I'm a firm believer that sensory play is essential to a preschooler's development. Through sensory play not only are the senses awakened, but so is the imagination. Citibabes has a great synopsis of the benefits of sensory play here.
One of our favorite ways to have sensory play is through a sensory tote. Sensory totes are a compilation of various materials, usually related to one theme, that the little ones can explore and play with. I'm always amazed with how these simple items can be used by my two.
For a sensory tote you need a filler item - this is the main item of the sensory bin. Filler ideas: colored rice, pasta, dried beans, popcorn kernels, shredded paper, lentils. For this tote I used colored rice. Did you know you can color rice with Kool Aid? Check out the recipe here. The colors aren't as vibrant as using alcohol and food coloring, but I love the scent that comes from the Kool Aid.
The rest of the items in my tote come from the dollar section at Target and Joanne's. Along with some items from the Dollar Tree.
3- small white metal pails ( Dollar Tree wedding section)
4th of July sunglasses
2-Metal 4th of July buckets
Foam 4th of July pieces
4th of July tattoos ( hidden well!)
2- star containers of bubbles
2- star floral decoration "wands"
** I will also put out some scoops and spoons to use with this tote**
This tote I put together on my own, but I recently found a sensory tote exchange online! I can't wait to receive my items for a transportation tote this month! Everyone in the exchange has found/made such unique items for it!