Learning Resources® offers a full range of fun Snap-n-Learn™ products, and one of our favorite ways to play with them is to make them part of a sensory bin set up. In this blog, we share how we teamed up the new Snap-n-Learn Fruit Shapers with water, water beads, and a few additional fine motor tools and containers. It led to so much hands-on play and learning.
What you need:
- Snap-n-Learn Fruit Shapers
- Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set™
- Water beads (please only use with full supervision and with children 3+, or as instructed on the packet)
- Large bin or container
- Muffin tin
- Plastic bowls
- Tray or container to help contain the mess
Let’s Get Set Up
This activity literally took a matter of minutes to set up. I half-filled our bin with water and added the water beads. I then broke the fruit shapers apart and added them to the water whilst also putting out the Helping Hands Fine Motor Tools, muffin tin, and plastic bowls. Whenever we enjoy water play, I always put a large tray or some towels underneath to help avoid getting too messy. As we were using water beads, the play was always fully supervised.
Grab & Match
My 3-year-old was so intrigued by the fruit halves floating in the water. Straight away, she started trying to match the halves, and she was excited to find that there were shapes to try and match inside the fruit pieces. She grabbed the pieces and manipulated them in her hands before snapping them together to build the whole fruit pieces. Once she had the whole fruit, she proudly placed it in a muffin tin compartment.
After a good play matching the fruit halves and filling her muffin tin, she turned her attention to using the fine motor tools to play with the water beads and water. The Handy Scoopers™ are perfect for this type of play. She loved scooping the water and watching it drain away, leaving only the water beads. She spoke lots about how she was sorting the colors of the water beads and trying to match them to the fruits.
She carefully transferred the beads and started adding them to the bowls to make pretend fruit soup. The Twisty Dropper™ was perfect for working her hand muscles hard as she moved the water from place to place. This was a great way to enjoy some sensory exploration.
Floating Fruit Boats
For the final stage of her play, she decided to separate the fruit into halves and pretend that they were all boats. The tiny hollow shapes were perfect for adding water beads or two to as little passengers. As she played, she was constantly talking about the shapes and colors of the fruit. The fruit pieces were of excellent quality and held up well for water play. I think she will also get lots of future play with them in our pretend kitchen.
Do you ever add toys to sensory bases to switch up the play? It really helps to peak engagement, as well as offering wider play opportunities. I look forward to using the Snap-n-Learn Fruit Shapers with rainbow rice and playdough soon. They would also work great as stampers with paint for a spot of creative art.