A lot of parents don’t understand the point of sensory bins. All they see is a potential mess and reach for something else. I get it. Messes can seriously raise my blood pressure, too, and an angry parent isn’t an effective one. What parents who sidestep sensory bins are failing to see are all the benefits that they offer young children. Sensory bins allow children to explore with their senses, which helps them to fill their need for sensory input while also working on skills. Skills like fine motor skills as they pick up and play with the small items, math skills when they fill and transfer items using scoops and containers and storytelling skills as they create narratives for the small world play and more. My favorite skillset children work on while at a sensory bin are language skills. Children will talk to themselves and you as you explore with them. If they are in a group chat with each other while they play, Oral language development is one of the most important parts of early education as young children learn through play and socialization. This is much easier with better developed oral language skills. Are sensory bins messy? Sometimes. Are they worth it? Yes. This frog pond sensory bin is easy to set up and not too messy, especially if you do it outside on a warm day.
Frog Sensory Bin
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Gather your materials. You will need a plastic container. I think this one is from the dollar store. Some pool noodle slices ( just use a serrated knife to slice off a few pieces from a pool noodle), glass gems, reusable ice cubes, plastic frogs, a plastic tadpole, and plastic fly. Oh, and water! I like putting in one tadpole and one fly so that it gives us something to search for and then talk about frog life cycles, and what they eat.
Start by pouring the glass gems into the bin already filled with water. If your child or students are still putting small items in their mouths, just skip the gems.
Add in the plastic ice cubes – I decided to add these to my frog sensory table last year to give my students a variety of items that float and sink. Immediately they noticed, and we explored this concept over and over.
Add in the pool noodles.
Time for frogs – try if you can to find some that float and some that sink. This is such a fun way to explore this idea through play and natural curiosity.
I like to put some frogs on the pool noodles. My students will often work hard to balance some on discovering that some of our frogs are too heavy. There is so much learning happening.
In a spot not too close to the water, have a book like this available for the children to flip through. This book includes a frog eating a fly, and when I’ve combined the two, the children have gone back and forth, realizing we have a fly in the sensory table and feeding it to the frog. Playful learning at it’s best!
When play is done, drain the water and let everything dry in the sun. Then pop it all in a ziplock for another day.
Frog Life Cycle Activities
Click on the image or right here to see these great frog activities to go along with your frog pond sensory bin.