Check out this colorful red & blue patriotic sensory bin! This bin is perfect for 4th of July, Flag Day, Memorial Day, Presidents’ Day, or any other patriotic holiday you’ll be celebrating this year. Keep reading until the end of the post for a free printable, too!
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ARE SENSORY BINS REALLY NECESSARY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD?
The short answer…YES!
The long answer…Sensory bins are SUCH an important part of early childhood education. The amount of learning that little ones experience through sensory play cannot be overstated.
We know our little ones learn best when they can touch and feel something, and sensory bins allow them to have this hands-on experience while still practicing foundational skills.
With that said, sensory bins do not have to be expensive, fancy, or complicated! You can use simple (and inexpensive!) materials that will encourage your little ones to engage in learning and play in a meaningful way.
4TH OF JULY SENSORY BIN
For our 4th of July sensory bin, I chose a simple and inexpensive filler that was easy to make…dyed pasta. I dyed one batch of pasta red and one batch blue. Then I put them together in our sensory bin and added all of the red and blue toys I could find!
Here are the steps we followed:
- Put 1 box of uncooked white pasta in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag
- Add in some liquid watercolor. The more you add, the darker your result will be. We use this brand and it works great!
Seal the bag and mix it all up! Once you’re happy with the color, spread out your pasta on a baking sheet with parchment paper and let it dry. Then repeat these same steps to make the next color.
5 WAYS TO PLAY WITH RED AND BLUE PASTA
After making our red and blue pasta for our 4th of July sensory bin, we came up with 5 different ways to play with it! Of course my kiddos loved scooping, pouring, and exploring the pasta. But we also tried these different activities:
1. COLOR SORT
Go around your classroom or house and find all of the red and blue toys. Your little ones can help you with this! Add them into your sensory bin. Put out two pieces of construction paper (one red and one blue). Then ask your little ones to sort the toys by color. This one is great for toddlers too!
2. FINE MOTOR PRACTICE
If we want our little ones to be fluent writers in the future, we need to help them develop the tiny muscles in their hands now. That’s why fine motor practice is so important!
We worked on fine motor skills in two ways with this 4th of July sensory bin. First, I stuck a pipe cleaner into play dough, and then I asked my son to thread the pasta onto the pipe cleaner.
I had my daughter thread pasta onto pipe cleaner as well, but she turned hers into a bracelet! Perfect to wear to any 4th of July parade or party!
Extending, duplicating, and creating patterns are important foundational math skills for our preschoolers. Red and blue pasta is the perfect sensory bin filler to practice these skills! Have your little ones create different types of patterns with the pasta, such as AB, AABB, AAB, ABB, and so on.
4. PASTA AND PLAY DOUGH FREE PLAY
Another fun way to use this sensory bin is to allow for some pasta and play dough free play. Let your little ones use their creativity and imagination to create whatever they want!
5. SIZE ORDER
And the last way we used our 4th of July sensory bin was with this FREE Size Order activity. This one is perfect for helping little ones develop foundational math skills in a hands-on & thematic way.
First, add the patriotic pictures into your sensory bin. Then, have your little ones find the three pictures that are the same. Have them lay those three pictures onto the mat in the correct spots to show the size order from largest to smallest. There are 8 sets of pictures to put in order, and this activity comes in both color and black/white.
This activity (along with all of our freebies!) can be downloaded from the Free Activity Library. If you’re already a member of our email community, you can click HERE to head to the Free Activity Library, enter your password (it’s on your most current email from me), and download your copy!
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