Sensory materials for toddlers are one of the best ways to spend an hour or so on an average school day. Shaking up the sensory materials and giving them something different to play with means that you get a little bit more peace and quiet—and building it along a theme means that it fits in with whatever else you’re doing. Reading Harry Potter with the older kids? Consider building a magical sensory bin for your little one.
Start with a good, solid base. Dried black beans work very well because of their color. If you’re feeling daring, add a little bit of glitter. Just keep in mind that glitter in a sensory bin will end up everywhere and all over everything, so if you’re not feeling up to the challenge, that one might need to wait.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Do you have any leftover goodies still laying around from Halloween? Plastic spider rings are in abundance around October and November, and in some instances, you may already be able to find them in stores. (“If anyone wanted to find out some stuff, all they’d have to do is follow the spiders.”) How about vampire fangs? Witch’s hat erasers? Whatever you have left over from Halloween will be a great addition.
Next, see what other fun things you have laying around. Tiny glow-in-the-dark stars add an interesting texture and color element. Do you have any craft eyes tucked back in a long-forgotten cabinet? How about little monsters, or some other fun magical goody? How about a twig or two to tuck in to represent wands?
Let your imagination go wild with this one, and let your toddler have fun doing the same things that their older siblings are interested in. Best yet, if you put all of the ingredients of this bin up, you have the ability to save them for Halloween, so it serves a double purpose!