Tag: holidays

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

Are you looking for a fun Valentine’s Day activity for your kids that doesn’t require glue or glitter? I learned a long time ago that I am not a crafty mom, but I am more than willing to set up open-ended play ideas for my kids! Sensory play has been a wonderful way for our girls to explore new tactile materials over the years. This simple Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin combines smooth textures and lots of opportunities for fine motor play and math discovery.

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin | activity ideas for kids, fine motor, colored rice, simple Valentine's activities, smart play ideas for preschoolers, fun sensory play, tactile activities, sensory bin fillers, learning through play

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

As I mentioned in this post about sensory bin storage, we keep a big basket down in our basement with all of our sensory bin materials: dried corn, peas, and beans, uncooked popcorn, and various shades of rice and noodles. (You can click here for instant access to our favorite tutorials about dyeing rice and noodles.) 

I’m usually not a big fan of using rice because cleanup can be a giant pain. However, the varied colors in this Valentine’s Day sensory bin make it worth it! For this sensory filler, I left 1/3 of the rice white, and split the rest into two colors: pink and red. The best part of using colored rice is adding fun accessories like funnels and jars. The sound of rice filling up a glass jar is a wonderful sensory experience for all ages!

Valentine's Day Sensory Bin | activity ideas for kids, fine motor, colored rice, simple Valentine's activities, smart play ideas for preschoolers, fun sensory play, tactile activities, sensory bin fillers, learning through play

You can extend the play of this Valentine’s Day sensory bin by changing out the accessories every week or so. We love using heart gems from dollar stores and ice cube trays to practice one-to-one correspondence (counting). We also have gathered these items:

  • red cups (these are our favorite)
  • heart-shaped cookie cutters (we have had these for years)
  • and a stainless steel bowl, funnel, and jar (glass or plastic, whatever your kids can handle)

You can also add magnetic letters or small heart-shaped foam stickers with letters written on them (see video below) for a literacy activity.

If you try this Valentine’s Day sensory bin, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


Get four more Valentine’s Day activity ideas to help your child build attention span and independent play skills.

Just add your information below to get instant access to our FREE Valentine’s Day Invitations to Play download!

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…”
“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock…”
“I love those J-I-N-G-L-E bells, oh!”

Christmas is on its way, and our toddlers and preschoolers could not be more excited! But trying to keep their little hands away from the Christmas tree might be a full-time job, and that’s why I love bringing out engaging activities like playdough and sensory bins. This jingle bell sensory bin has been a big hit at our house, and it might be simpler than you might think.

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas | Christmas Sensory Play Ideas, Tactile Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Learning Through Play

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

As I mentioned in this post about sensory bin storage, we keep a big basket down in our basement with all of our sensory bin materials: dried corn, peas, and beans, uncooked popcorn, and various shades of rice and noodles. (You can click here for instant access to our favorite tutorials about dyeing rice and noodles.) 

I had dyed a bunch of noodles green for St. Patrick’s Day. The variety of textures between the wagon wheels, rotini noodles, and shells is a lot of fun for tactile play. I thought it would make the perfect base for this new jingle bell sensory bin. (And noodles are a LOT easier to clean up than rice, which was the base of our last sensory bin!)

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas | Christmas Sensory Play Ideas, Tactile Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Learning Through Play

We have a set of multicolored bells (similar) that are a great size for my 6-year-old’s hands. I also added a few extra accessories to the bin:

  • green and red cups (these are our favorite)
  • ice cube trays
  • a plastic tablespoon
  • and a jar (glass or plastic, whatever your kids can handle)

You can also work on patterning and fine motor skills with this sensory bin! Place the bells in the ice cube tray (use tweezers, if you like), and then lace the bells on a shoelace or pipe cleaner.

 

If you try this jingle bell sensory bin, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


30 Winter Activities | Free School Holiday Survival Guide {flourishwithyourfamily.com}

While your kids are home from school this winter, try out this list of 30 “boredom-busting” activities for the whole family!

Here’s what’s included:

  • a weekly calendar template with tips for creating a flexible family schedule
  • a “menu” of more than 20 low-prep activities to keep your children happily engaged
  • lists of recommended seasonal books to grab at the library
  • a family reading log
  • our favorite resources for learning at home
  • AND 30 winter boredom busters!
Book Subscription Boxes for Kids: Bookroo

Book Subscription Boxes for Kids: Bookroo

Nearly two years ago, we moved from the seventh largest city in the United States to a small Midwestern town. We went from having a bookstore within walking distance of our home to (mostly) ordering our books online. We absolutely love our local library, but I also believe in the power of book ownership for children. For that reason, I’ve been interested in book subscription boxes for our family.

Book Subscription Boxes for Kids: Bookroo | read aloud, children's books, early literacy, activities for kids, family activities, raising readers

Last month, Bookroo reached out to our family and asked if we would be interested in reviewing one of their book boxes. I headed over to their website and immediately fell in love with their story and purpose:

“Our mission is to enable and empower parents to build their children’s book collections in an affordable and exciting way through curated monthly book deliveries. We believe in the power and impact of the written word in the life of a child, and believe it’s never too early to start reading to children!”

Bookroo was founded by three sisters-in-law who want to “make it convenient for parents and magical for kids to fall in love with reading and grow their book collections!”

Book Subscription Boxes for Kids: Bookroo | read aloud, children's books, early literacy, activities for kids, family activities, raising readers

Within a week, our box from Bookroo arrived on our front doorstep. The girls helped me open the package and were so excited to find TWO wrapped presents inside. After tearing off the (beautiful!) wrapping paper, they both settled in to read their stories…and then switched and read the other book, too.

Here are four things we LOVE about Bookroo:

  1. The books are fun and unique! I could immediately tell that the selection process for Bookroo is vigorous and thoughtful. Both picture books fit the monthly theme (“imagination”) in a different way, giving us lots of opportunities to compare and contrast the plots, settings, and characters.
  2. The entire experience was magical, from start to finish! From the packaging to the wrapping to the extra recommended activities, our kids loved the entire process. In a time where attention spans can be short, we have gotten hours of fun and snuggles from our box.
  3. The company is passionate about literacy! From the blog to their Facebook page, Bookroo is always there to share the best tips and author interviews with their community.  
  4. The subscription is affordable and valuable. We love books in our house, and I’m happy to invest in quality products for our family library. After working as an independent consultant for an online book company for a year, I can vouch that Bookroo’s prices are competitive!

Right now, you can get 25% off any multi-month subscription (3,6, or 12 months) using the code BF2017 through midnight PST on Monday, November 27th.* If you are looking to get your children the gift of reading this holiday season, we can’t recommend Bookroo highly enough.

Have you tried book subscription boxes for your family? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Book Subscription Boxes for Kids: Bookroo | read aloud, children's books, early literacy, activities for kids, family activities, raising readers

* Bookroo reached out to our family with a free box of books. This is not a paid review and no affiliate links have been used. Here are the details of the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale: One redemption per family. Valid for new customers only. Existing customers may use for the purchase of one gift subscription. Valid 11/24 – midnight PST 11/27