In our last post we talked about creating a Valentine’s Day sensory bin. We specifically outlined a variety of different items that could be placed in the bin. Today we want to discuss some vocabulary that can be used during this sensory play.
Verbs: look, see, find, dig, move, push, pull, put, help, need/want
Model use of a variety of action words during this activity. Particularly if your child is searching for a specific item, you can model phrases like, “I want help.” to decrease their frustration. If you are not simply exploring the bin and have a purpose behind your play, the word, put, will come in handy. The picture above depicts our task: searching for letters to complete a puzzle. There were plenty of opportunities to discuss the proper location to put a letter. Since many sensory bin activities involve exploring the bin, you can model phrases such as:
I see __________.
Let’s move the grass to find _______.
What did you find? Let’s pull it out!
Push the puzzle piece to make it fit. (If you are doing a puzzle completion task! If not you could still, “Push items around the bin.”).
Adjectives: pink, red, white (any other color words appropriate) shiny, sparkly, bumpy, smooth, pointy.
The specific describing words you model will depend on the contents of your bin. In general, remember that modeling as many adjectives as possible will give your child access to a rich vocabulary. Just try to describe each item you or your child plays with during the bin activity.
Prepositions: in, on, under, behind, over,
Remember that this play is meant to be fun. Many kiddos have a difficult time mastering use of prepositions but can demonstrate understanding of positional words long before they can use them! For this reason you may want to skip questioning your kiddo about the locations of items during play because you don’t want to increase frustration. Instead simply comment on the location of items to reinforce the concept of positional words. (I.e. I see something under the grass. Let’s scoop it out!)
Questions: What, where
During play you can model many different types of questions with other target words, such as:
Remember that if your child is still working towards responding to questions, you can model appropriate answers to your own questions (i.e. Where is the bumpy ball? Oh, here it is! Under the pink grass.)
Most importantly, remember to have fun with it! Your child may want to use the bin in a different way than you had initially planned. That is okay! You can still provide language models and practice use of the target vocabulary above! Check out the pictures we took during play. While the Paw Patrol was not a planned part of this activity, this kiddo was much more engaged in the task when they assisted him in finding letters. If we, as parents, try to control too many aspects of play, our child may lose interest! It’s important to try to be flexible and prepare ourselves mentally for this because often our kiddo does not want to play with something the way we planned.