Over the last few years I have created a number sensory play experiences for my kids. Many of the sensory play activities I create are in the form of sensory bins. I first learned about sensory bins through an Early Intervention teacher who worked with QBoy after we adopted him. Some of the early bins I created were very simple, consisting of just rice or just lentils. When XGirl joined our family a year and a half later, I introduced her to sensory bins right away and she loved them. The way she engaged with the bins I created inspired me to keep creating new and better bins. But sometimes, the simplest sensory bins are the best sensory bins.
The shredded paper sensory bin I’m sharing today is one I created just over a year ago when XGirl had only just joined our family (when she was a few months shy of her third birthday). At the time, XGirl’s play was still very disorganized. She didn’t really know how to engage with toys and would rarely stick with any one toy for more than a few seconds. However, she found sensory bins to be so calming that she could play with them for an entire hour!
One afternoon I was looking for a quick activity to entertain the kids. I was in our office and saw our paper shredder. It was packed full of shredded paper and I thought “why not?” So I grabbed one our plastic bins and loaded it with shredded paper. I handed the kids some tongs and some plastic bowls and plates. And then I let them have at it!
Note: For more fabulous sensory bin ideas, see my Sensory Play page.
This was the cheapest sensory bin I have ever put together. It didn’t even cost me a dime since I just used paper we had already shredded for other purposes.
But best of all, XGirl and QBoy played with this bin for an entire hour. In those early days after XGirl joined our family, that was absolute bliss! 🙂
The kids loved using the tongs to pick up the paper. From experience I can tell you that using those tongs requires some hand strength, so I know the kids were getting a great fine motor workout!
The salad tongs also got used, although they were definitely not as popular as the regular tongs.
I loved watching QBoy using the tongs to pick up “food” from the floor to put on his plate.
In the end, there was quite a mess on the floor. For some reason I had forgotten to put a sheet under them that day to facilitate cleanup. But the cleanup I had to do was well worth the hour of fantastic play my kids enjoyed that day.