To prepare this sensory bin I used a clear plastic box, red lentils, a Christmas tree shaped box, green lentils, pine cones, bells, a wooden star, tweezers and little wooden spoons. I had Ethan help me to prepare it, so I placed the tree shaped box into the bin and he helped to pour the red lentils around it and then to scoop the green lentils into the tree box. That gave us the Christmas colours, then we added some bells for sound, pine cones for the smell and the tweezers and spoons to move everything around.
Ethan couldn't wait to get in there and start decorating the tree. I encouraged him to use the tweezers to pick up as many of the items as he could to work on his fine motor control and to place everything on the tree as he would like it to look.
Some of the larger pieces he had to pick up with his fingers to put into place. He enjoyed placing the bells in and making sure that they were fitted in snugly between the lentils. He did pick them up and give them a little shake each time, just to hear them ring.
When it came to the pine cones I encouraged him to smell them and tell me what it reminded him of and to describe the smell for me. This wasn't easy, so it's definitely something that we'll keep working on.
Once he had placed all of the large items in he used the tweezers and the little spoons to pick up a few of the red lentils to sprinkle all around the tree like twinkling lights. He was so proud of himself when he stood back to look at his finished tree!