Tag Archives: sensory box

Four Seasons of Sensory Boxes {plus, preschool activities for each box!} - undergodsmightyhand.com

Four Seasons of Sensory Boxes {plus activities!}

Four Seasons of Sensory Boxes {plus, preschool activities for each box!} - undergodsmightyhand.com

I’ve expressed my love of sensory boxes a few times (four, in fact) over the past year.

My kids love ’em. I love ’em. We’re all learning. It’s fantastic.

For ease, I thought I’d put links to all four seasonal sensory boxes we’ve created here in one post.

Click on each link below to access a full description of what we included in each sensory box, plus LOTS of activities to complete with each one!

Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Sensory Boxes

Winter Sensory Box PLUS activities –> Click here.

Winter Sensory Box and Activities {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Spring Sensory Box PLUS activities –> Click here.

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Summer Sensory Box PLUS activities –> Click here.

Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Fall Sensory Box PLUS activities –> Click here.

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

What’s your family’s favorite kind of sensory box? What activities do you use?

This post is also linked up with Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsToddler and Preschool Moms Pinning Party, the Weekly Kids Co-opShow and Share SaturdayFree Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party, and Link & Learn.

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I Can Teach My Child's Show and Share Saturday link-up

Winter Sensory Box and Activities {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Winter Sensory Box and Activities

It’s been almost a full year now that we’ve been using seasonal sensory boxes, and I think I’ve fallen in love with them.

The kids actually asked repeatedly to play with our fall sensory box, and I think they’ll love rediscovering our spring box and summer box when the time comes for those bins to cycle back around.

Right now, we’re having a blast with our Winter Sensory Box!

Winter Sensory Box and Activities {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Winter Sensory Box

What’s in Our Winter Sensory Box:

  • Cotton balls (a fun base for this box, plus a different texture than all our other sensory boxes)
  • Sparkly pompom balls
  • Larger jingle bells (a little safer if you have younger preschoolers playing, too…Found these at Target a year ago, but can’t remember the price. I think it was around $2-3 for a set of 4.)
  • Wooden snowflake ($1 at AC Moore or other craft store)
  • Wooden star ($1 at AC Moore)
  • Wooden snowman outline ($1 at AC Moore)
  • Small snowman box ($1 at AC Moore – on sale for 40 cents!) – you could use any other small container
  • Soft heart ornament (Target Christmas clearance last year)
  • Wooden “peace” ornament (Target Christmas clearance last year)
  • Medium or large bin (I used an 8-quart one here – these go on sale semi-regularly at Target and may be right now!) 

*If you get the Christmas-y items after Christmas, they’re usually on sale for 50% off or more! The items above from AC Moore are discounted 50-60% off in stores right now.)

You could modify this box to be a nativity-focused box, etc. I kept it to mostly winter-y items because our focus is on the seasons with these boxes.

Activities for a Winter Sensory Box

Pretend play:

-Build snowmen out of the cotton balls.
-Let it “snow” by tossing “snowballs” (cotton balls) up and down.
-Build a snow city out of the cotton balls and pompom balls.
-Add toy figurines exploring your “winter wonderland.”
-Build a Christmas tree with the cotton balls and use a pompom as a star. (My younger came up with this one!)

Winter Sensory Box and Activities {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Categorizing:

Ask your child to:

  • Find all the hard objects.
  • Find all the soft objects.
  • Find all the objects with a snowflake (or other symbol/shape).
  • Find all the objects that makenoise.
  • Categorize “loud” and “quiet” objects by bouncing objects in the bin to find out which make loud or quiet sounds.
Winter Sensory Box and Activities {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Finding the soft object.

Fine Motor Skills:

-Scoop cotton balls in the small box.
-Use tweezers to pick up cotton balls or pompom balls and place into the small box.
-Trace the letters in “peace” on the wooden ornament with your finger.
-Hide pompom balls or jingle bells in the cotton balls and have your child find them. (Then have your child hide them!)
-Build a tower out of the cotton balls.

Math:

  • Count the colored pompom balls.
  • Count the jingle bells.
  • Count the hard objects, etc.
  • Count how many cotton balls (or jingle bells) fit into the small container.
  • Pose simple addition/subtraction problems with objects in the box.
  • Introduce/use the terms “more” and “less” while playing and sorting objects. 

Speech:

-While shaking the jingle bells, sing, “jingle, jingle, jingle” repeatedly, then say, “stop!” for listening and control practice. Have your child give the “stop” signal for speech practice.
-Practice and label common words (through speech or sign language), like “snow,” “snowman,” “ice,” “cold,” “soft,” etc.
-Sing “Jingle Bells!”
-Practice “shhh” sound, and practice controlling voice at quiet and loud levels while playing with quiet and loud objects.
-Practice breath control and lip closure by blowing the cotton balls across a flat surface.

Winter Sensory Box and Activities {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Exploring what’s loud and quiet!

Other activities:

-Allow your child to incorporate one new object in the box.
-Read a book about snowy play while your children play with the sensory box.
-Sing “jingle the bell on your back (elbow, belly, etc.) or fast/slow” and do each action for 5 seconds or so.
-As always, we practice taking turns and sharing when multiple kids play at the same time.

*Since this box also has small materials, we only use this sensory box when a parent is present to watch over (and play with!) the kids.

Looking for other seasons? Check out all my sensory box posts here.

What would you add to a winter sensory box? What kinds of skills to you include in sensory box play? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

This post was featured at Reading Confetti and at B-Inspired Mama and the Weekly Kids Co-op!

This post is also linked up with Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsToddler and Preschool Moms Pinning Party, the Weekly Kids Co-opShow and Share SaturdayFree Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party, and Link & Learn.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

I Can Teach My Child's Show and Share Saturday link-up

 

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

Fall Sensory Box and Activities

You might’ve seen our Spring Sensory Box and Summer Sensory Box posts, so you probably knew it was coming… a Fall Sensory Box!

Fall Sensory Box

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

What’s in our Fall Sensory Box:

  • Uncooked pasta as the base
  • Plastic cups the kids have stopped using
  • Fake autumn leaves (40-50% off a craft store around this time of year – less than $2 for these leaves)
  • Felt pumpkin stickers ($1 for a big pack of 20 or so stickers at AC Moore. We’re not using these as stickers here, but more of a prop. You could use any kind of toy pumpkin here.)
  • Felt turkey stickers ($1 for a pack of 8 or 10 at AC Moore.)
  • Unfinished wooden pumpkin silhouettes (50 cents at a craft store)
  • Toy squirrel figurine (my splurge item for this bin – with a 50% off coupon, it was $2.50 at AC Moore)
  • Large bin (I used a 16-quart one here – these go on sale semi-regularly at Target, too)

I might eventually add some plastic “scoopers” like these, as my son needs to practice scissor skills.

We also might make more of these pom-pom acorns this year and add those to the box.

Activities for a Fall Sensory Box

Pretend Play:

-Pretend the squirrel is searching for food for the winter.
-Make pretend beds out of leaves for the squirrel and/or turkeys.
-Set up a pretend pumpkin patch among the pasta.
-Allow your kids time to imagine something on their own! (My younger kept hugging and kissing the squirrel.)

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

Categorizing:

Ask your child to:

  • Organize the felt stickers into “vegetables” and “animals.”
  • Sort large and small leaves.
  • Identify and sort soft and hard objects.
  • Identify and sort smooth and bumpy objects. 

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

Fine Motor Skills:

-Scooping
-Pouring
-Digging in the pasta
-Burying objects under the pasta and sifting through objects to find them.

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

Math:

  • Estimate how many pieces of pasta can fit in one cup full.
  • Estimate how many leaves can fit in one cup full.
  • Count how many pumpkins, turkeys, etc. are in the bin.

Fall Sensory Box and activities {via undergodsmightyhand.com}

Speech:

-Practice signs and names for the objects within the bin (“leaves,” “turkey,” “pumpkin,” “squirrel,” “pasta”).
-Create sound effects for pretend play and have your child imitate those sound effects.
-Introduce new terms, both nouns and verbs (“sort,” “match,” “estimate,” etc.).

Other Activities:

-Discuss the changing colors of autumn and what makes leaves change those beautiful colors.
-As with our previous sensory boxes, we work on sharing and taking turns when both kids play at the same time.

*Since this box has small materials, we only use this sensory box when a parent is present to watch over (and play with!) the kids.

What would you add to a Fall sensory box? What kinds of skills do you include in sensory box play? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

This post was featured at Reading Confetti for the Weekly Kids Co-Op and at The Homeschool Village and at Free Homeschool Deals!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsTender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, the Weekly Kids Co-opShow and Share Saturday, and Free Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party.

The Weekly Kids Co-Op

I Can Teach My Child's Show and Share Saturday link-up

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Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Summer Sensory Box and Activities

A few months ago, I posted about our Spring Sensory Box and some reasons why my sensory-seeker needs time for both structured sensory play and pretend play.

Now that we’ve moved into the summer season (in this hemisphere), it’s time for our summer sensory box!

Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Summer Sensory Box

Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

What’s in Our Summer Sensory Box:

  • Sand (a great base for sensory play)
  • Toy dump truck (that really dumps! It’s the perfect size for this box. $1.50 on sale at Target)
  • Small shovel (when you wait until halfway through the season, the sand toys go on sale! This one was just $0.84 at Taret.)
  • Small sand rake ($0.84 at Target)
  • Small toy tree (I can’t remember the price, but it was at AC Moore)
  • Set of two funnels (a great last-minute additional – only $1 for the 2-pack at Target!)
  • Small sand bucket ($1 at Target)
  • Small toy duck ($1 at AC Moore)
  • Small toy turtle (this was my splurge item – with a 50% off coupon at AC Moore, it was $2.50) Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand
  • Large bin (I used a 16-quart one here – these go on sale semi-regularly at Target, too)

*I wanted this box to be more than just a beach box, so I included other items to make it summer-y, whether or not that includes the beach. (Love beach play, but just wanted this one to be more about the season!)

Activities for a Summer Sensory Box

Pretend play:

-Scoop and pour sand into the dump truck, then dump that sand elsewhere in the bin!

Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

-Pretend to “plant” the tree in the ground. This was the main reason why I wanted to get a toy tree. This simple pretend play involves digging, fine motor control, and spreading the sand back around the tree base to keep it upright.

Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

-Pretend play with the duck and turtle learning to live in this new habitat. (Hah!)
-If you decide to add water, you can build sand castles, too.

Categorizing:

Ask your child to:

  • Find all the tools.
  • Find all the animals.
  • Find anything living (trees and animals).
  • Find something that has a motor (the dump truck).
  • Find the objects that are more square-ish in shape, and the ones that are more circular.

Fine Motor Skills:

-Scoop sand
-Pour sand!  Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

-Build with sand
-Dig in the sand
-Learn how the funnel works if you scoop, then keep the funnel positioned vertically.

Summer Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

-Scooping and pouring! (a theme in sensory boxes, right?)

Math:

-Count how many scoops it takes to fill up a small sand bucket.
-Count how many dump truck loads it takes to fill up the bucket.
-Count how many scoops of sand it takes to cover the turtle or duck.
-Introduce words like “increase” and “decrease” when filling objects with sand.

Speech:

  • Model and make animal sounds.
  • Practice and label common words and signs (“sand,” “turtle,” “tree”).
  • Introduce new vocabulary, both nouns and verbs (“scoop,” “plant,” “funnel”). 

Other Activities:

-If you have toy cars, they can make a racetrack or town roads in the sand for more pretend play.
-As with our Spring Sensory box, we work on sharing and taking turns when both kids play at the same time.

*Since this box also has small materials, we only use this sensory box when a parent is present to watch over (and play with!) the kids.

Looking for other seasons? Check out my Spring Sensory Box here, and be on the lookout for a Fall box coming in a few months!

What would you add to a Summer sensory box? What kinds of skills do you include in sensory box play? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsHearts for Home linkupTender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, and the Weekly Kids Co-op.

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Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Spring Sensory Box and Activities

Having a preschooler helps me experience the merits of sensory boxes. Having a preschooler who is a major sensory seeker pushes sensory boxes up to “necessary” status.

We love to incorporate seasons around here, especially since my son learned the signs for the seasons. The concepts of seasons (time) aren’t quite understood yet, but the more we discuss the seasons, the more familiar they become.

Sensory box + current season = Spring sensory box!

Spring Sensory Box

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

What’s in our Spring Sensory box:

  • Beans (to pretend as “pebbles” or “seeds” and for that awesome sensory feel)
  • Shredded green construction paper as “grass” (an alternative to buying the fake Easter basket grass)
  • Two birds’ nests (50 cents each from our local craft store)
  • Fake flowers (caught these on sale at our craft store for about $1.50 for two bunches)
  • Small toy duck (dollar section of craft store)
  • Small toy chick (dollar section of Target)
  • Small plastic planter ($1 from Target, good for pretend play, scooping, and filling)
  • Two small plastic kid shovels
  • A few plastic eggs 

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Activities for a Spring Sensory Box

Pretend Play:

-Fill up the planter cup with “grass” and plant a few “seeds” in it. Pretend water it, then place some flowers in that “grew!”

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Pretend play growing a flower garden… with some sweet toes, too.

-We used one of the books we had on hand with a momma bird, egg, nest, and baby bird. We talked about the pictures, and then acted out a momma bird on her nest with the sensory box props. My son doesn’t pretend play with objects much, so I usually have to model it several times (sometimes over several days) before he joins in.

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

-Bring in some LEGO characters or other toy figures to play in the sensory box, too.

Categorizing:

  • I asked my son to “find all the animals.” The day we tried this skill, he wasn’t focusing as well. To guide him, I picked up one object at a time and asked “is this an animal?” He would say, Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand“Noooo” or “Yes!”—usually correctly. This simple modification also allows those with speech delays to work on categorizing and answering questions.
  • Find all the tools to scoop with.
  • Find all blue/green/yellow objects. 

Fine Motor Skills:

  • Scooping
  • Pouring
  • Pincer grasp
  • Using both hands/bilateral movement (to put eggs together, to hold cup in one hand and scoop with the other)
  • Lots of scooping and pouring!

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Math:

-Count animals, beans, and more.
-Introduce “more” and “less” using beans.

Speech:

  • Model and make animal sounds.
  • Practice and label common words and signs (“egg,” “beans,” “grass”).
  • Introduce new vocabulary, both nouns and verbs (“nest,” “scoop,” “hatch”).

Other Activities:

Music – My mother had the great idea to fill a plastic egg with beans to make it an “egg shaker!” Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand We shook to a beat, used directional words (“shake it to the side,” “shake up/down”), and shook on body parts (“shake it on your feet,” “shake it on your back”).

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand
-When both kids play, we absolutely work on sharing and taking turns. It’s so sweet when they play cooperatively. {commence momma heart metling}
Baby play – describe objects (smooth, soft, prickly), name objects, make animal sounds, and more. My girl decided it’d be fun to pick out objects one at a time and hand them to my mother to get a “thank you” every time. :-) Definitely a fun game.

(Note: This sensory box has small items. Any time I have this sensory box out while the baby is awake, I watch her extremely carefully so she does not put any beans in her mouth.)

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

Our goal is to use our sensory box once or twice a week throughout the season, working on various skills each time, plus some basic free play.

Spring Sensory Box and Activities via Under God's Mighty Hand

What would you add to a Spring sensory box? What kinds of skills do you include in sensory box play? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

*Extra note: As it’s warming up, you might be planning field trips for your homeschool, co-op, or just family fun. Join me at The Homeschool Village today for 15 active field trip ideas for families. Click here to view the article. Share your active field trip ideas there, too!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-Up and Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten Corner, UpsideDown Homeschooling’s Hearts for Home linkup, and the Weekly Kids Co-op at B-Inspired Mama.

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