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Recently I discovered that my daughter’s classroom was about to embark on a Performing Arts Classroom Exploration (a open-ended approach to unit studies) so I wanted to send in a Superstar Sensory Bin to support their continued literacy focus while embracing this super fun theme! Sensory Bins are a great hands-on activity for early learners.
We made use of materials we mostly already had on hand – I like to donate a few materials to her classroom whenever we can so the masks and clapboard were new purchases, but if I was using this for my group I would have just pulled some masks from our dress up corner.
The lights are from my DIY Light Table which we currently don’t use since I bought a proper one and I made the little microphones out of pom poms and popsicle sticks. Tap lights or flashlights from the dollar store would be perfect substitutes for the little spotlights.
How to Make a Superstar Sensory Bin
First, gather your materials:
- Black beans
- Gold glitter
- Variety of face masks
- Yellow cardstock or tinfoil stars
- Marker and/or pen
- Scissors (for the parent or teacher)
- Popsicle sticks
- Black pom poms
- Silver/glitter paint and paintbrushes
- Hot glue
- Black sparkly felt (5ftx3ft piece)
- Clamps or binder clips
- Large storage bin
The glittery black beans have now been featured in 3 sensory bins – and are likely going to find lots of fun new uses in my daughter’s classroom. We first used them in our Space Sensory Bin, then our CVC Constellation Word Building Sensory Bin. It was an initial time investment making them but considering how much use we’ve gotten out of them, I think it was worth it!
To make these cute DIY microphones, I cut a bunch of popsicle sticks in half and then painted them with silver paint and then an extra coat of glitter paint. (Some I also added gold sparkly polka dots to for good measure.)
After the paint had dried, I attached black pom poms to the popsicle sticks using hot glue and they have held up to some serious belting!
I also wrote several famous lines from children’s movies on extra popsicle sticks for kids to “practice their lines.”
To make the rest of the bin, clamp the belt to your superstar sensory bin/storage bin to make the bin dark and dramatic.
Add in the beans and glitter and give it a good stir. Place the tap lights or spotlights in the corners and then scatter the rest of the sensory bin materials over top.
I love that this bin provides a variety of open-ended fun no matter what a child’s literacy level is – whether they are identifying letters, spelling simple words, or capable of reading the small lines provided in the bin.
There are so many ways to engage with the different materials – from wearing the masks, to acting out simple performances using the clapboard, spotting letters with the lights and reflecting light on the tinfoil, to running their hands through the the beans and rocking out with the microphones.
I’m really excited to hear how my daughter’s class likes their Literacy Sensory Bin fit for Superstars. What substitutions or changes would you make to this sensory bin?