You have likely seen sensory bins and the likes all over Instagram and Pinterest. They tend to incorporate different forms of pouring and scooping. There are numerous Montessori activities that involve pouring and such, but if you’ve followed our journey you’ve likely noticed water. While we have used other materials, they don’t tend to stay on the tray. Rather, they are poured and stepped on. Is this frustrating? Goodness, yes! While E and V both assist in the clean up, even though it’s only one of them who partakes in the dumping.

Why is there such an interest in dumping beads all over the floor? After this scenario played out, rather than jumping to encourage cleaning up, I sat back and observed. She wants to step on them.

I have an acupressure mat that, I believed, would fit this need. She enjoyed it, but it was clear that it wasn’t filling her need. The next thought was to get her more traditional sensory mats. But they are so expensive and rather a risk, considering my last attempt to meet her need didn’t quite fill it. So often we think we need to purchase something in particular when the reality is that we have the materials already at hand.

Could I get the mats? Sure, with adjusting the monthly budget a bit. But with items I already had, we could attempt to fill that need with what she was already preferring. Cardboard, super glue, and beads. That’s it. Another alternative would be to just put the beads in a tray that allowed her to step in. Which we did, but beads sticking to her feet became rather upsetting, so we decided to try this other method instead.

Noticing that she may be seeking out different stimulation in general, we created another sensory square. This one was rather special as they were able to do it themselves once I started it. Using a chopstick, to prevent squishing the cardboard ridges, we peeled back the face of the cardboard thus exposing the ridging between.

Both were a success.

Does your little one seek out different sensory experiences?

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