Friday, June 21, 2013

Little Blue Truck Sensory Bin

Munchkin absolutely loves the book Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. He does like the animals in it, but his main focus is on the trucks. He adores cars and trucks and has a handful of them that he carries around all day. Whenever we are switching activities, he has to gather up all his cars and bring them over so that they are always near him. At night when I clean out his pockets there is normally a Hot Wheels car tucked away. And if the activity has anything to do with cars, he is completely focused and doesn't lose interest.

So of course I had to create a sensory bin inspired by his favourite book!

I used plain white rice as the base of the sensory bin. I didn't want to add beans or trees or anything to make the bin more complicated. The important part was the mud, which is his favourite part of the book. I used fresh coffee grounds flattened out on top of the rice to create the lovely mud puddle. The great thing about these two materials is that after the bin is done being played with I can sift out the coffee grounds and reuse them for another activity (which will probably be used for this bin again).

We added the animals from the story using our Down on the Farm Mega TOOBS from Safari Ltd. Since the toad had to be a "mighty" toad, we used a big green frog that we got from a party pack. The hen stayed at home in the barn because Bean said she was busy laying eggs so she could eat eggs again for breakfast. Daddy Rooster came to help instead, since he's stronger. So altogether we have a toad (frog), sheep, cow, pig, chicken (rooster), a chick, goat, horse and duck.

Along with a Little Blue Truck (Munchkin insisted on using his small monster truck, because he likes the way it "bumps" around when he drives it) and a Dump Truck.

The crew was all here, but we really needed something else... A road to guide the trucks!

We had a big brown paper bag sitting around, so I used one side of that to cut out a road for our truck friends to drive on.

I read the Little Blue Truck to them several times that morning and by the time this bin was ready to be played in, they knew exactly what to do. Munchkin revved up the engines and took the Little Blue Truck for a drive. He stopped at each group of animals and said, "Beep! Beep!" and Bean made the animal sounds. It was really adorable. I loved that they worked together to tell the story.

They drove the Little Blue Truck on the road several times before the Dump Truck joined in and got stuck. Here they are about to start the fifth trip around to visit all the animals. Little Blue Truck is very popular with his animal friends.

Bean made sure all the animals were ready to go, while Munchkin tested out the mud.

She dug her hands right in and said, "oh my god, coffee!"

Finally Mr. Dump took his trip around the road and nearly hit the duck! But then he went around the corner and got stuck in the mud! Little Blue Truck immediately drove over and tried to push him out, but he got stuck too!

While Munchkin yelled, "Beep! Beep! Beep!" Bean said, "Help, help, I'm stuck, I'm stuck!" I opened the book and read off which animals came running first, then Bean ran them over and pushed real hard. But they didn't budge!

So Bean ran the other animals over while Munchkin assisted the trucks. Finally the big green toad arrived to save the day. Bean showed me her arm muscles and said he was a "mighty" toad and gave him a good push.

Finally the Dump Truck was free! But all that pushing and shoving created a big mess. :) Dump Truck drove away saying, "thanks for pushing!" Little Blue Truck was meticulously cleaned off by Munchkin, while Bean started mixing the mud into the dirt.

Bean drove the Dump Truck back saying he needed to work and scooped up mud and dirt and hauled it to one corner of the bin.

Since Bean messed up the road, Munchkin tried his hardest to put it back together again.

In the end he put the road on the rug and lay down beside it and drove his truck on it for several minutes until I announced it was lunchtime. This was a really fun sensory bin and Munchkin absolutely loved it. I think he enjoyed it more because he recognized everything that was in it and knew the story well enough that between the two of them they could recreate the scene.

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