This Magic Bean Soup sensory bin is a great toddler or preschool sensory bin idea – perfect for Summer!
This is a guest post from Kimberly at Little Mrs Preschool
My 3-year-old has been really into anything related to “cooking” so I thought I’d put a spin on a cooking sensory bin with a fun, imaginative way for her to role-play being a chef and pretend to cook. (Check out our “If you Give a Cat a Cupcake” Bin HERE.)
We made “Magic Bean Soup” using white beans and food coloring.
(Friendly reminder: to use beans in sensory bins when your little ones are no longer putting things in their mouth.)
What you need for magic bean soup
- 4-pound bag of Northern White Beans
- Food coloring (regular and/or neon)
- Large under the bed storage bin
- Sandwich bags
- Various cooking tools (i.e., play kitchen pots and pans, spoons, small bowls)
How we dyed the beans
- Put 1 cup of beans in a sandwich bag and squirt about 15 drops of desired food coloring into the bag.
- Shake, shake, shake the bag to fully saturate the beans. My little one loves this part!
- Pour colored beans onto a baking tray and spread them out flat (I put aluminium foil underneath for easy clean up) for several hours to dry. I did this overnight and they were dry and ready to use in the morning.
- Lastly, pour dried colored beans into a plastic bin. I always like to get a picture while it looks so pretty and neat before my little one digs in and mixes up all the colors.
How we played with the magic bean soup sensory bin
I kept things super simple and just added in various cooking utensils to the bin. I reminded my daughter about how she helped to make the beans colorful with me the day before. I said we were now going to use the beans to make a “Magic Soup”.
She got really excited and said she wanted to make soup for “the unicorns”. She wanted to add glitter to the soup for the unicorns, but we remembered we ran out of glitter, so we brainstormed what else we could do with the soup.
She then suggested “making soup for my family” and proceeded to turn the bin into a little restaurant. She would say “what do you want?” and wanted to take turns playing server and taking orders and being the customer and requesting items.
She got right to work scooping and dumping the beans into various pots and bowls and asking me “how it tasted?”. She was very excited to mix all the colors up and make up foods for each color of the beans (e.g., the blue was blueberry pie and the pink was lemonade).
I was surprised how long this role-play lasted and how much the beans kept her entertained. This bin will stay out in our house for a while and then I will store them in a Ziploc bag for use later over and over again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kimberly is a former preschool teacher turned stay at home mom of a 3-year-old daughter, with a baby girl on the way. When not chasing after her toddler, she enjoys running, crafting, and coming up with fun and easy ideas to keep her little one busy. You can check out her daily learning activities at @lilmrskimberly on Instagram or her blog littlemrspreschool.blogspot.com.
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