How to create some simple Christmas sensory play in preschool to help build language, early STEM skills and encourage imaginative play.
Christmas is nearly here! And it's the end of the school year here in Australia so I created a little of Christmas cheer to invite play in one of our sensory bins at preschool.
Creating opportunities for sensory play is so important in the Early Years as it helps young children develop their early literacy and numeracy skills whilst also valuing the benefits of imaginative play. It can also be valuable way to meet the sensory needs of some children during play.
To help spread the Christmas cheer throughout the preschool, we created several easy to make invitation to play.
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MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS SENSORY BINTo make your own Christmas sensory bin, you will need -
- some cheap plastic Christmas ornaments
- large jingle bells
- lengths of plastic beads
- metal Christmas cookie cutters
- red and white pipecleaners (I cut each length in half then twisted two colours together to make the candy canes)
- magnetic wands
You will also need something to fill your sensory bin with.
Rice is one of our favourite materials for creating rich sensory play. You can't help but running your hands through it even as an adult.
You can find out how to easily colour your rice here.
Looking for other non-food ideas for sensory bin materials? Take a look here.
A more expensive option, poly fill pellets, sparkly fake snow or salt flakes would create a snowy effect for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.
This Christmas sensory bin creates the perfect opportunity to explore early maths concepts like measurement and number.
It also allows preschoolers to consider other STEM areas like Science by being able to explore magnetic properties of different objects.
CHRISTMAS SORTINGAnother easy to set up invitation was this invitation to sort objects.
Using some smaller baubles and this lovely donated wooden serving, the children worked together to sort the objects.
To extend this invitation, we swapped some of the baubles for other sizes, giving the children three different sizes to sort along in the four different colours.
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CHRISTMAS BEAD COUNTING AND MEASURINGThe short pearly lengths of Christmas bead in our Christmas sensory tub proved irresistible to many of the children.
The conversation quickly turned into who had found the longest beads.
They then worked together to find the longest and shortest length of beading.
Following the children's interest in the lengths of bead, we then created this invitation to count using shorter lengths of the same beads.
It was a fantastic way to practice some subitising with the shorter lengths of bead while the longer lengths acted like a number line which is always helps build one to one correspondence when learning to count.
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Looking for more Christmas ideas? Check out our Christmas board on Pinterest -