Who doesn’t love a good sensory bin? They are so great for learning many early childhood skills: fine motor, gross motor, visual motor etc. I always have a weekly outdoor sensory bin that is pretty simple; Rice and alphabet cards! The kids love it. Some of them sit and actually learn the letters, some of the use the pictures for imaginary play. Some don’t even touch the cards and use the rice as “rain” 😂. This weeks theme was the letter K. You can find these abc flash cards in my TpT shop here.
This is always a repeat for letter K, it is easy, fun, and I can switch up the materials to make it “new”. One year I had them use marshmallows, another was gummy Krabby Patties. This year I used these over sized shape beads, the only time they get used haha. The base I used orange rice, dried red pasta and threw in some yellow pasta wheels to replicate fire. I have used torn up red, blue, and yellow tissue paper in the past.
I promise, all you need for the year are my scavenger hunt pages, and my loose parts pages and you’re set 😂. I’m the type of person that always feels the need to create something new each time, how dare the kids have a repeat activity haha. However, I have to say, I have been loving having these 2 staple activities lately. I prepped all of the letters A-Z before the school year started, so all I have to do now is just pull them out and they’re ready! They make great activities for rainy days as well. I have been trying new ways to display the scavenger hunt, they really enjoyed this set up. They are obsessed with the mini trash cans from the dollar tree haha.
So much fun and no prep! Yay! 😂 Head to the learning library to print out your freebie, and then display a variety of kaleidoscopes. Have the kids look through them and draw what they see. The little ones scribbled on the page and that’s fine too haha.
Learning library instant access
Oh my, was this a beautiful set up 😍. It’s a lot more simple than it looks. I went on Canva.com and printed a free template for the display, and then used elements of that template to create the cards. There are tons of free templates to choose from on Canva, all you have to do is set up a free account.
For the jars, I had these mini corked jars from months ago that I never got to use. I believe they were from amazon, but any jar or bag will work.
I then added some pink rock salt to the mason jars and a few drops of essential oil.
The kids used the wooden spoon to transfer the salt into the mortar, and then used the pestle to crush it up. They then ripped some of the olive leaves and stuffed them inside.
Once their jars were completes, we put the cork inside and taped it to the card. So cute!
If you don’t have kinetic sand….get some! It is so fun and a great change up from play dough.
I gave the kids a large amount of sand and 5 square magnet tiles.
They first created a box with no top out of the tiles.
Then they filled the box with sand.
The final step, they took the top magnet tile and placed inside of the box, on top of the sand and squished down. This created a kinetic sand cube!
Kingdom open ended play
Open ended play, imaginary play, loose parts play, whatever you want to call it….you need them in your life! As mentioned above, they have become one of my staples!
What is open ended play?
It is a way to play without any structure or guidance, allowing the child to explore without the fear of mistakes. The child is allowed to express themself freely and creatively without judgement or micromanagement. They will enhance cognitive development, social and language skills, problem solving and more.
This set up is in the theme of Kingdom. There are 6 different scenes so the kids have a variety to choose from.
In the loose parts basket they have: Wooden trees/gnomes/people, variety of buttons, dragons, stones/rocks, potpourri, knights.
When choosing the loose parts I always aim for at least 5 different items with different textures, sizes, and shapes.
I simply leave the display on the table and let the kids take it from there. They chose their own mat and what to build on it. Of course they are going to ask “What are we doing?” “What is this?”. I first ask them, what they think. I then let them know we are learning about letter K this week and this is a kingdom. Since we do this almost weekly now, they kind of get the hang of it.
The best part about these pages, is that they are for ANY age! We have a range of 2-5 in our class and they all love these pages. I’m sure even up to age 8 would love them. Hey, if you as the teacher want to do them I won’t judge 😂.
This set is free for you to try in the Learning Library!
Check out the full version here
Learning library instant access
Other activities you might like
Typically I have a section for dramatic play, but I wasn’t too impressed with them this week 😂. We used the toy kitchen one day, and a Kool-Aid stand another day. I only set up for 2 of the days in this area, so that is all I have for you.
However if you’re needing some ideas for digital downloads check these out!
Back to basics-all about colors
Back to basics-all about shapes
Back to basics-all about numbers
Back to basics-all about letters
Want them printed, spiral bound, and delivered straight to your door? Click the Etsy button below!
Need a great book for your letter of the week circle time? Check out my children’s alphabet picture book series on Amazon ABC Discovery
Here’s a sneak peek below
You’ve got mail!
Check out those freebies! #freebiesforlife
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