Can you believe the moon landing was 50 years old this month? Celebrate with this fun DIY Space Sensory Bin!
It’s simple to make your own space sensory bin using dried black beans and a few items you probably already have in your home or classroom.
In my sensory bins, I always have a “play version” and a “skill version.” Of course I want the students to enjoy the bin with the freedom of open-ended play, but I also like to double dip and add an activity to the bin during work times. To make the bin an activity station, I did a color sorting task using the Rhyme & Sort Rocket’s from Learning Resources with some rainbow counting chips. During “play time” I just kept the bottle caps, meteors, stars, and the rockets in the bin so the kids could just focus on scooping, pouring, and imaginary play.
Materials for Sensory Bin:
- Dried black beans
- Aluminum foil (rolled into balls)
- Recycled bottle caps (various sizes and colors)
- Scooping/pouring tools(measuring cups, funnels, recycled egg carton, muffin tin)
- Learning Resources Rhyme & Sort Rockets
- Rainbow counting chips
With this sorting activity, students are working on:
- fine motor skills
- color identification
- sorting by color
- one to one correspondence
After students sort the chips, they could empty out the rockets and count how many chips there were of each color. You could also extend the activity by creating a bar graph to compare the different amounts.
I love how easy it is to differentiate the skills using the rockets. The pack actually comes with rhyming pictures you could easily switch out to make the sorting task higher level for students working on phonemic awareness skills. You could also create your own cards to add different things for sorting, for example, numbers, beginning sounds, or even categories.
After students complete the sorting activity, you can give them lots of time to play with the materials. My own son loved to take the tops off the rockets to fill them up.
You can turn up the fun in your bin by adding it’s very own NASA Space Shuttle!
Materials needed for DIY NASA Space Shuttle:
- Toilet Paper Roll
- Red, orange, yellow, blue, and white sticky back foam sheets (you can substitute construction paper and glue)
- 3 blue dot stickers
First, cut the following shapes out of your foam.
Wrap the white rectangular foam piece around to cover the toilet paper roll.
Add a red cone to the top using the red semicircle foam piece.
Attach the two blue triangles on the sides of the bottom.
Stick on your 3 dot stickers to the front and your red, orange, and yellow triangles to the bottom for the BLAST OFF!
Throw this rocket into your sensory bin and your students will have a blast playing!
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