You may be familiar with the word sensory and sensory bins if your kiddo has received occupational therapy treatments. Sensory bins most often aim to provide appropriate tactile input for your child’s needs. These bins are also a super fun activity to support speech and language goals for your kiddo. You can make these bins with things like pasta, beans, beads, or even sand as a base and hide items in it by burying them. So how does this facilitate and support speech and language? Well, if your kiddo is working on their ‘s’ sound you can hide toys that have that specific sound in the word like toy snakes, a soccer ball, a toy soap bottle, or even the letter ‘s’ itself. For a younger kiddo who has few words, environmental sounds are a great place to start. Environmental sounds are things like animal noises, sounds cars make, or even exclamations like ‘Wow!’ and ‘Ooo!’. You can start by hiding farm animals in a bin and each time your kiddo finds an animal practice saying what sound the animal makes.
Make Your Own Sensory Bin!
- First, you need some kind of base for your bin. This could be rice, pasta, beans, or even sand. If you feel like getting creative, you can use food coloring to color the rice or the pasta!
- Next, find items to hide in the base of your bin. If you don’t have small items lying around you can start with different colored pasta and rice and teach your kiddo colors. You might also want to include different sized spoons for your kiddo to use along with their hands.
- Lastly, have fun playing with your sensory bin!
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Your child will love digging through the rice or pasta and not only get tactile input, but also increased language opportunities while they search for hidden items.
With warmth and gratitude,
The Fox Team