Over the summer holidays I’ve been caring for children aged 18 months – 6 years old so I wanted to create a fun activity that we could all do together and this Ladybird Sensory Bin was perfect.

The toddlers enjoyed just pouring and transferring, my preschooler had fun matching up the correct number of black dots on each ladybird and the school children enjoyed some basic addition and subtraction challenges.

So a winner all round!

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You will need:

I already had some green rice left over from our Green Themed Sensory Bin that has been on the go for 3 years now and is still going strong. I added this to a tray along with some mini ladybirds, black gems and also some red pom poms and buttons but anything black or red that you have would work well for this.

If you haven’t dyed rice before it’s really simple. Mix some food colouring (my favourite is Wiltons) through uncooked rice, spread on a baking tray and leave to dry. Simple.

Ladybird sensory bin

When the weather has been dry we’ve been taking this one outside to save my poor hoover sucking up all the green rice after! The younger children thoroughly enjoyed pouring and transferring the rice, hiding the ladybirds, counting the gems and just generally taking pleasure in the feel of the rice between their fingers.

The younger children thoroughly enjoyed pouring and transferring the rice using the scoops and pots, hiding the ladybirds, counting the gems and just generally taking pleasure in the feel of the rice between their fingers.

Ladybird sensory bin

For the preschoolers, we worked on matching up the correct number of black spots onto the ladybird print outs from Twinkl . I laminated them so they’ll last longer and also added my own numbers to the bottom of them to assit with number recognition.

The jumbo tweezers proved a bit tricky to use with the black gems as they were so slippy from their shiny surface but worked really well the ladybirds and pom poms and helped to work on their fine motor skills.

Ladybird sensory bin

For the older school aged children, we used the ladybird number cards to try some basic maths skills. I gave them all two cards and asked them to either add or subtract the numbers together and let me the answer.

This proved to be really popular with them and one pointed out “it doesn’t even feel like learning”.

Ladybird sensory bin

I have a ton of sensory bin ideas on the blog which I’ve brought together on my How to create a Sensory Bin post. I love that you can save the bases of them and keep reusing them making them really quick to put together and they always guarantee hours of play (and mess, sorry!).

Ladybird sensory bin

Links to the EYFS:

  • Maths – counting, pouring, transferring, number recognition and sequencing, adding and subtracting small numbers, making patterns, spotting shapes
  • Physical Development – enjoying sensory play, fine motor skills
  • Expressive Arts & Design  -imaginative and small world play
  • Literacy – early mark making

Last year we also made these yummy Ladybird BiscuitsLadybird Biscuits which would be a great extension to this activity as would a simple paper plate ladybird like the one we created as part of our paper plate minibeast display.

ladybird sensory bin toddler and preschool counting activity with ladybirds

Ladybird sensory bin

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