Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Exploring Space - Sensory Box

Anytime I do a 'unit' with Hannah, I make sure to have an accompanying SENSORY BOX.  Today we'll take a look at the one I put together for our look at Space.  It might seem a little bare, but Hannah absolutely loves it.

Day 2 - Sensory Box

Cost - Medium
I already had the sensory box on hand as I've used it for previous boxes, so I didn't count that into my cost.  The box we're using this month is a Sterilite 15 Quart tub with lid.  The lid is very important!  Here's a link to a similar tub on Amazon.com, but you can easily find this at your local Target or WalMart:

I then went to our local grocery store that sells beans and other bulk dry goods by the pound.  I bought 5 of black beans for 99cents a pound.  These would also make a great base for a Halloween box.

But the main attraction of this box was a Space Toob:

Hannah also like the glow in the dark stars I added.  There are lots of options for glow in the dark stars on Amazon, but I selected a product that had multiple sizes and colors.  Just as I thought, Hannah started sorting them by color and size immediately.  She loved the really big and really tiny stars the most.  I liked that this package was available to ship free with Prime membership.

Messiness - Low
I start by laying out a blanket that contrasts with the box's filling material.  In this case since we were using black beans, I first laid out a hot pink blanket that was close by, but have also used a white sheet.  This makes it easier for Hannah to see what has spilled outside of the box and to clean it up herself.

Because some of these items are small and possibly chokable, the lid is especially important with this sensory box.  Not only does it keep younger children out of it, but Hannah has yet to master the locks yet, so she has to ask before playing with it, and thus I have a chance to prepare the environment and lay out the blanket.

Prep Time - Medium
I chose 'medium' because I had to plan this activity a few days in advance so that I could order the figurines and stars, and buy the black beans while grocery shopping.  But once everything arrived, I simply spread the beans in the box, arranged the stars and astronauts on top, and waited for her to wake up from a nap.  Easy!

Educational Value - Medium
The figurines are all labeled, so we could discuss the differences between them.  I loved the addition of the 'space monkey' and Hannah like to drive and fly the 2 rockets, rover, and shuttle around the 'moon'. This was a good introduction to the topics we'll be talking about, and the figurines are so well made that they'll appeal easily to the 3-7 year old crowd.  This specific sensory box is not well suited to children that like to put toys in their mouth as it contains many small items.  Always store this item away from small children when not in use, and supervise closely while the child is playing with it.

Expansion Ideas: These figurines would be fun to use with a play dough activity.  You can also refer to them while reading space books.
The glow in the dark stars can be used to create the constellations we'll talk about later, or used to create a nighttime scavenger hunt in which they're astronauts on a space walk, and you've hidden a treat at the end of the glowing path.


Come back tomorrow for more SPACE themed toddler / preschool activities.  Make sure to follow me on Pinterest and check out my Space themed board.

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  1. Exploring and discovering new things with you is a real excitement. Thanks for your productive efforts!




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