As part of our Habitat Series we're doing right now we are doing a unit on the habitat of the pond. Frogs live in ponds, and knowing the life cycle of a frog is important animal knowledge. So I made this sensory bin/small world that shows the life cycle of a frog in a cute and interactive way. Kids can play with it while learning and experiencing fun tactile sensory materials.
To make this sensory bin/small world I first made a batch of blue homemade playdough to represent the water. My favorite homemade playdough recipe goes as follows:
1 cup of water
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup salt
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
blue food coloring (for this batch)
Mix them all together in a pot with a wooden spoon and then put it on the stove on medium heat and stir it constantly until it forms a ball, transfer it to a bowl, knead it until it is no longer sticky once it is cool enough.
Now, to make the bin look like the pond how I wanted I put the blue playdough down into more than half of the surface of the bin, stuck some small rocks into the edge for a border, and then poured some dry split peas into the remaining surface area of the bin. After that all there was to do was to put the life cycle of a frog pieces into the bin. I also added a little plastic fly we have to discuss how frogs eat flies. We also watched a video afterwards of a frog eating flies to connect the concept and make it more real.
You can buy the frog life cycle here to make this bin or to use for your own educational activities.
Make sure you interact with your child(ren) as they play with this bin and explain the stages of the frog life cycle and the differences between each. Every day of the pond unit after we did this bin I am having my daughter show me the frog life cycle in order on her own.