Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patty's Day Sensory Bin

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Top o' the mornin' to you!

I was going to wait until St. Patty's Day to unleash this bin, but the birdseed bin had to be pulled early due to the consumption of bird seed by someone in this house.  I won't name names.

So have a day or two without having a discovery station out.  No big deal, right?  

Wrong.  My kid has thoroughly enjoyed having a space where she can turn and play with stuff like birdseed and water beads at any given moment.  When that is taken away, she'll make her own discoveries.  And she has an accomplice.  

Laundry, craft, and baby toy bins?  Look at how very innocent they both look.  

This is how it started.  I dyed the rice.  There are many ways to do this, but basically this is about 3lbs of rice, 1/4c. of water, a squirt of hand sanitizer (I didn't have rubbing alcohol) and a generous swirl of green food coloring.  Someone told me the alcohol makes the color stick better.  I don't know about that, but it sure did dry faster than just using water.  I didn't have to lay it out or anything.
I wanted it a little more green, so I added some dye gel on top and let it set.  It made some pieces deep green, which looks pretty cool.  (I'm sure I care much more about this than my child.)

Now we need gold.  Get a container you won't mind being gold forever (I used the honey bear V. likes to play with), some Mod Podge, gold glitter, and pebbles.
It passed Cat Inspection.
 When I was a kid, I spent a great deal of my summers in Henderson Harbor.  I had a friend next door, and on rainy days, she and I would Mod Podge the heck out of anything that would sit still long enough.  If you go to Henderson Harbor today, you'll notice half the rocks are painted and podged.  Cracking open the Mod Podge always reminds me of summer and tosses me back 20 years.  Fighting the urge to decoupage our house, I poured some Mod Podge into the honey bear.
Add rocks, and shake.
Once the rocks are coated, add the glitter.  Lots of glitter.  (As pretty as it is, I hate how invasive glitter is, particularly when my cat gets into it.)

Then I poured the rocks into a strainer, in hopes that they wouldn't stick.  They didn't, but the strainer will never be the same again.

I periodically tossed and re-glittered these.
Bling Bling.

So here is the bin!  Tiny hats from a craft store, some rocks I painted in rainbow colors, GOLD!, a few wooden hearts, and some lady bug buttons that I found after I took this picture.

But then I thought it would be much more fun to bury it all.  It is St. Patty's Day, after all.

I saw what you did.

 The bin is a little too tall for our little table, so I let her start out on top of the table.

The hats were by far the most popular.

Once V. had unburied all the treasures, I transfered all this to a shallow bin, so that she can reach it without climbing on the table.  

The red cup has holes cut big enough to let the rice through, but not the rocks.  If you don't have a strainer like this, just get a yogurt cup and poke big holes in the bottom.  This would also be a great activity for older children if you made gold rocks and had brown rice or soil, for a Gold Rush theme.  You could even put the gold into water and silt and pan for gold.

Have fun, and Happy St. Patty's Day!

1 comment:

  1. Karla! I love all your sensory bin posts! You are so dang creative and V. is so lucky to have a cool Mom!