Welcome to the Wonderful World of Sensory Bins Series! This month I am back with a new book-inspired sensory bin! Sensory bins are a lot of fun, but are also a great way to incorporate some hands-on learning! I like to tie in great children’s literature with my sensory bins, so that is what I am going to try to do as a contributor for Enchanted Homeschooling Mom each month. I find that sensory bins combined with a good children’s book is a great way to introduce new books or topics to my son. It also allows him to sit and listen to longer books while keeping his hands busy. Book-based sensory bins are also a hands-on way to work on reading comprehension, story sequencing and retelling a story.
This months sensory bin is based on my son’s new-found interest in The Octonauts and anything related to the ocean. We were first introduced to The Octonauts cartoon a month ago or so and have since borrowed a few books from the library! Did you know there are six original books which the show is based on?! I had no idea until I was researching for this post! These books are written by Vicki Wong and Michael C. Murphy of Meomi Design Inc. and are way better than other books written based on children’s cartoons. The books as well as the cartoons follow a team of eight underwater explorer animals as they go on adventures in the ocean and encounter marine wildlife. These stories would be a great jumping off point for unit study about the ocean.
We’ve read The Octonauts and the Great Ghost Reef, The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Monster, and The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade (which is Caden’s favorite) for the past week. This simple water sensory bin was the perfect activity to go with the books!
To create this sensory bin I first added a little water to our plastic bin and then colored it with a little blue and green food dye. You can also use water colors and even a tiny bit of tempera paint to color the water. Then I collected some of our marine animals from the Safari Ltd Ocean Toob and the Safari Ltd Coral Reef Toob. Then I added some blue and green glass gem stones and out Octonaut characters! We have Tweak from the Octo-Crane set, Peso from the X-Ray viewer set and Barnacles with his Heat Proof Suit.
Caden enjoyed splashing around in the water and checking out all the marine animals I included in this sensory bin. He loves to pull out each animal to ask or tell me what they are called and show me what they do. Sometimes he asks me what they eat or other questions and this is a great way to learn about different animals. Many times we will pull up a YouTube video to learn more about the animal and watch them in their natural habitat.
If you like this book-inspired sensory bin, be sure check out the previous sensory bins in this series, Goodnight Construction Site Sensory Bin , The Salamander Room Sensory Bin, Monsters Love Colors Sensory Bin and Tacky the Penguin Sensory Bin. For more information on how to create sensory bins and some wonderful sensory bin ideas from across the web be sure to read Sensory Bin 101!