Snow and ice have become our seasonal favourite for filling sensory bins. We may get tired of them by February, but right now they seem so exciting. One cannot overlook the fact that they are also free and pretty easy to clean, since everything melts in the end. So last week we set up a colour exploration bin.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience.
For making it, I first froze some of Budster’s little toys in yogourt containers. I chose animals that were predominantly of a single colour: a red cardinal bird, green frog, yellow seahorse, blue butterfly and orange squirrel. After I poured water to cover them, I added a drop or two of food colouring into each container to make the colours even more pronounced.
In the evening, when the water had frozen, I took out Ikea coloured plastic bowls. We had never found much use for them during mealtimes, but for the amount of play they got, they can be considered our best toy investment. I threw some snow in the the plastic tub and added five LED candles into the mix. The invitation to play and practice colour sorting was ready!
First of all, Budster excavated all the animals. His preferred method of freeing his frozen friends is using a hammer to break the ice, as opposed to melting it. It left us with heaps of colourful icy chunks that looked like little gems in the candlelight.
My two-year-old is working on learning colours. Sometimes he gets them right, but other times everything becomes purple – his current favourite. This sensory bin helped him practice colour matching and sorting, and gave an opportunity for plenty of colour name discussion.
Adding extra light to colour exploration intensifies the experience. The direct light of the LED candles is bright and bold, but covering them with the transparent bowls diffuses the light and brings colour to it. Our favourite part was building snow igloos on top of the bowls. It softened the light and added a glow to the snow. Here we created a rainbow village of igloos, and each animal got its own to live in.
While Budster had certainly played with candles, bowls and snow before, combining them together was quite a surprise for him. To play with snow, but bring it inside – what an idea! Completely turn the lights off and use candles instead – sounds like an adventure!
In the end, we melted the snow in a sink of warm water, which was also fun. Then it was time for Budster to have his bath, and he chose several big chunks of ice to bring with him. That night he was taking a bath with little icebergs. Rather Canadian of him, wasn’t it? ;-)
If you liked this article, you may also be interested in:
– Winter Time in the Small World: when seasons change, winter is coming into playrooms as well!
– The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Bin: delicious sensory bin – first we played with it, then had a snack.
– Ice Age Sensory Play: our first attempt to bring candles and snow together resulted in excavation of a mammoth!