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Insect and Spider Sensory Bins for preschoolers and toddlers
In preschool, the bugs and spiders unit is typically done in the Spring… but I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait that long to get this unit started in our own preschool co-op! I already shared our Spiderweb Web Craft and am ready to share another activity we did for this theme: Sensory bins! Well, they were mini-sensory bins because I just used plastic shoeboxes instead of a big sensory bin container like these.
Supplies:

I used three shoeboxes and filled each with a sensory material (beans and peas, pom poms, and shredded paper). Then I added the insects to each bin: spiders in the shredded paper bin (I thought it looked like spider webs), insect erasers and pencils in the pom poms, and ants in the peas/beans mixture.

I also made a sign for each bin with what to look for, but this is optional 🙂
Sensory Bin ideas for preschoolers
The bins could easily be used as-is just for exploration with no directions (that’s how my toddlers prefer it),

Insect and Spider Sensory Bins!
but they can also be used for fine motor/counting/matching practice. 
Those little spiders took a lot of fine motor skills to untangle from their “webs”!
My older son’s FAVORITE activity is playing with the ants. We counted them a few times, but he mostly like burying and unburying them with his bare hands (sensory materials are always a hit with him. He kept exclaiming that the beans felt “coldy”).
He didn’t care so much for the finding the erasers and matching them on the pencils, but I know there were other munchkins who enjoyed this one most! 
These pictures all came from the day after our co-op. We’ve continued to take out these bins every day since then and my son is still requesting them! During the co-op, I noticed some kids came back to this activity over and over again. It’s a great activity to have available for a full week, as kids like to explore it multiple times. And each time they seem to find a new way to play with it (playing pretend with the insects, mixing the insects into different bins, counting, matching, singing insect songs with them, etc.) 
Speaking of singing insect songs, I can’t wait to share our Baby Bumblebees and the classic song that we sang with them! Come back soon to check that out 🙂

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