The return to school after the Easter holidays was a bit of a shock this year. It seemed like a particularly long holiday because we had the Thursday and Friday off. Sensory play is definitely needed to help ease the stresses of going back to school. We have been learning about Tim Peake, the British astronaut and his time in Space. This theme made a great theme for a sensory bin. You don’t need many materials to make something really fun.
The hardest part is finding black materials for the base. Usually, I use dried black beans but they weren’t available in the shop. Instead, I made some black rice. I used food colouring and a little vinegar and mixed them together. The vinegar smell is overpowering when you first make the rice but soon disappears when it is dry. After mixing this together so all the rice was coated I put it in the oven while it was warm after we had cooked dinner and left it overnight. This dried the rice out really nicely. I’m not sure how space smells but I thought a fresh smell would be good and used a few drops of mint.
We wanted to bulk out the sensory bin so added some poppy seeds. You would have to double check on allergies. We added some glittery star sequins and used some screwed up tin foil to make rocks. After that, we just needed a couple of space toys. We had a rocket and some Lego astronaut figures, which are great as they have a light on the bottom.
Once set up this is really fun to play with. The black rice seems so inviting.
The girls like burying the astronauts in the rice and trying to find them. They also tried to make buildings using the tin foil rocks. You can just scoop and play with the rice or you can go on space missions like Tim Peake.
Here are some other sensory bin ideas: We enjoyed using a similar sensory bin for some sensory spelling.