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Penguin Sensory Bin

This activity, aimed for children 8 and under is a fun way to play and build a sensory experience. Using different temperatures and textures, kids will be able to explore sensations on their hands all while having fun! Fine motor skills can be developed through precise drawing and cutting for older children while younger ones may choose to discover and create varying textures!

Materials:


● Clear, plastic bin (shallow and long)

● Thin piece of cardboard

● Marker (blue)

● Scotch tape

● White cardstock paper

● Scissors

● Small square container (with lid)

● Small circle container (with lid)

● One large bowl of blue water beads

● One large bowl of clear water beads

● Cotton balls

● Penguin figurines (optional)

Steps:



Before you begin! Place your water beads in their bowls with water for around 8-12 hours before you start the craft. This will allow them time to grow!


Helpful tip: Plan ahead for this craft by putting your beads in water the night before!


After your water beads have grown to a larger size, gather your two small containers and fill them half full of water. Then, add some clear water beads until the container is almost full.


Let these containers sit in the freezer for around 4 hours!



Time to start creating! We will begin by making our penguin slides. Using a piece of cardstock paper, turn it landscape (the long way) in front of you. Then, use scissors to cut two strips of paper, each about 4 fingers wide.


Helpful tip: Ask your parents to help you use scissors!


Let’s decorate the slides! Draw snowflakes of various sizes on both sides of the two papers.


Helpful tip: To draw a snowflake, create a plus sign and draw an X over it. Now, create V’s on the outside of the snowflake. For bigger flakes, you can add extra V’s in the center of each line. Feel free to have some without V’s or some flakes that are just dots! (see pictures for a reference)


Now we will form our slides into the correct shape. Using both your hands, grab the two long sides of a paper. Gently bend the two sides together to create a sort of V shape.


Helpful tip: Create more bends in the paper to turn your slide into a U rather than a V shape.



Place your new slides to the side and grab your large, clear container. It is time to create our box!! Grab your thin piece of cardboard and, using your scissors, cut it to be the length of the short side of your box. Then, place the cardboard inside the box to create 2 sections, with one about double the size of the other.


Helpful tip: Cut off small amounts of cardboard at once so you don’t make your divider too short! You can also use tape to secure your cardboard in place!


Next, we will grab our cotton balls. Fluff them up by lightly pulling them apart to create the look of soft snow!


Using your cotton balls, fill the smaller section of your large container until the snow reaches the top!






Time to place the slides. Leaning on the edge of the box, slides can reach down and rest on top of the cardboard divider. Feel free to cut off part of your slides to make them fit in the box!





Helpful tip: Use tape to make sure your slides stay in place!







Now we will add our water beads! Add both blue and clear water beads into the empty side of your bin, using about 3-4 handfuls of each color.




Helpful tip: Grab the beads with your hands to let the water drain out before placing them in the bin!




Remember those containers we put in the freezer? Time to take them out and place the ice in your bin! Make sure they are fully frozen before placing them on the beads.


Use penguin figurines or other animals to decorate your box!


Time to play!!



 
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