It’s no secret that preschoolers need sensory input. It’s also no secret that preschoolers love to celebrate holidays. So combine the two with this Pots O Gold St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin designed just for preschoolers!
Pots O’ Gold St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your preschool? Or do you get to celebrate?
I know some preschools don’t allow for the celebration of holidays, which is always when I try to bend the rules just a little bit. Not too much, but maybe just a tiny bit.
Maybe not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe we celebrate green and gold. Or rainbows. Even as an in-home preschool provider, I still have to be sensitive to families who may not celebrate all holidays or the same holidays as myself.
So with parent permission, I might bend the rules just a tiny bit.
Because St. Patrick’s Day is such a fun holiday to celebrate! You can go small or go all out.
One of my favorite ways to introduce any holiday is with sensory play! And look how inviting this St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin is with all it’s green and gold glory! It was the perfect way to start our St. Patrick’s activities this March!
St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin for Preschoolers
With just a few materials, most of them being from the Dollar Store, this is a simple sensory bin to put together for St. Patrick’s Day!
You may need to order these items, they will be time sensitive since they’re holiday items, but a local Dollar Store will have what you’re looking for!
- gold coins (green coins optional)
- green Mardi Gras necklaces
- gold Mardi Gras necklaces
- little black pots
- green and yellow dyed rice
- gold acrylic table scatter gems
- small scoops
How to Set Up St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin
Fill your sensory bin or sensory table with green and yellow dyed rice. This recipe by Fun-a-Day is my favorite. You don’t need a lot of rice, just about an inch to cover the bottom of the bin at most.
I lined up the little black pots along one side of the bin and filled those posts with the Mardi Gras necklaces. If you cannot find any little black pots around St. Patrick’s Day, then check your Halloween supplies or be sure to stick up this fall when they come around the dollar stores.
Sprinkle the gold gems in the shape of a rainbow. I love these this table scatter and think they take the sensory bin to the next level. From ok to awesome!
Finally, scatter the gold coins about the bin and add a few small scoops. I just used old baby formula scoops I’d collected from parents, but small party scoops are fun, too!
Sensory Play for St. Patrick’s Day
Sensory bins give kids the opportunity to play with different textures, discover new objects, and experiment with different materials.
There are several ways to go about this exercise. Free play is a great way to see just how these little ones work. It’s fun to hear their imaginations take over. It builds creativity, and the ability to use different ideas and motor skills.
Your preschoolers will naturally know how to approach this brightly colored green and gold sensory bin!
My little boys dove in, mixing up all the sensory bin fillers. They emptied the black pots and filled them again with beads or gold gems until they were overflowing. They loved the sound of the rice as it fell into the bin while they turned the pots upside down. One of my boys said the rice tickled his hands as it fell through his fingers.
There is a lot of fine motor work that comes along with play in a sensory bin or sensory table. Your preschoolers will get lots of practice in turning their wrists as they scoop and pour.
They will get extra practice using their pincer grasp as they add gems to the pots.
And even young preschoolers or toddlers work on fine motor skills as they scoop up anything that comes in the way of their black pots.
Extending the St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin
If you are questioning if your preschoolers are engaged in the right way, you can ask them some questions as they play to challenge their exploration.
- Let’s count how many gems can fit into a black pot. How many do you think will fit?
- How many black pots did you find? What can you fill them with?
- What do you think these necklaces are for? (My little boys used them as snacks, of course!)
- Do you see what happens when we hold the gold gems up to the light? It’s like real gold at the end of a rainbow!
Sensory play is appropriate for all toddlers and preschoolers with appropriate supervision. (Be sure to watch toddlers closely as they might still put things into their mouths).
My preschoolers loved burying things and digging them out, placing them in rows, and then tossing them back in. This St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin has been one of our most popular sensory bins of all! I imagine this bin just might stay out well past our favorite green and gold holiday!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.
love your sensory bin. I would have never thought of the rice. Thank you!