Thanksgiving is a special time to reflect on what we are thankful for. A Thanksgiving sensory bin makes a lovely conversation starter for kids. Use this sensory bin activity to discuss what you are thankful for as a family.
Thanksgiving Sensory Bin
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Sensory Bins are a great way to integrate conversations, play and sensory activities and allow children of different ages to play side by side.
This simple sensory bin is a low mess and quick to set up. It would also work really well as an autumn sensory bin so why not keep it set up for a while and not just for Thanksgiving.
Materials Needed for the Thanksgiving Sensory Bin
- Large storage bin
- Leaves (silk or preserved) - read these instruction on how to preserve leaves from Red Ted Art
- Acorns (or other nuts)
- Wood slices
- Large plastic tweezers
Why not try some of our Food-free Sensory Bin Ideas for Toddlers
How to Set Up the Thanksgiving Sensory Tub
Add your sensory bin materials to a large storage bin.
I chose to use silk leaves as my filler for this sensory bin. You could use real leaves, but they will eventually dry out and crumble. Preserved leaves should also work. Silk leaves are soft and will last forever.
We collected acorns on one of our nature hikes, so I added those to the sensory bin as well. Some of the acorns have a pointy bottom. Just sand the pointy part down a bit before adding these acorns to your Thanksgiving sensory bin.
Safety note: Always supervise children during sensory bin play. Be mindful of those that like to place things in their mouths. Avoid using small items.
Wood slices are another great natural material to add to your sensory bin. You can buy them at a crafty/hobby store or you can cut your own like we did.
Write what you are thankful for on the wood slices. As your child picks up the wood slices, talk about what the words mean and why you are thankful for them.
I also added red, orange, and yellow feathers to the sensory bin. This provides another texture and shape for your child to manipulate.
The bowls and spoons invite children to create a Thanksgiving stew. My kids added the different items to the bowls and stirred them around.
They used the large tweezers to pick up the items as well. Tweezers help to work on fine motor skills.
You can also encourage your child to build with and stack the wood slices.
Hide everything under a pile of leaves to mix up the activity. What can you find underneath?
If you are doing this activity with more than one child, make sure your storage bin is large enough for each of them to sit beside it.
Also, be sure you have enough materials for them to share.
I love that this Thanksgiving sensory bin is low prep and low mess. My kids kept everything in the bin and loved playing with it for a long time.