Inside: This valentine sensory bin is a hands-on sensory delight, with frozen hearts of different sizes. We added bug tongs for an extra fine motor challenge that the children loved!
Last year I came up with a fun frozen hearts activity that our preschoolers loved.
This year, while planning for our 2 year olds, I wanted something similar, but more appropriate for their age.
I froze water in different sizes of heart molds and tinted some of them different shades of red, while leaving the others clear.
And for those of you who like an easy clean up, all you do is toss the ice into the sink to melt, wipe down your sensory table, and you’re done!
Disclosure: The Simplay3 In and Out Activity Table was given to me free of charge for a product review. All opinions are my own.
How to Make a Fun Toddler Valentine Sensory Bin with Frozen Hearts
Freezing the water:
We used a few different sizes of heart silicone molds, filling them with water and placing in our freezer.
We also added some red food coloring to some of the hearts.
We love it so much that it’s now a permanent part of our classroom, and was perfect for this sensory activity.
This table has bins on both sides that are perfect for water because they don’t leak.
Before the children arrived, I emptied the trays of ice into both of the side bins.
I love that there is a table that can be placed between the 2 bins, because it was the perfect spot to place the empty ice trays, bug tongs, and a few containers.
As soon as the toddlers noticed the ice hearts in the bin, they were curious. They first used their hands to transport the ice to the trays.
Because I included hearts of different sizes, some of the hearts would not fit.
It took some extra thought to figure out which hearts fit and which ones did not.
Eventually some of the children started using the bug tongs.
Notice how they are still using 2 hands to work them.
As their hands and fingers become stronger, they will eventually use only one hand to open and close the tongs, similar to when using scissors.
After the hearts were moved around a bit, they started melting.
This added a whole new sensory experience!
We ended the activity with quite a bit of liquid in both bins and some fun water play.
Cleaning this activity up was a breeze.
I removed the table that was between the 2 bins.
The bins are super light, so they were easy to lift and empty into our classroom sink.
I rinsed them with water, dried them, and closed the table until we were ready for the next activity.
Watch the video here:
Here’s another fun way to use bug tongs with water:
Learn how to create a color sorter water bin that also strengthens fine motor skills. Toddlers and preschoolers love this scooping, matching, and pouring activity!
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