Exploring a Fall Sensory Box

I have been looking at beautiful sensory boxes on a number of blogs and have wanted to give this a try for a while. A fall theme seemed like an easy starter box to try. As an elementary teacher I am used to learning objectives and structured activities so this is another case of me stepping out of my comfort zone; a place where I seem to learn a great deal! It was a learning experience for all of us.

Here is Rose enjoying scooping and pouring beans.

This is the second time I got the box out. The first time was a flop!

I dramatically lifted the lid when Rose was sleeping and Daisy took a look inside. She shuffled the leaves about and then wandered off to find a book. I was disappointed and decided to rethink.

This is a new experience for me and for my kids. We needed help to learn how to play with this new found toy. I used a write and wipe pocket and inserted a very basic counting grid. I gave it to my mother in law (Boma) and she smiled and said “I remember this!”. She was a kindergarten teacher for 40 years in Luxembourg. I did not have to explain what to do.

After we opened the tub for the second time I asked Daisy to scoop out all the pumpkins and took Rose to an old table cloth (now the clean up mat), on the floor. As you can see, she got straight into play. I gave her a few bowls and a ladle.

The rules were made clear; everything must stay on the cloth, no throwing, and no eating/mouthing. This last point was an issue as Rose is 16 months. Everything goes in her mouth. I have to watch like a hawk when small objects are around. She was pretty busy exploring and only needed to be reminded a couple of times.

Boma and Daisy sorted the pumpkins by size and type.

They counted up to 10 and played with basic addition and subtraction.

Daisy then joined Rose on the mat and played scooping and making soup.

I had a whale of a time watching the exploring and learning happen. I was able to interact and talk through what both children were doing. This has inspired me. We will be sharing experiences with lots of sensory boxes.

Here is our box:

  • Shoe boxes – I use these for storage (Zellers)
  • Leaves (Dollar store)
  • Dried kidney beans
  • Paper leaves (these are on special now)
  • Various pumpkins (Dollar store)
  • Cinnamon sticks

Great Ideas for your sensory boxes:

How do you feel sensory boxes have added to the play experience?