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
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
-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!)
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.
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.
- 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.
-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.
Exploring what’s loud and quiet!
-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 Corner, Tuesday Tots, Toddler and Preschool Moms Pinning Party, the Weekly Kids Co-op, Show and Share Saturday, Free Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party, and Link & Learn.