Treasure Hunt Sensory Play
I have been trying to repurpose the materials we have on hand as much as possible. I thought the thistle seed from Rosie's Dora the Explorer small world would make a perfect base for a treasure hunt sensory bin. If you are not familiar with thistle seed, it is an amazing sensory material. I just happened by it one day in Walmart, and decided to give it a try for sensory play. I am so glad I did! It is wild bird feed. The grains are very tiny, and feel like silk upon your fingers. They are quite fun to manipulate, and are great for filling and dumping. They are dark brown, and can easily substitute as dirt during play.
This activity was so simple to set up, and Rosie LOVED it! I already had the bin filled with thistle seed, and just hid the colored coins through out the seed. I also hid some festive beads, and a shamrock necklace. I added a pot perfect for collecting the gold, which I also found at The Dollar Tree.
I set out a shovel, a magnifying glass, a flash light, and a cup to give Rosie a variety of objects to explore the bin with. As soon as Rosie saw the bin, she went right to digging. While she used the shovel some, she preferred finding the treasure with her hands.
And the only way to dig for treasure is while wearing a rainbow dress of course ;)
Rosie was so excited each time she found a coin, and loved gathering them together in the black pot.
Then she found the shamrock necklace! She LOVED how it lit up and thought it was the coolest thing.
Exploring with the magnifying glass
Rosie would collect all the coins and then dump them back into the seed so that she could find them again.
She enjoyed burying the coins and hiding them from herself just as much as she enjoyed finding them.
Filling and dumping
Once Rosie had tired of playing in the bin, I found one last way to extend the activity. As she held her pot of gold, I asked her to show me different colored coins. This was a simple and quick way to sneak in a bit of color reinforcement.