- Here’s the Scoop!-Creative Play Date Activity Idea
Scooping and pouring is a timeless activity that never seems to get old for kids of all ages. Trust me, adults will even find the sensory experience intriguing! This sensory box is a great activity to do during a play date because it provides a structured activity that encourages interaction and cooperation. It’s easy to put together and it’s easy to clean up!
How to make your own sensory box
A trip to the store and you’ve nearly completed this simple project. Here’s what you will need to pick up:
- an under-the-bed storage box
- filler–some ideas include: dried rice, dried beans, uncooked oatmeal, shredded paper, sand
- cups–a variety of sizes. Measuring cups, small storage containers, baby food jars
- spoons–measuring spoons, spatulas
- protective mat (I use an old play doh mat. Don’t have one on hand? Use a plastic garbage bag)
*Note: I was able to find measuring cups and spoons and funnels in the dollar bin at Target. Check out your local dollar store for great prices, too!
Pick your filler of choice and fill to cover at least the entire bottom of the container. Our sensory box is filled with rice but I also like to periodically change out the filler for new sensory experiences! Provide cups of various sizes, spoons, and funnels. Be sure to demonstrate how to play “over” the bin for the kids. They will need many reminders in the beginning. No worries, though, you have your mat down, right? When the kids are done playing, simply remove the sensory box from the mat, fold the mat up, gather at one corner and pour any spilled back into the box. Fold the mat back up and it should fit neatly inside the storage box along with all the cups and spoons.
Besides the sensory experience, children can practice:
- fine motor skills
- sharing and taking turns
- pretend play–I’ve been served rice coffee, rice soup, rice ice cream, etc! And it was all delicious…for pretend! Make sure that young children know that eating the filler is a big no, no!
I brought this activity out while hosting a play date recently. It was an instant hit that intrigued all the kids. One of the mothers confessed to going home that day and making a sensory box for her kids. It’s also a great winter time activity sinceyou can bring the sand indoors. Wish I could say the same for the sunshine!
*Note: Do you have a water table collecting dust in the winter? Bring it inside and use it as your sensory table for dry fillers.