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An easy set up cookie cereal sensory bin to encourage fine motor skill development and imaginative play to keep kids busy.
Sensory bins are such a fun way to engage with your children outside of traditional toys.
My favorite types of sensory bins for toddlers are the grab and dump kind. You know, grab a few things, throw them in a bin and call it a sensory bin. That is pretty much how this cookie cereal sensory bin was born.
A few simple items from the pantry and the kitchen is all the you need to get this activity ready for play.
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Cookie Cereal Sensory Bin
“I hungee (hungry)” is a phrase that I sometimes feel like is said 3,000 times a day by my toddler. So this day was no different. He was walking around, shouting his favorite phrase.
He saw the cookie cereal in the pantry and wanted some for snack. I was about to get him a little cup of dry cereal when I had an idea.
I could combine play time and snack time in a fun sensory bin. Here is what I did for the cookie cereal sensory bin. It is so easy!
Cookie Cereal Baking Sensory Bin Materials
Baby Spoon or Larger spoon depending on the child’s motor skills
Silicone Muffin Liner Or Paper Muffin cups
Lid to Tupperware for a “baking sheet”
Play Prompts for Cookie Cereal Sensory Bin
My little guy is turning two in a few months, so his imagination is not developed like my 5 year olds. Nevertheless we still worked on some ideas to play pretend in order to help him develop those skills.
When I do this with younger kids, I just give them ideas about how to play pretend. Typically the child will them mimic your actions even if they can’t come up with it on their own.
We pretended to make cookies. We placed cookie cereal on the lid to “bake” the cookies. We stirred the “cookie dough.”
Scooping and Transferring
Starting when your child is still a baby and all the way to elementary school you will hear about the importance of fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills work to develop those little muscles in your child’s hands and fingers. This development will help them to do things along the way like write their name, feed themselves and manipulate buttons and zippers on their clothing.
It is so important to develop these skills early on. Thankfully, you can do this through play so that your kiddo won’t even know they are “working.”
In order to work on these fine motor skills while playing with the cookie cereal baking sensory bin, we practice scooping and transferring the cereal.
I encouraged my toddler to scoop cereal using a spoon and then to transfer that into a small bowl. We also picked cereal up using our fingers and placed it on the lid of the tupperware container that we were pretending was a baking sheet.
Communication and Language
If you have read the post on sensory activities with low effort, you know that communicating with your baby is on the top of my priority list.
Since my oldest was an infant, my husband has always commented about the way that I communicate with my children. I start talking to them like they are tiny little adults when they are babies.
Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t adapt to their childhood needs. However, in general I just talk to them like they can understand even when they are infants.
I detail out our day or activity as I am doing it. For example, while doing the dishes, I might say something like this:
“Right now Mommy is washing the dishes. I am rinsing the dishes with water. Now I scrub, scrub, scrub with soap and this white brush. Next, I will place these dishes into the dishwasher. Push the button to turn it on.”
I could go on but you get the point. I try to incorporate colors, shapes and other age appropriate details that they will need to start learning. This is a great way to start talking to your kids, regardless of their age.
So this cookie cereal sensory bin is no different. I talked about the shape of the cereal, the texture, and the color. I gave directions for my child to try and follow and then asked him what he wanted to do with the activity. Mostly he wanted to eat!
Sensory bins that are edible or taste safe are the best for young kids! My daughter literally never put anything that she shouldn’t in her mouth.
And my son makes me crazy daily by putting things in that don’t belong.
It is funny how kids can be so different. Anyway, this cookie cereal baking sensory bin is perfectly taste safe.
My toddler had a great time snacking on his baking creations throughout the play time.
Big Kid Play
When my daughter came home from school, she saw our sensory bin activity on the counter and asked about it.
I gave her a brief overview of what we did earlier in the day and put it on the table for her. She encouraged my toddler to engage in the sensory bin again.
They played pretend. They scooped and transferred. Snacked. And then she “sold” lots of cookies to my husband and myself. It gave us a chance to pay her some pretend money and to go over the currency lesson that she has been learning at school.
We did all of this just by playing!
Where to Play
For sensory bin activities that are not super messy, I like to set them up on the kitchen table or in my office. It is nice to be able to watch your child play but still be able to get something else done.
I will often times get dinner started, clean the kitchen or get some computer work done while my child enjoys a sensory experience.
It is easy to encourage, discuss and monitor the play time while knocking tasks off your to do list.
Overall, this activity should be a fairly low mess and easy cleanup. Just don’t follow my lead. I literally walked out of the room for 3o seconds.
Why do the bad things always happen in the 10 seconds you are gone? I guess my baby didn’t want me missing out on all of this fun.
He picked up the cookie cereal sensory bin, tripped and dumped the entire bin into the floor on his way to find me.
At least it gave us some time to discuss the importance of picking up your messes!