERE). The larger, the better! Also, lay a mat/sheet under the tray to catch the spills. Better yet, take it outdoors! P.S. We are also loving a 6-section plastic tray.)
- Optional: Accessories: like rocks, aluminum balls, etc.
Solar System and Space Astronaut’s Sensory Bin Play Tray
Benefits of Sensory Play
The sensory play offers many benefits! Besides providing various textures to explore the senses, sensory play promotes fine motor control and hand-eye coordination while sparking creative play! In addition, sensory play promotes language development as you describe textures/filler and what the characters/actors are doing.
Solar System and Space Astronaut’s Sensory Bin Play Tray
In addition, sensory play promotes language development as you describe textures/filler and what the characters are doing.
For example, use ADJECTIVEs to describe the filler, such as soft, hard, slippery, and wet. Alternatively, point out to the spatial relationship between objects using PREPOSITIONS: in/under/above, next to; and VERBS: meteorite falls on earth.
Solar System Space Books We Love
When paired with a good book, this fun space-themed sensory bin is a great way to introduce your little ones to the wonders of space travel.
- The Ultimate Book of Space
- Nat. Geo Little Kids First Big Book of Space
- There is No Place Like Space
- The Moon, My First Discoveries
Open Ended Play
Sensory play is open-ended because there is no clearly defined outcome of playing with or exploring the objects and fillers inside the bin. Little explorers use their senses in a creative way to gain an understanding of the materials offered in a sensory bin without the expectation of an end result.
Moreover, sensory bins provide opportunities for children to feel a sense of success, regardless of their language or cognitive abilities. For example, a child who has language impediments may touch and explore the filler for the first time and try to communicate and express how it feels.
Therefore, when materials inside sensory bins are left open-ended and offered without an expectation of a finished product or a result, children are more likely to use their imaginations, creativity, and social skills to make sense of the materials in their own way. This experience is often referred to as open-ended exploration.
Multi Sensorial Stimulation
Sensory play is hugely beneficial as it helps strengthen neurological pathways within the developing brain. Sensory play also helps develop new synapses between neurons, leading to a lasting memory and brain agility! Pediatricians now advocate for simultaneous multi-sensorial stimulation! The nervous system is multisensorial right from its early development stage when a toddler, for example, uses a sense of touch to explore the texture of food, smell and taste to identify it, and the vestibular sense to sit upright at a weaning chair during food offerings. Thus, hands-on learning through the power of sensory play happens all the time! Besides advancing fine motor control, children also develop language, social interaction, and reasoning abilities as they master skills essential for optimal development!
Most importantly, senses are heightened the most during early life, approximately in the first six years of life. So with toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, it is paramount that we harness this time and take advantage of these sensitive periods of development during which sensory stimulation is crucial for the child’s optimal development. These sensitive periods or “windows” are time-lapses during a child’s life where they have a better aptitude for specific abilities and have a keen interest in them. Later on, unfortunately, those interests and aptitudes disappear forever!
AGE: 3 YR + Small Items are choking hazards!
Have you tried setting up Space inspired Astronaut’s Sensory Bins? Leave a comment!
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