Valentine’s through your child’s eyes is just so much fun to watch. Sure, there is candy, and Valentine’s Day cards but they love LOVE and that makes my mama heart explode. In order to get my kiddo in the Valentine’s Day spirit I wanted to create a fun and easy sensory bin… and since valentine’s day is filled with sweet treats, I thought I would take a play from my edible Halloween sensory bin and make this one extra tasty too.
Edible Valentine’s Sensory Bin
Perhaps I’ve “ruined” my child from sensory bins, because ever since we made our super delicious edible sensory bin at Halloween, she is constantly asking if we can play with the chocolate “dirt.”
I had some marshmallows that were going bad, and a bag of candy hearts that aren’t that delicious (do you like candy hearts or no?!?) and I bought a bag of “blonde” Oreos, as my daughter calls them, on sale for $1. I figured it was the perfect time to throw it all together for a (dare I call it DELISH) Valentine’s Day sensory bin mashup.
Valentine’s Sensory Bin Filler
To make the sensory bin a little more festive, I added a ¼ cup of crushed freeze dried strawberries blended right along the Oreos. It helped to give the base a little bit of red, perfect for Valentine’s day.
Then I added conversation hearts to the box. These hearts have gotten very “2020” with sayings like “DM me” and “Text me,” it kind of made me feel old!
I sorted through the hearts and picked the ones that have single words on them and made sure to write down the words on a piece of paper (more on that later).
Next, I added in some cute valentines nick-knacks to play with, reusable red muffin tins, red scoops, spoons, ice-cream scoops and small trinkets to mix and mash around the sensory bin.
Before you get learning ALWAYS let your child play as they want in the sensory bin. My daughter decided on her own that this was a cookie and muffin shop and got to work right away making delicious treats.
What is Valentine’s Day with out some cards? My daughter started exchanging letters with a pen-pal this year, and she has become obsessed with receiving mail. I had some odds and ends envelopes laying around so I decided to put them to good use.
Using different shades of pink construction paper, I traced hearts on them of equal sizes.
Then I pulled out that list of candy heart words and wrote them onto the hearts.
Cut the hearts out yourself or ask your child to help you. The more scissor practice they can get, the better. A heart is a very difficult shape to cut out for early cutters, but a great way to practice. We loved these safety scissors when we started working on cutting.
Then, place the hearts into the envelopes. I hid the envelopes around the house and asked her to find them. Next, match her Valentine’s mail with one of the candy hearts in the sensory bin.
If letters or basic sight words are a little too advanced for your kiddo, ask them instead to match the colored heart to the same colored conversation heart. Whatever your child is working on; shapes, sight words, colors etc would work well here.
I exchanged matches for little nibbles! Each time she matched the candy heart to her “mail,” she was able to eat the heart. She worked REALLY hard to make sure she matched them all.
Once she found them all, she went back to making fun muffins, pies and cakes with the sensory bin; taking a nibble here and there (of course). We placed the top on the bin and came back to work on it later in the day, filling her heart with joy, all day long.