“I Spy” never gets old! And using it adds counting (and even addition) to a simple cereal sensory bin for preschooler to practice counting.

Sensory bins are a great opportunity for young kids to explore.

Toddlers love sensory bins, but they often put things in their mouth. Finding edible items for sensory bins is key when you have a toddler in the house!

Cereal is a fantastic edible sensory item. You can also look int your pantry for other alternatives, such as rice or oatmeal.

While my toddler played with a cereal sensory bin, I set up this I Spy counting activity for my preschooler.

What you’ll need for an I Spy Counting Sensory Bin:

  • A tub large enough get their hands into and move objects around in
  • Paper and pen
  • Lots of little objects
  • Glue
  • Dry pantry food

How to prepare this sensory tracing for preschooler:

  1.  Pour dry pantry food into empty tub
  2. On a piece of paper, write numbers 1-12 (or go as high as you have objects for, or as high as your preschooler can count)
  3. Find one object to put in a tub and glue one (of the same object) onto the piece of paper, by the number one. Do this again for number two (two objects in tub, glue one on the paper next to the two) and keep going through all the numbers
  4. Stir objects into the dry pantry food so that they’re all hidden
  5. Set out the I Spy paper next to the sensory bin with hidden objects

Invite your preschooler over to find all the hidden objects in the sensory bin!

My preschool found the objects in order, finding one pipe cleaner first and then moving onto finding two straws and so on. Even if he found the other objects, he didn’t pull them out until he got to that number.

Objects we used to find in the sensory bin:

  • Pipe cleaner (cut in half)
  • Cut up straws
  • Letter stickers
  • Sticker shapes
  • Pom Poms
  • Googly Eyes
  • Paper Clips
  • Buttons
  • Star Stickers
  • Pony Beads

As he got to the larger numbers, it was interested to see the counting happening. As he was looking for five of an item, he’d count how many he found and do the math (without realizing he’s doing the math!) to see how many more he needed to find.

source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/adventures-in-learning/2016/02/spy-counting-sensory-bin/

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