Saturday, June 21, 2014

Flower Sensory Bin & Fine Motor Activity for Kids

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A flower sensory bin with real flowers. A great fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers to sneak in some cutting practice and work on scissor skills.

For my 30th birthday, my best friend surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. When they began to wilt, I felt kind of guilty just throwing them out. So, me being me, I figured I could come up with some kind of sensory activity for the kids using the flowers. 

You might as well reuse the flowers for some kind of fun activity for the kids before they head to the compost bin, right?

I decided to cut off the majority of the stems. Then I used the flowers and leaves to make this beautiful spring sensory bin.

But I took it one step further and added some tools to encourage some fine motor practice because I personally love sensory bin ideas that incorporate other skills.

So if you're looking for flower sensory activities, you might want to give this flower sensory bin a try. It's so pretty and inviting, making it a perfect spring activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

Flower sensory bin with real flowers + fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Flower Sensory Bin & Fine Motor Activity: What You'll Need

For this spring garden sensory bin, I used:

  • Colorful flowers and leaves from a bouquet (one that was already wilting) - I cut off or shortened most of the stems before adding them to this sensory bin
  • Scissors for cutting practice - You could also include craft punches. Or you could turn this activity into a planting flowers sensory bin, encouraging kids to cut the stems before planting.
  • Tongs to work on fine motor skills - Tongs are always a fun addition to a sensory bin!
Simply toss all the flowers and leaves into a large plastic container to make this sensory bin. Next, add some fine motor tools. Then it's ready for some fine motor scissor practice.

Spring sensory bin with fresh flowers

Flower sensory play activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Reuse Fresh Flowers to Practice Scissor Skills & Work on Fine Motor Skills!

Playing with fresh flowers itself is quite the sensory experience what with all those different colors, smells, and textures. So you could certainly just put together this activity as flower garden sensory bin and leave it at that. My boys, however, really wanted an excuse to cut stuff and practice their fine motor skills. So I followed their lead.

My youngest K, for instance, really enjoyed using the tongs to explore this garden sensory play activity. He spent the bulk of his time picking up leaves and flowers from the bin. Pinching and squeezing tongs is a great way to build those hand muscles.

Working on fine motor skills using tongs in a spring garden sensory bin

J, on the other hand, favored the scissors. He went to town cutting the flowers and leaves. After all, cutting up real flower petals and stems is so much more exciting than cutting paper over and over.

Fine motor scissor skills practice with leaves

Flower cutting practice with real flowers

Quick side note here...One thing that I have always noticed that J does when cutting, is that he opens and closes his mouth in rhythm with the scissors. The photo below captures exactly that. Scissors are open and so is his mouth. Cute, right? I also adore this photo for many reasons, right down to his gorgeous eyelashes and the lips that remind me of his newborn baby photos. But anyway, you're hear to read about spring sensory bins not my adorable child...

Kid practicing cutting skills with fresh flowers

Okay now moving on from my sentimental mushiness, I'll leave you with this gorgeous array of freshly cut flower petals, leaves, and stems.  A colorful fine motor work of art. 

Spring flower sensory bin for kids

Other Ways to Extend the Play with Spring Flowers

Once you're done with this fun garden sensory bin, you could reuse the cut flower pieces for other activities. 

For instance, you could make a flower soup sensory bin using water and the cut up flowers. Or maybe you could create some art by sticking the cut up pieces and flower petals to a piece of contact paper. You could also try painting with the flowers or doing some kind of flower science experiment. 

As you can see the possibilities are endless. There are clearly lots of different ways to play with wilting flowers and this flower sensory bin is just one fun idea. I know my kids loved it and I think your kids will too.

More Sensory Bin Ideas You'll Love

Flower sensory bin for toddlers and preschool kids - a great way to work on fine motor skills too!