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Valentine’s Day Sensory Box - Bannor Toys

Valentine’s Day Sensory Box

Sensory boxes are all the rage for kids these days! Have you ever thought about making one, but maybe you don’t know where to start? Today I’m going to show you how to make a Valentine’s Day sensory box! 

 

A sensory box is used to explore the human senses - touch, taste, sight, smell & sound. The different objects in a sensory box provide opportunities to encourage curiosity and for hands on tactile play. Sensory boxes are also great for working on fine & gross motor development, language skills and cognitive growth! 

 

I started using sensory boxes with my son when he was about 18 months old. You can really adapt the sensory box to make it something that is safe for the age of the person that will be using it (think about choking hazards when making boxes for younger kids). My favorite way to make a sensory box is to incorporate a theme for the current season or holidays, which is why I did Valentine’s Day for February! Sometimes I will pick up little fillers from the dollar store to add to the theme, but you can most likely make a great sensory box finding items around your house without spending any money! 

 

Start with a plastic container or box, and add a base. I used rice because that is my sons favorite base. You can also use dried beans, kinetic sand, play dough, water beads etc. I had some left over brown rice from a garden sensory box, so I added some extra food coloring to dye it red. 

 

How to dye rice: I really recommend using white rice if you are dying it with food color, it absorbs the color much better. To dye the rice, I like to use zip top bags. For this sensory box,  I had about 15 cups of rice divided into 2 bags, in each bag I used 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 40 drops of red dye. Shake up the bags to evenly coat the rice and spread out on cookie sheets to air dry overnight, or bake in a 275° oven for about 20 minutes. The color should not transfer once the rice is dry! I store the rice right in the sensory box or in zip top bags after playing. 

 

Once you figure out your base, let your creativity flow! I always like to add different tools for scooping, pouring & mixing, as well as a variety of little containers to hold things. Try to pick fidget items with different textures to make it more interesting! Little dump-trucks are always a hit at my house! Here are the items I used in the Valentine’s Day sensory box:

 

  • Heart shaped cupcake pan
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic scoop
  • Heart shaped erasers
  • Red superhero figurines 
  • Assorted plastic hearts & gems
  • Heart shaped silicone cupcake liners
  • Bannor Toys silicone blocks
  • Bannor Toys winter matching game 

 

Sensory boxes are a great way to switch up your play & reintroduce activities in a new way. Since my son is older (4) I used a matching game to add an extra activity to his box, he really enjoyed burying the pieces so we had to scoop them out to make matches! 

 

In order to contain spills, I set the sensory box up on top of a big table cloth. After play, it’s easy enough to pour the overflow back into the box. Rice also vacuums out of carpet pretty well, so don’t stress about the mess! 

 

Let me know in the comments your favorite theme for a sensory box! 

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