Busy Bin : Acorns | The Speckled Goat: Busy Bin : Acorns


Busy Bin : Acorns

Acorns are a great Fall theme for directed play, and here in the Midwest, it's acorn season!

My toddler (he's just about 24 months old) and I had a great time learning about and playing with acorns this week. To see more about the activities, books, and resources we used, check out my page about our acorn activities!

*This post contains affiliate links*

Not too far from our house, there are a couple of great mature oak forests perfect for collecting acorns for our busy bin this week! Acorns are a great sensory material because they have their own natural variations in texture and a distinct smell. And if you're lucky like we are and have them naturally available, they're free!

The challenge with using acorns (or most materials found in nature, for that matter), is that they've been exposed to lots of things you don't necessarily want in your house. And I've had some experience with attempting to use acorns as decorations... and then got to deal with the bugs that hitched a ride on on the acorns, too. Yuck. I did a little research, though, and learned that if you bake acorns, it kills the insects living inside them so you don't have bonus buddies in your busy bin.

So our first step with the busy bin was to bake the acorns. I spread the acorns on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper and baked them for about two hours at 200℉.

After letting them cool, I added the acorns to the busy bin as our base material! We use an under-the-bed storage bin (similar to this one).

Of course, if you don't have access to a big oak forest, you can use a different base material (rice? oats?) and put a couple handfuls of acorns in the bin to explore rather than have a whole bin full.

The bin also contained a couple ladles, a large spoon, a pair of tongs, a plastic drinking cup, a sand shovel, measuring cups, and a small ice cube tray. And a bulldozer toy, because my toddler is super into construction vehicles right now.

Besides all the scooping and pouring (and bulldozing) fun, my toddler enjoyed pulling the caps off of some of the acorns and then putting the caps back on. It was almost like a puzzle! He also cracked a couple of the split acorns open to see what was inside!

As with nearly all of my busy bin activities, I put a large tablecloth underneath to contain any accidental mess. (I think I'd prefer a vinyl tablecloth instead, but we had this one sitting unused at home, so I just used that. A shower curtain would work great, too!)

Our acorn busy bin was great fine motor and sensory work, and was fun hands-on learning through play!

Don't miss new posts! Sign up here to get new posts delivered to your inbox.
Or, get the weekly newsletter via e-mail by signing up here!

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging habit, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. You may see a full disclosure by clicking on my "About" page. I will only promote products that I use, enjoy, or take a shine to. All opinions and reviews are my own and are not influenced by any compensation I may receive.

No comments :

Post a Comment