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New Year Sensory Box


Hi! I'm Louise from Building Blocks and Acorns. I'm delighted to be guest-posting for Amy! A lot of my blog is focused on sensory and natural play with my two year old boy (who is lovingly known as 'Darth' on my blog, thanks to my husband's love of all things Star-Wars!) I'm a primary school teacher and nursery worker, so I try to bring that educational focus to what I do (whilst making it fun!)

There is nothing more fun than having a good old celebration! Although I have designed this as a 'New Year' rummage tub, it really can be for any kind of celebration and adapted as you like!

new years main

It actually began looking quite different from this... it all started with some left over gift bows from Christmas (along with some used ones from the presents!)

bows rummage tub

'Darth' loved how shiny it was and enjoyed making a crunching noise as he rummaged around in the tub (a washing up bowl!) But it wasn't exciting or stimulating enough... so I had a look around the house for what else we had left over after Christmas and New Year!

stars in hand

Star table confetti! 'Darth' was really excited when he spotted this and promptly started counting the stars he held in his hand. The best kind of rummage tubs have different elements to them, to encourage size ordering, colour sorting, counting etc. with lots of sensory fun, too...

pulling streamers

Out came the gold and silver streamers and balloons! 'Gold' and 'silver' are new words into 'Darth's' vocabulary, so it was great that he had so many different items to practise saying these new words. He was mesmerised as the gold streamers came out in one giant glistening coil and promptly added this to the (now VERY full) rummage tub!

blow balloon up

Then his attention turned to the balloons I had placed into the tub. I blew one up for him, but that wasn't good enough... he wanted more. He gave it a good go, before asking for help! (aah, bless!) But with the balloons, streamers, bows and star table confetti, the tub was bursting and he seemed to forget about the different items hiding beneath the streamers. So I decided to make everything more visible for him, and enhance the look of the tub. I got an under-bed storage container and separated the items out, next to each other:
sparkle and stars

To enhance the streamers, I added sparkly pipe cleaners and gold beads (I used these in my firework play dough guest post on The Train Driver's Wife,) along with some glow in the dark moon and star shapes. This gave 'Darth' plenty of opportunities for using his language skills as well as using his sorting skills. He started separating the gold and the silver items!

close up pipe cleaners

To make the gift bows more exciting, I added coloured pipe cleaners for more visual effect, colour sorting (and that language about colour again!) He also loved trying to make new shapes and firework shapes, remembering what he had done with the firework play dough. I love how bright and inviting this section looks!

starry confetti

Finally, I wanted to make the star table confetti more visible by having its own space. I also used clear glass beads to add some more shine and shimmer. Darth loved putting stars underneath these and looking through the glass beds. LOTS of counting, colour and object sorting happened at this end of the sensory tub... before it was all mixed together, of course! I also used part of a roll of craft 'foil' with star shapes in it, that we picked up from our local scrap store before Christmas.

new years main

Overall, I was really pleased with the effect and how much 'Darth' enjoyed using it. Next time you have a celebration, see what child-safe items you have left and try making a rummage tub of your own! Remember to keep the items more visible and distinguished, so that your child can make sense of what is there and will be able to guide his or her own play and exploration. I hope that you have enjoyed taking a look at our rummage tub and I'd love you to follow me on Facebook to keep up with future posts, too! Louise x

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