With 3 of the 5 of us sick, our at-home Sunday morning consisted of Sensory Play! We occasionally do sensory play. I even have tons of stuff for it. But sensory play often equals messy play which freaks this OCD-ish mom out!
When Little Bins for Little Hands, a blogging friend, sent out an invitation to join in her 40 Sensory Bin Fillers Collaborative Series, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to stretch us me and get some sensory play going! And I have to say, it was great! At least 40 minutes of quiet play and quality time together! We explored, asked questions, learned through play, and worked on fine motor skills all at once!
Our sensory tub filler choice… harvested corn!
My husband’s family farms corn and soybeans. So during our visit at harvest time last year, we asked Grandma CC to load us up! And she did with a 4-gallon tote that even included some corn cobs! So I filled up the boys’ bins with 64+ ounces of corn, pulled out an array of farm toys and scoops, and we went to town!
We first started with exploring the corn with just hands. The boys have played with corn at Grandma CC’s, but sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with their cousins gives more giggles and pretend play than exploration. So we started from scratch.
Dig down in the corn with your hands. What does the corn feel like? Ethan was obviously tickled with this as he’s never played with corn before. And he seemed to like Daddy pouring the corn in his hand and in between his fingers. Other observations, Dylan said, “It’s so hard I can’t crack it!” and Connor commented on how dusty it is (chaff).
Now feel the cob? How does it feel? What can you do with it? The boys thought the cobs felt pokey, but they made great stirs, paintbrushes, and Dylan even said if you stand the cob up, it looks like a Christmas tree.
Then we let them pick their toys and go to town. Connor started with his combine because its what he’s seen his cousins do. However, the empty soda bottles quickly became the favorite exploration toy and challenge! Daddy showed the boys that when they tilt their soda bottle at an angle, if the corn missed the bottle opening, it would stay in the bin rather than fall to the floor. It also seemed to make it easier for the boys to actually pour the corn from their little cups into the bottle.
I will say that both my hubby and I were surprised the farm equipment wasn’t a bigger hit, although it did make a comeback later. Daddy even came up with the idea of using the corn head from the combine as a comb to spread or rake up the corn.
All three boys were so very serious during their playtime. They were so thoughtful and intent on playing. It was interesting to watch them and a little refreshing seeing them so involved in play. Although… I do have to add in a few fun bloopers:
Connor got corn up his sleeve! He seems to get lots of things stuck in his shirt sleeves and it always makes me giggle watching him wiggle it out.
And Ethan was so busy two-handed scooping and playing that he pushed the scoops together so hard that it caused a corn explosion… all. over. the. floor.!
Thankfully, my knight and shining armor was there to find our floor for us again! (Love that man!)
I was impressed with the boys’ observations as they played:
Dylan: “Mommy, this sounds like our pasta when I pour it out.” (We also have a permanent pasta sensory bin that the boys love to scoop & play construction trucks in.)
Connor: “If you put a lid on this bottle of corn, it could be a shaker!”
Ethan’s reactions were “Look, Mommy! Mommy! Look!”
Needless to say, unless you already have harvested corn, you’ll have to wait til fall to create this great sensory play activity. So… make sure to pin this in Pinterest and revisit this super sensory idea in September! Our entire family enjoyed our sensory play this morning and the quality time it gave us together!
For more corn sensory bin activities, check out these post from these other great kid bloggers: