A Lenten Sensory Bin {Guest Post}

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Monday!  I'm so excited to introduce you to Michele, who blogs at My Domestic Monastery.

Michele is a wife and mother of two beautiful girls, and a published author in addition to a blogger! Today she's sharing a Lenten Sensory Bin, which I guarantee your children will love and I also guarantee might terrify you a little bit!  The mess!!!  

Yes, there will be rice or pasta on the floor.  But your kids will adore it, and it may just become a regular activity in your house!

Thanks for having me, Rosie! Today I’m going to share with you how to make a simple Lenten sensory bin. This project is so simple that a preschooler or kindergarten could do it with minimal assistance!
A couple of years back, I made the above sensory bin (with rice dyed purple). Today’s project was a bit more of a hack, as I was out of purple food coloring. But my girls still had a lot of fun with it! 

1. Assemble your materials.

You will need: 

Food coloring (preferably purple!)
Your sensory material (dried rice or pasta works best)

2. Pour in your sensory material (pasta, rice, etc.) 

Enlist the help of the nearest small child in pouring your sensory material into a container. In the past, I’ve actually poured it into a plastic bag, added the food coloring and shaken it...and that worked even better!

3. Have your helper add the food coloring. 

How much you add will depend on how much pasta or rice you’re using.

4. Stir the food coloring or shake your plastic bag if you’ve gone with that method. 

Mix until the color is well dispersed! Add more food coloring, if needed.

5. Add a dash of vinegar. 

This helps the pasta/rice dry quicker! I’ve seen recipes that use hand sanitizer instead, but I have a baby who still mouths things and didn’t want to risk it.

6. Lay flat on wax or parchment paper to dry. 

If you can let it dry 24 hours, that's really best. I didn't let the purple rice dry long enough when I made it, and our hands were stained pretty badly when we tried to play!

7. Add to a sensory bin with some cups and spoons. 

Make sure the sensory bin is big enough to play in! That’ll help contain the mess. You may want to put a drop cloth down, too.

8. Enjoy! 

This is the first time that my girls have played with a sensory bin together...and they loved it! You definitely need to supervise if you have a baby/toddler playing, but it can be quite fun!

Thanks again for hosting, Rosie! For more inspiration, feel free to visit us over at http://www.mydomesticmonastery.com/

Thanks so much for the great idea and tutorial, Michele!  When I've done sensory bins in the past, the materials can last for a LONG time so you don't necessarily have to discard and then dye them again - you can keep it in another container for YEARS!  Once your child is beyond the point of mouthing everything, this is a great craft idea, and can also be a great lesson in cleaning up afterwards.

You can discuss with your children why you're making a purple sensory bin - purple is the color of liturgical vestments during Lent (and Advent), to signify the season of preparation.  During Jesus' passion, a purple robe was placed on him in order to mock him, since purple is the color of royalty.  

Looking for more craft ideas? There will be a new one posted every Monday during Lent to help you live the liturgical season with your children!  And they'll all be collected on this post for easy reference.

Come back tomorrow for a (non craft-related) giveaway!  

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