Bring the beach indoors at home or school and invite your little learners to play and learn with stones. Dig around in moon sand and get hands-on with the essential early math skills of sorting, grouping and making patterns. This super fun sensory bin is sure to be a hit with your kids!
Mixing up the Moon Sand Sensory Bin
Moon sand is so fun to play in, and kids love it! You can make your own easily.
- 4 Cups of White Flour
- 4 Cups of Brown Flour
- 1 Cup of Baby Oil
- Deep Tray or Tub
Silky smooth moon sand is an excellent base for a sensory bin. It’s quick and easy to make and can be used again and again in a variety of different activities.
Simply mix all of the ingredients together in the container you are using for this activity.
We collected a selection of different sized stones on a recent trip the beach to add into our moon sand. If you don’t live near the beach, then pop over and pick some up from your local garden center.
Invitation to Play and Learn with Stones
I sat down with my 4 year old daughter to do this activity. It would work well as a small group activity in a classroom also.
Sorting the Stones
We began by sorting the stones into sets of big and small stones. My daughter was eager to get started and happily divided the stones into the two groups.
We then moved onto creating a basic pattern with the stones. 1 big, 1 small, 1 big etc…
Being able to recognize, make, and form patterns is an important math skill to develop from an early age.
We then decided to introduce some color to the activity to reinforce and extend on what we had learned so far.
We used chalk pastels to color the big stones blue and the small stones red.
Grouping the Stones
Once all the stones had been colored in, I let my daughter explore the stones in her own time and observed what she did.
The first thing she did was to group them into a set of blue stones and a set of red stones.
I then encouraged her to make patterns with the colored stones, as we had done earlier. This time I started the pattern off and then invited her to continue it.
Being able to predict what happens next in a pattern is not just a useful math skill, but it is also an essential social skill. For example, it is important when learning about routines in the home and at school that kids can predict what happens next, and can spot any change in a pattern and react accordingly.
She ended the activity with a fun game of bury and uncover the stones in the moon sand.
Moon sand is such a fun sensory bin, and adding even the simplest of items to your play can make all the difference and create fabulous learning activities for your children!
Do you have a favorite sensory bin that you use? What do you have in it?
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