Sensory bins are a great way for kids to practice fine motor skills, you can limit the amount of mess produced and they are reusable – just pop a lid on your box and you are ready to go. For today’s Storybook Summer idea as part of our Space Week, we are sharing a simple to set up Space Themed Sensory Bin for your little ones to enjoy.
Featured Book There Was an Old Martian Who Swallowed the Moon
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Our space themed sensory bin was inspired by There Was an Old Martian who Swallowed the Moon. It’s a goofy, space-themed version of the “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” song. Our sensory bin is technically missing the cow and the dish and spoon from the story. The kids didn’t want to add those. My daughter, Lily, said a cow doesn’t belong in space.
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There are many options for sensory bin fillers check out these ideas from and Next Comes L for Non-food Sensory Bin Fillers.
Make sure you choose something that is age appropriate and always supervise your child. Sensory bins can contain small parts that are not suitable for children who will put things in their mouths. You could place the sensory bin materials in a clear plastic jar with a lid and allow your child to experience the materials this way. It becomes a space themed sensory jar instead.
Materials Needed for the Space Themed Sensory Bin
- Dried chickpeas
- Liquid watercolours
- Glow in the dark stars
- Planets (We used Safari Ltd Safariology The Solar System)
- Space vehicles (from Wild Republic or Safari Ltd)
I chose to use dried chickpeas for our space sensory bin. (The dried chickpeas are not edible.) I followed And Next Comes L’s directions for how to dye dried chickpeas with liquid watercolors. Super simple and super fast. I used shades of purple, blue, and green to create an outer space feel.
Once the chickpeas were dry, I added glow in the dark stars.
I also added planets and space vehicles.
We played with our space sensory bin outside in the grass. Picking the chickpeas out of the grass was a bit of a pain. Sweeping them up from the kitchen floor would have been much easier. Or you can place a large blanket underneath your sensory bin. This will help contain the mess and make clean up easier.
We used the sensory bin to retell the story of There Was an Old Martian who Swallowed the Moon. The kids also had fun burying and unburying the stars, planets, and space vehicles. They loved scooping the chickpeas and moving them around. The space vehicles went on missions around the chickpea solar system visiting different planets and moons.
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- Learn about the solar system with these Planet Activities for Kids.
- Encourage reading and writing with Silly Space Sentences.
- Space enthusiasts will love these Out of This World Space Toys and Gift Ideas for Kids.