Friday, December 11, 2015

Sensory Bins on Steroids

Every year about this time, you know, when the weather turns cold, and I start to contemplate being trapped in the house for hours with stir crazy kids in the midst of an eternal winter break, I write a post about sensory bins (click here for the 2014 one or here for the 2013 one). You might call my sensory bin obsession a compulsion (albeit, a compulsion brought about by the real fear that the cooped-up kids might finally get the best of me). It's not like we don't use the bins in the summer months. We still do, but, for a number of reasons, they get a lot more play once the weather turns cold and the leaves fall off the trees. In the crush that is the birthday-Thanksgiving-birthday-semester end-Christmas combo, I do a lot of my shopping online. This is especially true when Ren is down and out with his back. This year, two online impulse purchases (they were SO cheap, I couldn't resist) have added hours of new life to our old sensory bins.  First, I found a set of 16 very cheap-looking Star Wars figurines on sale for 50% off, and I decided to throw the set into my cart at the last minute thinking they would be just enough to reinvigorate the Star Wars bin.

I had no idea how well this would work. Since I put the new figurines into the old bin, Stow has played with them practically nonstop. No, really. Take a look:

Old Star Wars sensory bin with new Star Wars characters added.
Day 1, 7:30 pm
Day 2, 6:30 am
Day 2, 8:40 am
Day 2, 1 pm
Day 2, 7 pm
Day 3, 7:15 am
Day 3, 3 pm
Day 3, 8 pm
I could keep going, but I think you get the point. Stow is obsessed with this thing. He asks for the bin the first thing in the morning and goes back to it all day long. He even invites his siblings and Ren and I to play with him (though I still haven't figured out how to be the good guys without making him mad). 

At about the same time I bought the Star Wars guys, I also bought a "Mystery Pack" of 10 Schleich figurines, again for more than half off. With three kids of varied interests, I figured there would be at 3 or 4 things in the pack that at least one of them would like. When the package arrived, I found this inside:
The biggest most unnecessary fairy tree ever.

Needless to say, I was kind of miffed. Where were my 10 unique figurines, and what in the world was I going to do with such an excessively large tree?!?!  I tucked it into my closet and tripped over it for several days as I waited for an opportunity to pass it on to someone who might actually like and use it. Halfway through day 2 of Stow's Star Wars bin obsession, however, I decided to give the tree and the old fairy sensory bin to Pink, just to see what would happen. 

Big-a** tree + fairy box = hours of fun.

Day 2

It turns out the fairy trees are pretty cool, especially if you already have a box full of fairy stuff. Pink is not as obsessed as Stow is, but she's been engaged with the sensory bin on and off for two days now, too. My favorite times have been when the Star Wars guys and the fairy guys get together to fight the forces of evil from the fairy tree.  

The moral of this story is a universal one, I think:
When making impulse buys, sometimes you will get an unexpected fairy tree that takes up half your living room. That's okay, though, because it is worth it just for a few hours of uninterrupted, cooperative play. 
No? Not universal enough? Okay, how about this one?:
Impulse buys are stupid even if they sometimes work out in the end. 
You know what? Forget it. You just take from my story whatever you will. I have a feeling that's what you've been doing all along anyway!

No comments: