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Earth Day Scent-sory Bin

I'm new to sensory bins, so I may not have "done it right." I provided my toddler with natural elements with an emphasis on the sense of smell: flowers, grass, lavender, rosemary, mint, spring onions and purple garlic. (Perfect for my  Making Something Out Of Nothing series leading up to Earth Day - a sensory bin from our own backyard).

The scent component didn't really captivate him, but seemed more like something he did to appease his mother. What attracted him was the possibility of putting the items in a bucket of water to create a pond. (We went on a nature hike Sunday and the pond made a big impression). 

After emptying the bin of everything except the sand, he decided he needed more flowers for it and began picking flowers from the yard to add to the pond creating a truly lovely pond that the baby had to explore too. 

I always love it when I plan an activity, then my little guy takes it in a whole other direction. Aside from the pond creation, he also got really excited about bees. At first, it confused me. Then, his toddler talk made sense - "the bees and the flowers, Mommy." I thought, and then figured it out. In a Thomas the Train story, Thomas loses the bees he is hauling because he drives near a field full of flowers. So, for him a sensory bin full of flowers made him think of bees -- and a toddler science lesson is born! Love it!! 

On the list for my next library trip (real one, not pretend) is to get a children's book about bees collecting pollen. If you have any recommendations, send my way via a comment.

Oh, and check out this great sensory spice painting activity that explores scent and taste from Make, Do and Friend. So cool!  

Shared this at: Montessori Monday       

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  1. It looks like your son had a lot of fun with this scent-sory bin! I know what you mean about an activity taking a different direction. I love seeing what my little guy will do with the materials provided. I found you through the co-op...sharing this on my facebook page! :)

    Gina @famiglia&seoul

  2. This looks lovely. I let my son play with flowers the other day, but I hadn't thought of putting them in water

  3. I too love it when the kids take everything in a new, and even more exciting, direction! They are so good at that, and then we just get to play along :) What a beautiful pond!!

  4. What a great sensory bin!! I love the pond your son created. I am sharing this on my FB page!

  5. What a beautiful place to play!

    Thank you for linking to Outside Play: Water.

  6. Great idea for a sensory bin ... and I love the way you followed your son! I pinned your post and featured it at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at

  7. Seemi @ Trillium MontessoriApril 15, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    What a wonderful sensory bin!

    Seemi @ Trillium Montessori

  8. I just featured your post and photo in my Montessori-Inspired Flower Activity post at

  9. I love the elements you included in your bin, and I think it's great that you followed your son's lead when he was more interested in adding them to water. Often my kids remind me that they have different plans for activities I come up with...and most of the time their ideas are even better than mine! Thanks for linking this post to Discover and Explore. I hope you'll be back to share for our museum and fine arts theme this week.

  10. What a delightful sensory activity!!!


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