Day 22 of our 31 Day Sensory Play Challenge gives us the opportunity to explore beans or lentils. We have wanted to do a space sensory bin for some time so we decided to use beans – specifically black turtle beans. With our current obsession with neon paint we couldn’t resist making a neon space sensory bin!
The last time we used black turtle beans was for our Halloween Spider Sensory Bin, a guest post on Building Blocks and Acorns. However, they were still mixed together with the red split lentils. You can imagine the fun we had separating the two! I wanted the sensory bin to be deep so I added another 500g bag of black beans.
I couldn’t find a suitable container to use as a space sensory bin. So I decided to cover our usual tray with tin foil. This added an extra sensory dimension to the activity as it made a wonderful sound when the beans were dropped.
To create the stars I painted polystyrene stars with yellow neon paint and PVA glue. The paint wouldn’t stay on the polystyrene without the PVA glue. To decorate the sensory bin I added laminated aliens purchased from Twinkl which we had previously used for our ‘Aliens Love Panta Claus‘ activity. We couldn’t have a space sensory bin without having Aliens Love Underpants in it!
I gave Adam a variety of scoops and star bowls. His first reaction was to remove all of the stars, aliens and scoops so that he could get big handfuls of the beans. He started to transfer the beans into the star bowls.
It was clear that 4 star bowls would not be enough so I placed all eight bowls onto the table. Adam had a fantastic time transporting the beans from one container to another and then attempting to get all of the beans into one bowl! Adam spent 30 minutes focused on the bean sensory bin and picking then picking up the beans individually – great for fine motor development.
However, the space sensory bin truly came into its own later that evening. We turned off the light and switched on the Handheld UV Blacklight (affiliate link). As I had painted the polystyrene stars with yellow neon paint the stars appeared to glow under the UV light. Adam was captivated by the stars and was in no hurry to remove them after seeing them under the torch!
* Tray or box
* Tin foil
* Black turtle beans – I used one 500g and the beans left over from a previous activity
* Polystyrene stars
* Neon paint – we used yellow neon paint from Rainbow Creations
* PVA glue
* Aliens Love Underpants templates from Twinkl
* Handheld UV Blacklight (affiliate link)
* Star containers
Disclaimer: We received a Premium Subscription from Twinkl to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
31 Day Sensory Play Challenge Blog Hop:
Other sensory activities using beans and/or lentils: