First, let me apologize for the very extended break I took from my blog. I am ashamed! Although, I do have an excuse...
Meet my new Cinnamon Conure :-). We bought him nearly weaned, so we were rather preoccupied with feeding, snuggling, and admiring our new little creature! His name is Candy Apple. Isn't he cute???
BUT, back to business! Once again, I have 'borrowed' one of Tom's sensory bin ideas from his blog at Sand and Water Tables. He has a great explanation as to why this apparatus is valuable for learning and he even shows a few videos of the children in action. I am working towards getting a wooden table-top, but in the meantime, I rigged up this cardboard top to see if the wooden top would be a good investment. After watching the children scoop, dig, pour, balance, and maneuver their scooping tools, I have no doubt that that the investment would be well worth it!
This was truly one of those activities that engaged the children for LONG periods of time. Today, two boys worked steadily at the station for over half an hour!
This table top was very easy to make. I laid down three sheets of cardboard, measured and cut them to the size of the sensory table, and then sealed the edges with red duct tape. I used a box cutter to cut through each layer of the cardboard. Then, I taped along the edges of the holes. I scored the tape so it would go around the circles without crumpling up. For stability, I taped the table-top to the sensory bin.
Reaching into the table through the holes was a new experience and caused the children to think about how they were going to pull the beans and corn out without spilling.
As with any sensory activity, there is always some clean up. These boys enjoyed using the brooms as much as they enjoyed using the new table top!