Even though we live in San Diego, I want my 24-month-old granddaughter, Zoey, to enjoy a little snowman fun. So I decided to prepare a simple snowman sensory bin that would work on a number of essential skills. (I am a teacher at heart, so I’m always looking for ways to sneak a little extra learning into an activity.)
This is a fun activity that can be used for the holidays or anytime during winter.
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Simple Snowman Sensory Bin – 37-Second YouTube Video
Simple Snowman Sensory Bin
I had to order a few items for the snowman sensory bin, but otherwise it was super easy to prepare. Once I had the materials, it only took a few minutes to put together.
I had the DIY sensory table from before. That’s been awesome … I’m so glad I put it together! Of course, you can use the same type of container I used (or another type of container) on the floor.
I ordered a few items from Amazon, which all arrived very quickly. Feel free to adapt your sensory bin for your family. These are just the materials I used. If your toddler mouths objects, be sure to use large snowmen or only have the sensory bin available when you are closely supervising your toddler.
It’s nice sometimes to have a sensory bin with a base material that’s easy to clean up, especially over the holidays. While there are many transferring and pouring activities that can be done with base materials like rice, cotton balls are a nice change!
The wooden Nesting Snowman Family is very cute. (Note: If that set is unavailable, it’s often available from other sellers … or check the related products below it on Amazon.) I ordered it because Zoey is absolutely in love with the Russian nesting doll I have on her shelves. She loves the snowman family, too … and I appreciate that it’s a wonderful open and close activity and offers lots of opportunities for problem-solving and creativity (with the possibilities of making one nesting snowman or putting different items in each snowman). I did have to sand down two of the snow people to get the pieces to come apart easily, so that’s something to consider. There is another nesting snowman family on Amazon, so you might prefer that one.
Zoey spends a lot of time with the nesting snowman family. It’s great for language. W’eve had a number of conversations about the snowman family. And I love the fine-motor work and problem solving I’ve been observing.
The flocked wooden snowmen are very inviting. It’s great that there are 10 in the package … perfect for counting activities.
November 2019 Update: The 10 flocked wooden snowmen are unavailable right now. 20 flocked snowmen are available. You could get something like these 10 unfinished wooden snowmen peg dolls that you could paint yourself (or have your child or an older sibling decorate).
The frosted trees make the sensory bin more fun and create another fine-motor activity because the cotton sticks to the trees when they’re picked up. Zoey has a lot of fun pulling the cotton off the trees.
I wouldn’t have thought about the appeal of pulling cotton off the trees, but it’s an activity Zoey loves!
Snowman Math Activity
I add a special hands-on activity using a free printable to the sensory bins I prepare. With the fall sensory bin, I added a ten frame for one-to-one correspondence for toddlers. For the snowman sensory bin, I added a Snowman Makes Ten free printable by From the Pond at Teachers Pay Teachers. I printed it at 75%, although 100% would have been fine, too. This created another sort of learning activity for the sensory bin. After Zoey used the sensory bin for awhile, a lot of the tiny flocked snowmen were hidden in the cotton balls. Zoey had fun finding all ten snowmen and putting them in the basket I had on the snowman counting tray on her shelf. Then she carried the tray over to a rug to work with it.
This activity is a simple way to focus on correspondence and counting skills. Your child could collect 10 of the cotton balls (“snow balls”) instead of snowmen to use with the printable.
Zoey and I will be enjoying our bit of winter in San Diego. Do you have plans for a holiday or snow sensory bin?
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