I’ve written before about how I first learned about sensory play and why I think it is so important for kids. As long as my kids continue to enjoy sensory play – and so far they still love it! – I will continue findings ways to incorporate it into our regular routine. With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, I knew I wanted to create a St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin for my kids. So I dug up some leprechaun gold from the basement and some dried split peas from my cabinets. Tossing them together with a few other items made a wonderful sensory bin for St. Patrick’s Day that my kids really enjoyed getting to play with. Plus, as I share below, my husband brought some spontaneous science learning to the kids’ adventures that really wowed them.
Note: This and other St. Patrick’s Day activities can be found on my St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids page. You can also find a complete list of the sensory bins that have been featured at Gift of Curiosity on my sensory play page.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought that a St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin would be a great way to introduce my kids to a bit of the lore surrounding the holiday. That’s why this bin is all about green and gold!
To get a green sensory bin, I chose dried split peas as the base material for this bin. I then threw in some St. Patrick’s Day necklaces left over from a previous year, two pipe cleaner shamrocks, and two white pails. I topped the bin off by adding some some green and gold leprechaun coins. I left some of the coins on top, but I buried a number of other coins in the split peas for the kids to find.
After spreading out a sheet to contain the mess, I let the kids explore the bin. They quickly took out all the items sitting on top, and then they started digging their hands in to find the hidden gold.
XGirl collected her gold in one of our silicone cupcake liners.
Once the gold was collected, XGirl began experimenting with the funnels. Funnels are a learning tool because kids can compare and contrast how different materials flow through them. (Split peas, as my kids learned, did not flow through our funnels particularly well. :-))
QBoy began filling all of the measuring spoons with split peas. Then he decided to put them in order from largest to smallest.
Later, my husband decided taught the kids a science lesson – namely the lesson that when small and big items are combined in a container, movement will eventually cause the bigger items to rise to the surface. He showed them this by placing a leprechaun gold at the bottom of a bowl and then covering it with split peas. With enough shaking, the leprechaun gold eventually worked its way to the top! (Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this, but it was a wonderful, spontaneous bit of learning that came out of our playing with this bin.)
As you can see, the learning possibilities with this St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin are practically endless!
More St. Patrick’s Day ideas for kids
More St. Patrick’s Day posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Books about St. Patrick’s Day
- Magic leprechaun rocks
- Build a 3D rainbow
- Rainbow do-a-dot printable
- Magic fizzing shamrocks
- St. Patrick’s Day Printables Pack
- St. Patrick’s Day do-a-dot printables
- St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages
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