fbpx
Funny, New & Expecting Moms, Parenting

RESEARCH ON PLAY & CHILD DEVELOPMENT: SENSORY BINS

Sensory Bin Research and Ideas

Let’s talk sensory bins. Sensory bins and the impact on development has been a very popular topic of discussion on my weekend parenting forums on Instagram. Lots of parents are recommending them and lots of parents have questions. 

This is especially true in the COVID-19 climate we’re currently in, as we’re all looking for activities and tips and tricks to keep our kids engaged & emotionally well.

But, are sensory bins actually fun and good quality play for our children?

This article is intended to give you some background information, discuss the actual research behind sensory play and development, as well as to list some good sensory learning sites.

Play and development: research & ideas
Play and development: research & ideas

WHAT RESEARCH TELLS US ABOUT PLAY AND DEVELOPMENT

Who: Early Intervention – the earlier we start the better

A significant percentage of a child’s IQ develops by the time they are 4 years old. This means the more quality time we can spend with our children playing and developing them early, the better odds our children have developmentally. Of course other factors come into play biologically, genetically and environmentally, which shouldn’t be understated. 

What: Play is key to development

How do we invest in our children early in effective ways that foster development. 

There is no research out there about sensory bins per se. It’s more about the concept of play and the impact on development. 

Research on the development of children and playing is clear. Providing early opportunities for the brain to build nerve pathways improves IQ and learning later on. And this often happens through meaningful play. 

How: to create meaningful play that truly promotes development 

The elements of development that play should address include motor, spacial, social (inclues, practical skills and standardized learning) and emotional development. Therefore, the more you can cater your playtime to those areas, the better chance you have of developing your child’s IQ throughout the early years. 

Part of developing a child’s IQ from a motor, spatial, social and emotional direction also requires focusing on the 5 senses (i.e., touch, taste, smell, see, hear). We all know children are very experimental and tactile. That’s part of the brain developing in the learning process. 

Click here for more on jump starting your child’s IQ, as well as the necessity of early reading on child development.

The idea behind sensory bins is that they give children the opportunity to explore the 5 senses, experiment, learn and process through various mini tactile environments. 

Play and development: research & ideas
Play and development: research & ideas

THE CONCEPT OF SENSORY BINS

The concept of a sensory bin is that you can bottle up various materials like bits of paper, leaves, water, sand, stones, beads, etc in a small tupperware container and allow the kids to explore them. 

There are lots of possibilities to create these min environments and the fun is endless. 

I have also compiled 5 websites that do a good job of creating strong visuals and cool ideas for you to have a go at creating your own at home.

Take a look!

Here are some materials from The Power of Play that you can start with to get your creative juices flowing. 

SENSORY BIN IDEAS

  • Orbies/Water beads
  • Kinetic sand/moon dough
  • Rice, pasta, lentils, beans, cereal, oats, corn kernels
  • Letters and Numbers
  • Sand, water
  • Shaving cream, goop
  • Flowers, acorns, leaves, sticks, stones, bark
  • Sea shells, aquarium rocks
  • Plastic pellets, shredded paper, wrapping paper, bows, packing peanuts
  • Pom-Poms, cotton balls
  • Shovels, tweezers, scoops, spoons
  • Easter grass, plastic eggs (Added fun alert: put little treasures inside the eggs.)
  • Feathers, birdseed
  • Buttons
  • Various sizes of gourds for fall
  • Toys

SOME PROS OF CREATING SENSORY BINS

  • Diverse play promotes development through the senses
  • Strengthens bonds playing together
  • Promotes independent play
  • Simple and cost effective way to entertain toddlers and young children
  • Improves creativity

3 SOLID SITES TO INSPIRE YOUR SENSORY BINS

  1. Little Bins For Little Hands
  2. The Power of Play 
  3. Your Kid’s Table 

STAY IN THE RESEARCH-BASED PARENTING LOOP

Happy playing everyone! Drop me a line with a picture below to let me know how sensory bins are working for you and the kiddos at home. 

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for more like this. Check out more parenting in a pandemic, mindful parenting and mom mental health as well! 

Be good to yourself,

Ferrah signature

Leave a Reply