What kid doesn't love exploring with magnets? Other than our magnet letters we really haven't played too much with magnets together. So I ordered some magnetic wands and this week's Sensory Summer theme was all about magnets!

If you want to gather all of your materials you start, we found almost everything  we needed at Target, The Dollar Tree or on Amazon. Here are all the materials we used:

**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**
This summer fill your sensory bin with pipe cleaner shapes, water and use magnetic wands to play and explore! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Magnet Shapes:
We started out magnet week exploring with magnet shapes and water.  To make the shapes I cut pipe cleaners into pieces and bent them into basic shapes. The my girls used their new magnetic wands to stir the water and pick up shapes. I always like to sneak in some basic skills, so this was a great way to practice naming shapes and colors too! We found that bigger shapes were much harder to pick up, so keep that in mind when creating your pipe cleaner shapes.
This summer fill your sensory bin with magnetic bingo chips, water and get ready for lots of fun and exploration! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Magnet Chips:
After rescuing all of the pipe cleaner shapes, I poured a bag of magnetic bingo chips into our bin full of water and the girls were happy to explore more.  The bingo chips are MUCH more magnetic than the pipe cleaners so it was fun to experiment with how many we could pick up at one time, and also trying to pick up just one chip or color.
This summer make alphabet soup with magnetic letters, magnet wands, water and get ready for lots of fun and exploration! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Magnet Letters:
Next up, it was time for a little alphabet soup! All I did was switch out the bingo chips for magnet letters, easy peasy. I'm telling you, I LOVE that these little magnetic wands have grabbed my girls interest. Not to mention they are loving the combination of magnets and water on our hot summer days this week.
This summer fill your sensory bin with frozen bingo chips, magnet wands, and water and get ready for lots of fun and exploration! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Magnetic Ice:
After the girls finished playing with the magnetic bingo chips, I threw them in some shape ice trays, covered them with water and froze them overnight.  Then I threw them in our bin full of water and let the girls try to pick up the magnetic ice cubes.  I forgot to refill the bin with cold water though and they melted super fast... So if you leave your bin outside and the water gets all warm in the sun, I'd definitely recommend refilling with cold water or your ice play will be super short like ours, oops!
This summer go fishing for shapes with this sensory bin! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Magnet Fishing:
I ordered this magnetic fishing pole set on Amazon, but it didn't come in time or this week's sensory bin, so I improvised with a plastic fishing poles from our little fishing game, and magnet clips from our refrigerator.  Then I added a few paper clips to some foam shapes to make "fish." Our magnet clips are the extra strong kind which made this activity easy and fun for both girls to enjoy.
This summer fill your sensory bin with Magnatiles and get ready for lots of fun and exploration! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Magnet Letter Building:
We bought these Magnatiles for the girls for Christmas and they still get played with almost daily around here. I am always trying to find new ways to get the most out of our toys (especially when they are a little pricey like these Magnatiles) so we threw them in our bin along with pouch lids and pom poms for some color. Madelynn and I tried to build letters while Aubrey practiced sticking the tiles together and sabotaging our letter building attempts.
Spice up your puzzle play with this magnetic puzzle sensory bin search. This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Magnet Puzzle Hunt:
I noticed that our Melissa & Doug puzzles had little metal knobs on them so I though we'd try those out in our bin for a little puzzle hunt. I kept the pouch lids and pom poms in the bin and hid the puzzle pieces underneath.  The girls stirred around with their magnetic wands to find the pieces. They were a little tricky to pick up because the metal piece is so small, but practicing patience is always a good thing!
Fill your sensory bin with magnetic counters, pouch lids and pom poms and have fun sorting with this sensory bin. This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Magnet Colors:
After finding all the puzzle pieces I threw our foam magnet counters into the bin.  The girls used their magnetic wands to find the counters and then sort them into circles I drew on the ground with sidewalk chalk.
Sort shapes with this Magnatile sensory bin, a perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Magnet Shapes:
Using our Magnatiles again, I traced the different shapes on the ground with chalk. Then I threw them all back in the bin and the girls tried to sort, match and stack each different shape.
This summer fill your sensory bin with magnetic and non magnetic items then sort away! This is the perfect outdoor activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Magnetic Sort
And finally, magnet week wouldn't be complete without a magnetic/not magnetic sort, right? So for our outdoor version I drew 2 big circles on the ground with chalk and wrote yes/no above each circle. Then, I threw everything we've used all week into our bin. Aubrey was definitely too young for this one, but Madelynn enjoyed exploring and testing all of the items in the bin that we've used this week and sorting them into the circles.

Do you have fun magnet themed activities you love to do with your kids? I'd love to hear them!

If you missed our  previous themes, you can catch up here:

This summer we are spending a whole week at a time using the same sensory bin full of materials and coming up with different ways to play every day. See you next week when we explore, play, and get learn with...magnets!  Here are the themes and plans coming your way all summer long:

This fall I filled our sensory bin with shredded paper for the first time and discovered that it was a really fun, engaging, (and easy!) sensory bin filler. So this week's Sensory Summer bin was filled with....paper! I chose red, white and blue for our colors since it was Independence Day on Tuesday but you could really use any color you choose.

If you want to gather all of your materials you start, we found almost everything  we needed at Target, The Dollar Tree or on Amazon. Here are all the materials we used:

**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Empty Wipe Containers
Empty Water Bottles
Glue Sticks
Dot Markers
Construction Vehicles
Hand Broom and Dust Pan
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Paper Stuffing:
What kid doesn't love pulling every single wipe out of the wipe container? I know my kids can't be alone on this one.  So to start out our paper themed bin I stuffed small squares of colored tissue paper into wipe containers for my girls to pull out. And filled our our under bed clear storage bin with Astrobright paper that I ran through our paper shredder. The girls pulled the tissue paper out and stuffed it back in over and over again. Lots of great fine motor practice and good clean fun!
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
{MORE} Paper Stuffing:
For some really good fine motor practice we used the paper shreds and stuffed them into water bottles for really pretty decorations for our fourth of July party.  Later we added a few pony beads to make them into noise makers as well.
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Paper Cutting:
A sensory bin filled with paper is just begging to be used for scissor practice, so one day while little miss was sleeping, Madelynn took out her scissors and we practice cutting up pieces of tissue paper into tiny bits!
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Paper Tearing:
And when cutting gets frustrating, it usually leads to Madelynn tearing and ripping the paper apart.  This was a great opportunity to indulge her desire and crumple, tear, and scrunch to her heart's content.
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Paper Puzzle Search:
After the paper was all cut up and mixed together it made a great base to hide puzzle pieces in. We used our Foam Alphabet Puzzle but you could really use any puzzles you have around.  Just hide the pieces in the bin then hunt and find them to complete the puzzle.
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Paper Sorting:
For this activity, I pulled out our colored plastic star trays and Madelynn crumpled and sorted the colors onto each of the stars. 
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Paper Collages:
Once our paper was really well cut up and played with, we used it to make some collages using scissorsglue sticks, and dot markers. No real end product in mind here, Madelynn just created her own little design.
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
 Paper Construction Zone:
My girls never seem to pull out cars to play on their own, been whenever I bring them out as an invitation to play, they are super engaged! They used this set of construction vehicles to dig, fill and dump the paper pieces and shreds.
Practice fine motor skills with this paper filled sensory bin! This is a perfect activity for summer tot school, preschool, or kindergarten!
Paper Sweeping:
For our last activity I definitely needed a lot of help cleaning up the paper shreds that were every.where. The girls always want to help with sweeping, but regular brooms are too much to manage so I grabbed these hand brooms and dust pans so they could help without knocking each other out with the broom handles. Win-Win.

Paper Making:
Finally we ran out of time this week for our last activity, but I planned to make homemade paper with all of our paper bin filler. Here is a great tutorial if you want to try it yourself. I'm going to save our paper and try it out the next time we are looking for something to keep busy!

Have you made paper with your kids? I'd love to hear how it went!

If you missed our  previous themes, you can catch up here:

This summer we are spending a whole week at a time using the same sensory bin full of materials and coming up with different ways to play every day. See you next week when we explore, play, and get learn with...magnets!  Here are the themes and plans coming your way all summer long:

This week's Sensory Summer bin was filled with....Cloud Dough! We love this stuff for so many reasons! 
  1. It's ridiculously EASY to make (8 cups flour + 1 cup veg. oil)
  2. It's taste safe (not yummy, but safe!)
  3. It has a smooth and fluffy texture but holds shapes when you press it.
  4. And of course it is MESSY (Okay so I don't love this part, but my kiddos do, so it is perfect for summer when I can take the whole bin outside and not worry about clean up!)
If you want to gather all of your materials you start, we found almost everything else we needed at Target, The Dollar Tree or on Amazon. Here are all the materials we used:

**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Cloud Dough Cupcakes:
We started out the week by mixing up a big batch of cloud dough in our Under Bed Clear Storage Bin. I use the ratio of 8 cups flour to 1 cup  vegetable oil for our cloud dough.  To fill the bin with lots of cloud dough for the week I made 4 batches so we surely wouldn't run out from lots of spills throughout the week.  Then we made a pretend cupcake shop with plastic cupcake holdersbirthday candleswooden spoonsrolling pinwhisksmeasuring spoons, and measuring cups. The girls had lots of fun baking and singing happy birthday while pretending for this activity.
 Cloud Dough Ice Cream Shop:
For this activity, I switched out the cupcake supplies for this sand toy ice cream set. Madelynn scooped and served me ice cream all afternoon. 
 Cloud Dough Castles:
Next up, we build sandcastles with our fluffy cloud dough and sand castle molds.  The girls loved the difference in texture from regular sand castle building And I loved that I didn't need to hose the kids down afterwards like I do when they play in the sandbox.
 Cloud Dough Cookies:
Another baking themed activity we tried was making cookies. Madelynn pressed the cloud dough into mini cookie cutters and placed them on mini baking pans before baking them in the sun.  They didn't stay together too well after popping them out of the molds, but we still had fun mixing, measuring and making all the shapes.
 Cloud Dough Colors:
I've been wanting to try dying our cloud dough for a while but I was nervous about staining so I figured summer was a perfect time to give it a go.  I sprinkled powdered food coloring a little at a time into small amounts of cloud dough until I got the color I wanted.  I used my hands to mix and barely had any color rub off on them. The little bit of color that was left on my hands easily washed out and the same with the girls clothes, so win-win.  The girls loved mixing and experimenting with the colors until everything turned to kind of a gray color in the end.
 Cloud Dough Measuring and Mixing:
For this simple activity the girls used measuring spoons and measuring cups to experiment with sizes. Madelynn and I talked about predicting how many spoonfuls it would take to fill the cups and Aubrey scooped, mixed and stirred away.
 Cloud Dough Shovels and Rakes:
For this activity I pulled out a few of our sand shovels and rakes and we raked and smoothed the cloud dough out.  It was actually quite relaxing like raking a zen garden.  A good change of pace from some of the more active play activities we did this week.
  Cloud Dough Tracks:
To make tracks in our play dough we first pressed and packed the dough down on the bottom of our bin to make a nice base. Then we added our construction vehicles and toy cars to experiment with different kinds of tracks. This also led to lots of digging and building a mountain to drive the cars down.
   Cloud Dough Tea Party:
What kid doesn't love a good tea party? All you need are some play dishes and a little imagination.  Luckily the dough is taste safe just in case your littlest ones decide to take a nibble like mine ;)
Cloud Dough Volcano:
Finally when we finished all of our other activities we were ready for some REALLY messy fun with our cloud dough. First, I mixed in LOTS of baking soda. I didn't measure it, but the more you add the bigger the reaction, so you be the judge on how much you want to use.  Then I gave the girls a few cups with vinegar and eye droppers. We started out by gently adding a few drops at a time to see what would happen then Madelynn progressed to dumping cups full of vinegar for huge fizzy rivers of fun.

Have you tried cloud dough with your kids? I'd love to hear your creative ideas for this sensory bin favorite, leave me a message with your favorite way to play!

If you missed our  previous themes, you can catch up here:

This summer we are spending a whole week at a time using the same sensory bin full of materials and coming up with different ways to play every day. See you next week when we explore, play, learn and get messy with...PAPER!  Here are the themes and plans coming your way all summer long:





Confession: I'm a pouch lid hoarder...Anyone else with me? I don't know about you but we go through food pouches in this house like crazy, especially in the summer when we are always in the car needing quick and easy snacks on the go. This means we have tons of those little circle tops everywhere!! So this week our #sensorysummer bin is filled with pouch lids!

If you want to gather all of your materials you start, we found almost everything else we needed at Target or on Amazon. Here are all the materials we used:

**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Lots of Food Pouch Lids
Colored Cups
Colored Bowls
Lacing String
Sidewalk Chalk
Empty Wipe Tubs
Under Bed Clear Storage Bin
Squirt Guns
 Pouch Lid Sorting:
We started out the week by throwing all the pouch lids I've been hoarding in our under bed clear storage bin with a little bit of water since it was a hot, sunny day.  Then we used this set of colored cups to sort them by color. I added in a few slotted spoons to make scooping and grabbing lids a bit more challenging too.
Pouch Lid Counting:
For this activity I wrote the numbers 1-10 on the ground with sidewalk chalk and placed a colored bowl above each of the numbers.  Madelynn counted out the corresponding number of lids for each one to make a little number line.
  Pouch Lid Stacking:
Next up we did some lid stacking. We had 2 different types of lids in our bin and we experimented with stacking the same type and different types mixed together to see what worked best. Even Miss Aubrey was able to stack a few independently before knocking them down.
 Pouch Lid Patterns:
We haven't worked with patterns much so I did a lot of modeling here to help Madelynn get the concept. I started with a few AB lid patterns and asked her to finish them.  Then I made an AAB pattern for her to finish.  She started to get the idea, but we definitely could use more pattern work!
 Pouch Lid Threading:
Our pouch lids had the perfect size little openings for threading with lacing string.  This was a bit too small for Aubrey's little 1 year old fine motor skills, so I threaded a few for her and tied the ends together.  She had fun sliding the lids back and forth on her "necklace" while Madelynn worked hard to fill her entire string.
 Pouch Lid Number Writing:
For this activity I wrote numbers 1-5 on the ground with sidewalk chalk and Madelynn built each one with lids. Aubrey tried to help too, but mostly drove Madelynn crazy by picking them up and moving them around. Gotta love little sisters right? 
 Pouch Lid Stuffing:
Another thing I just can't seem to toss are those empty wipe containers.  You just never know when you'll need them for some fine motor fun ;)  This activity was simple. Grab, stuff, repeat.  Madelynn made it into a little race to see if she could fill hers faster than Aubrey. I'll let you guess who won...
 Pouch Lid Racing:
For this activity we took all the lids out of our under bed clear storage bin and filled it with water Next, we each picked a color and placed it on one end of the bin.  Then, we used water blaster squirt guns to suck up water and try to spray our lid to the other side. I had to help Aubrey get started but the water blasters we found at Target were super easy to push and spray so she was able to it mostly independently.
 Pouch Lid Art:
This activity was perfectly open ended. I invited the girls to create their own pictures with lids and modeled a few ideas to get them started.  Madelynn made shapes and Aubrey liked filling them in.  They worked together to make a house, sun, cloud, and flower.
 Pouch Lid Rainbow:
Definitely my favorite activity of the week because it just turned out so gorgeous! I drew the lines with chalk for the girls to sort and build this beautiful rainbow.  I really didn't want to take it down when they finished!

Do you have a million pouch lids laying around too? I'd love to hear your creative pouch lid ideas, leave me a message with your favorite way to play!

If you missed our  previous themes, you can catch up here:
Sensory Summer

This summer we are spending a whole week at a time using the same sensory bin full of materials and coming up with different ways to play every day. Next week we will be playing with one of my favorites...CLOUD DOUGH!  Here are the themes and plans coming your way all summer long:




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