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 month’s sensory bin is based on the modern classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert. With these authors and illustrator you know it’s a great book! This story is about all the lowercase letters (kids) of the alphabet trying to climb a coconut tree. But when all the letters get on the tree, they are too heavy and the tree falls down, dropping them all to the ground! The capital letters (parents) all come rushing to help and comfort the lowercase letters. This book is great for reinforcing letter recognition and has a great rhythm which make it fun to read too!
Here’s what you need to make your own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Sensory Bin:
- Small bin
- Alphabet Beads
- 1/2″ Wooden dowel (about 12″ in length)
- Brown paint (optional)
- Brown and Green Pipe Cleaners
- Wooden Beads
- Hot Glue Gun
- Mega Bloks (or something to hold up the tree)
To make the coconut tree, I first painted my wooden dowel with brown tempera paint to match with the brown pipe cleaners a little better. Once it was dry, I used about 9 brown pipe cleaners to wrap it up, giving the appearance of a coconut tree. I used dabs of hot glue to hold the pipe cleaners in place. Then I hot glued the green pipe cleaners on one end of the wooden dowel and added some wooden beads for coconuts for a more authentic look. When the coconut tree was done, I used a couple of mega bloks as a base to stand the tree up and put it in the bin with the alphabet beads! Now it was time to play!
While I read the book, Caden played with the alphabet beads! We reenacted the story by finding the letters in the sensory bin and threading them on the green pipe cleaner coconut fronds. This is a great activity for improving fine motor skills as well as letter recognition!
While playing with this sensory bin, Caden also became interested in comparing different letters. He noticed that the ‘M’ and ‘W’ look the same, except flipped. He also noticed that the ‘S’ and ‘Z’ look similar. I took this opportunity to point out that some letters have straight lines and others have curves.
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, Tacky the Penguin Sensory Bin and The Octonauts Water 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!