Our Black And White Panda Bear Sensory Bin has been a hit the last few weeks! My preschoolers enjoy the feel of the rice and beans in the bin while they are scooping and it’s fun to look for the panda bears that are hiding in the mixture. The bin doesn’t fit in with our current theme but it could be used as a Chinese New Year sensory bin, rainforest sensory bin, zoo bin or a preschool opposites theme.
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Black And White Panda Bear Sensory Bin
- White rice
- Black dried beans
- Panda Bears – Safari Ltd Pandas TOOB
- Wood Sand Mold Shapes
- Tongs, scoops
When I first spotted the Panda Bears – Safari Ltd Pandas TOOB, I knew I had to have them! My first thought was “black and white sensory bin”.
While I’m not adverse to using food in my sensory bins, I know it’s not considered a best practice in early childhood (according to some studies, organizations, rating scales and theories.) In my group, we do not have issues with child hunger or cultural differences to consider.
If this was the case, I would reconsider what I used for sensory bin filler. In this case, I felt that rice and beans, which are commonly used in sensory bins, would be the easiest for my black and white theme and least expensive. It may or may not work for you in your area, with your children.
Our grocery store sells large bags of rice (5 lbs) and black beans. It’s perfect for a sensory bin (I did not use it all.)
I also added some small blocks to the bin. I try to find various ways to incorporate block play into our activities, encouraging them to be used. Block play is so important in a child’s development. The blocks, baskets and sand molds along with the panda bears allows for open-ended play with the opportunity to work on various skills-scooping, pouring, filling, creative play, building, sorting and exploring the shapes and colors.
I found these little baskets at our thrift store. Read: Thrifting for Child Care & Preschool. It turns out they are like sifters! The beans and rice sift out the sides of the baskets. Fun discovery!
You can see from the photos various ways the sensory bin has been played with.
Each panda bear looks different (or maybe there’s two of each style?) so they are fun to position and pretend with.
Often the bears are buried in the rice and bean mixture and then searched for.
“The bears are taking a bath!”
Who can resist adorable panda bears??
About Sensory Play
- 10 Ways to Use the Sensory Table
- Meeting the Sensory Needs of Young Children
- More Sensory Play Ideas
More Ways to Play with Panda Bears
- PANDA BEAR SMALL WORLD IMAGINATIVE PLAY // The Imagination Tree
- Panda Bear Play Dough // Life OverC’s
- Panda Bear Puppet Craft // Toddler Approved
- Panda Small World Play // Fantastic Fun & Learning