Wooden puzzles seem to be things we collect but then quickly lose interest in. When Green Piñata Toys sent us a farm puzzle as part of our monthly toy subscription box, I knew N would love it for a few weeks and then be ready to exchange it for something else. At 3.5 years old, L was not interested in the puzzle at all. It’s been pretty rainy for the past few days, so I wanted to mix things up a bit. The puzzle has been neglected on the shelf for the past week or so, so I brought it out for a refresher.
Sometimes all it takes is using a material in a new way to make it fun and exciting again. One easy way to do that is with a sensory bin! I like using mixed beans for our sensory bins, because it is a natural material but it doesn’t leave that white dusty residue that you get with rice sensory bins.
I started out by hiding the puzzle pieces in the beans, then giving the girls the bin full of beans with the empty puzzle and some kitchen utensils for digging/spooning/scooping. They were immediately fully engaged in the work and had a blast finding all the animals.
L also particularly enjoyed hiding the pieces again so they could repeat the work. After they had done this several times, I suggested a twist:
I gave L a blindfold to increase the difficulty level. She had to find the pieces and put them in the right spot in the puzzle by touch alone. I asked N if she wanted to try, but she was content just watching L do it.
L came up with this third way to use the puzzle in the sensory bin all by herself. She took one of the scoops I had provided and used it to fill up each empty space in the puzzle with beans.
These three simple activities kept the girls engaged for a full hour, and the next day they asked to do it again. Now I’m so glad that the puzzle was included in our Green Piñata box!
If you’re interested in having a box of toys delivered straight to your door and then exchanged when your children have grown tired of them, use my code to sign up for 50% off your first month’s subscription to Green Piñata Toys! They clean and sanitize all of the toys themselves, so it’s super easy for you to do and requires no extra storage space in your home. If your child falls in love with a toy and just can’t part with it, you have the option to purchase it from them at a discounted price. We have been loving our first box so far!
You can sign up HERE and don’t forget to use code ANGELA50 at check-out for 50% off your first month’s subscription!
2 thoughts on “3 Ways to Use Puzzles in a Sensory Bin”
Thank you! I’ve been wondering what to do with all our wood puzzles once they’ve been done a few times and lost their appeal!
Interesting idea! My puzzle loving kiddos seemed to move out of the chunky puzzle stage really quickly, and try their hand at 12 piece flat puzzles even though they are still a little too difficult. This is a neat way to get some more use out of the chunky puzzles.
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