Tag Archiv: fine motor

Two Autumn Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are one of those open-ended “toys” that grow with a child. I have personally supervised children as young as 4 months and as old as 7 years playing happily with a sensory bin. Sometimes the contents can be altered to ensure safety for the younger children or to help facilitate the advanced play for older children, however for the most part the bin itself is the same and it is only the way they play with it that changes.

This was the favorite bin of both LittleMan and SunnyGirl last autumn. Simply dry pasta, corn kernels, measuring cups, silk foliage, pine cones, and feathers.
Autumn Sensory Bin 2012, Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)

Mini Water Wall and Other Fine Motor Water Play

Water walls are a lot of fun but can also be a lot of mess. If you don’t have the option to make one outside then the next best place might be the bathtub.
Mini Water Wall and Water Play, Suzy Homeschooler (4)
SunnyGirl recently learned how to use an eye dropper, so I thought a smaller water wall would be a fun place to explore with this new found skill. (more…)

Exploring Seeds

Autumn harvest. The perfect opportunity to take your children to pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and berry fields so they may see first hand where their food comes from. The domino effect of food in our lives is overwhelming. What you put into your body influences pretty much everything else either directly or indirectly, and these sort of first hand experiences can be a great way to help children understand this important building block of good health and wellness.
Exploring Seeds
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Nightmare Before Christmas Sensory Bin

For SunnyGirl’s first Halloween last year, she went as Mr. Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.
Nightmare Before Christmas Costume from Suzy Homeschooler (1)
At 8 months old, she wasn’t quite walking yet so we decked-out her stroller with plush movie characters Lock, Shock, and Barrel. She had a lot of fun playing with them while LittleMan trick-or-treated, but at the end of the day I locked the plushies away for a whole year, until this Halloween.

The plush characters were the perfect touch for our Nightmare Before Christmas sensory bin, though the bin could easily have been a success without them.
Nightmare Before Christmas Sensory Bin
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Process-Art and Painting without Brushes

We had a blank spot on our wall just above the library book bin, and it was driving me crazy. I like my home to be colorful, and my art of choice is anything my children have created. Ever since LittleMan was old enough to grasp a crayon I have plastered our walls with his scribbles and doodles. Something about being surrounded by children’s art just makes it feel more homey. Some of the artwork is framed, some of it is just pinned to a length of ribbon we have stretched across our wall. For this particular blank spot, I wanted something larger, but I didn’t want to spend a small fortune at the hobby shop for a large canvas. I found that 2 pieces of white foam board from Dollar Tree were just the right size for the space I wanted to fill.

Whenever we do a big project like this, I prefer to either work outside, or in the bath tub. We actually have a second bathroom which we use only for art projects. We call it our “art studio,” click [here] to see the virtual tour.
Painting Without Brushes from Suzy Homeschooler (4) (more…)

What is the Point of a Sensory Bin?

I’ve written about sensory bins a great deal on this blog. My post Sensory Bin 101 explains the “how” in detail, but barely touches on the “why.”
Sure, sensory bins are fantastic for fine motor practice. They can be an excellent means of introducing or reviewing a specific subject, such as butterflies or kangaroos. A sensory bin can be a wonderful way to bring a book to life for a child. If you are an imaginative person then making sensory bins for your children can be a fun creative outlet, as it is for my husband and I.
Sensory bins are also a means of getting all the benefits of sensory play (language development, concentration, confidence, etc..) without having to clean up a huge mess! Because the aspects of the play are generally confined to the bin, clean up is a breeze!
But what it all boils down to, at least in my opinion, is that a sensory bin is a safe and easy way to supplement open-ended play and sensory exploration into your child’s life- two things which children in this day are especially lacking.

What is the point of a Sensory Bin
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Two Sensory Play Activities for Monster Theme Week

This past week was a light week in our homeschool. With visitors from out of town, we knew how over excited and distracted both of the children would be so we tried to stick with review and play based activities.
Halloween being just around the corner, monster theme worked out well for a nice light week. Frankenstein, mummies, vampires, zombies, and even some Monsters Inc variety of monsters were read about and made into play-based learning fun.

The two big sensory activities that were available throughout the week were our eye-ball goo bag and our monster sensory bin.

The eye-ball goo bag is quite literally just a gallon sized Ziploc baggie filled 1/3 full with dish soap, googly eyes, and pom poms then sealed shut with clear packaging tape and mounted into our front window.
Two Sensory Activities for Monster Theme Week from Suzy Homeschooler (1) (more…)