Are you looking for things to teach your one-year-old? This pouring and scooping activity is one of my toddler favorite activity at the time.
This Cereal Sensory Bin is a great activity to practice pouring and scooping because your toddler gets to explore, use his creativity, and not get yelled at for making a mess.
We love to follow some Montessori practices. We have been working on learning how to pour and scoop – a critical one-year-old life skill that will allow him to perfect and master this skill. Later on, he will be able to pour some milk without making a mess.
- Large shower curtain (or something to protect the floor and easy clean up)
- Large plastic bin to catch the cereal and provide a playing area (I have this 15gallon plastic bin from Ikea )
- 1 smaller plastic bin to pour the cereal in (I got two at the dollar store)
- Cereal (Cheerios)
- Cups, measuring spoons, and other toys that encourage scooping and pouring
How to Setup a Cereal Sensory Bin
- Place the shower curtain on the floor where this activity will take place.
- Place a clean towel on the floor under the tub
- Optional – place the bin on top of a diaper box or similar to provide a table feeling vs. playing on the floor.
- Place the smaller bin inside the large bin
- Pour the cereal into a tub (only pour as much as you want to clean up… accidents do happen and as they learn to play with sensory bins, just half a box is enough)
- Add in the fun utensils, cups, funnels, spoons, trucks, etc. if you want, or they can play with just the cereal. I notice that providing the utensils allows for more creativity to happen.
- Let your toddler explore with the tools given. Do not intervene at first, just watch from afar and let his/her imagination run.
- You can intervene to show certain skills and to join the game after around 2-3 minutes.
Play Time! Our Cereal Sensory Play Experience
At first, Manny was interested in feeling the cereal, grabbing full fists and slowly letting the cereal go and seeing where each of the pieces fell. (He was practicing cause and effect)
Then we added some cups and spoons. He then proceeded to play getting as much cereal in the cup as possible through a scooping motion.
By adding additional scooping supplies like measuring spoons for different shape and sizes it allowed the exploration to continue.
His game here was to scoop it with the little spoon and transfer it to the bigger spoon I was holding.
I also provided an ice cube box to practice scooping the cereal and pouring it in each of the smaller sections from the ice cube tray.
Just because we see an activity we like doesn’t mean we can’t do it again. so after a few days, we wanted to play again with the cereal sensory bin. After all, kids love repetition.
I got the cereal out and set up the sensory bin, but I changed the tools I gave him to play with. I added a muffin tin box (the cereal made an interesting noise when it was poured in), a truck, an ice cream scoop, a measuring spoon, and a mixer spoon. This allowed the concept of poring to be practice but the game was changed by changing the tools.
Learning Through Play Opportunities
My toddler had so much fun but also gained so much from this activity as we worked on the Transferring skill
Cereal Sensory Play Bin Learning Concepts:
- Cause and effect
- How to scoop and pour (life skill… later on, they will be pouring themselves their morning orange juice and milk)
- development of their fine motor skills by handling the cereal (pincer grasp)
- Concept of empty and full
Cleanup, Cleanup, everbody Cleanup…
Cleanup is fast, easy and painless.
Want it even easier cleanup option? forget the towel and the shower curtain and just do this activity outside.
- All the cereal that landed on the towel under the bin can be put back into the sensory bin.
- Pour all that cereal back in a ziplock or cereal container so that it can be used again.
- The cereal that has fallen anywhere else, gets swept or vacuumed (or eaten by the dogs) and thrown away.