I find it easiest to create sensory bins that have some type of theme to them. If there is something that we are studying in homeschooling, a sensory bin along that theme can further reinforce what the kids are learning as well as providing an opportunity for sensory play.
Last week, the kids watched the classic musical “Annie Get Your Gun“. They adored it and are still singing “no, you can’t get a man with a gu-un”! Granola Girl was even singing it through the aisles in the grocery store the other day!
Since they were already so interested and asking lots of questions, I decided to expand their learning and teach them about the history of Annie Oakley, the woman the movie is based on and about that time in history. I happened to have a Wild West TOOB which had an Annie Oakley figurine in it (I hadn’t even noticed that when I bought it!) so I used that to create a sensory bin that would allow the kids to play and expand on the story they had watched in the movie.
For the base of the bin, I used dry white beans in one section, aquarium rocks that we had left over from a science experiment we had done the week before in another section and I finished it off with an area of moss. Then I added the Wild West TOOB figures and let the kids play.
I know that my sensory bin may not be completely historically accurate, but the point of it is to get the kids more interested in history and its characters by letting them explore. They loved that there was an Annie Oakley figure and had such fun reenacting scenes from the movie.
You can create a history sensory bin to go with any period in history (think Ancient Greece or Ancient Egypt) or that is centred on a specific historical figure (think inventors, artists, politicians or heroes).
For hundreds of other sensory bin ideas, you can also follow my Sensory Bins board on Pinterest.
If you are looking for information on making sensory bins,you may be interested in my book.