Parents ask me all the time in Storytime where I get my ideas for our crafts and our sensory bins. While I would love to claim all responsibility for the creativity and educational value of these things, I have to almost always answer . . . Pinterest!
Well, not totally I guess. I begin by choosing a theme. Having a theme helps me find material, and it also exposes your child to a vast array of information about a certain subject. For instance, if our storytime theme is cows, the children are really learning about cows! After I choose a theme I find age appropriate books. I work with two-year-olds and they seem to enjoy short, rhyming books with good illustrations. Next I’m off to Pinterest!
A simple search in Pinterest’s database for “cow sensory bins” will come up with dozens of ideas. I may not follow these ideas exactly. In fact I enjoy making the ideas my own and using some of the great materials we have available here. I’m sure some of you have seen our storytime farm animals which I mixed with some hay that we had available in our sensory cupboards! We do the same with the craft. A “cow craft” search comes up with endless ideas. I like to do paper plate cows with faces and tails for the littles to glue on as well as giving them the sensory experience of using our paint daubers to put some black spots on their cows! I’m sure I saw this idea on Pinterest and added the paint dauber part myself because I love how much the two-year-olds love anything to do with the paint daubers!
Pinterest is an amazing tool for youth services librarians, early educators and parents who want to enhance their children’s early literacy experience. I still want you to come to storytime but you should check out sensory ideas on Pinterest! (If you have time to be sucked into the void 🙂