This St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow sensory bin was made as a quick activity for my toddler and preschooler to play with together. This tuff tray combines simple materials with hidden elements that your young children will love to enjoy playing with for hours.
Materials for this Tuff Tray Activity
- Blue colored rice (I used a mixture of blue, purple, and white from my Ocean Theme Unit)
- Green painted chickpeas
- Gold painted beans
- Black stones (Michael’s)
- Cotton balls
- 12 rainbow-colored eggs (Dollar Tree)
- Various animal figurines (Lakeshore Learning)
- Loose parts to fit inside the eggs (magnetic chips, mini erasers, and foam shapes)
Process for Making the St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Sensory Bin
I used the base materials for this tuff tray from the Springtime Animal Camouflage Sensory Activity from the day before. I spread the blue rice to cover most of the tray, and the bottom part I filled with the green chickpeas.
Next, I layered the cotton balls and “pot of gold” in the tray. I started by making the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and no cotton balls but realized it would be more exciting for kids to add cotton balls as an extra fluffy texture into the mix.
Therefore, I added a handful of cotton balls to the left and right side of the tray’s horizon line where the blue and green materials meet.
The last step for the set- up of this play tray is to form a rainbow arch with the loose parts filled eggs. We played with this tray multiple times. The first time I filled the eggs with different materials for each egg color. For example, in the four purple and pink eggs, I added magnetic chips equally, and used it for a quick math activity.
My children played with this tuff tray for the second time, and my daughter helped me color sort all the different loose parts into the corresponding colored eggs. For example, all the orange foam shapes, magnetic chips, and mini erasers went into the two orange eggs.
For more sensory bin activities, please see my other blog about this subject here.
Tools that This Tuff Tray Activity
My kids used various-sized scoops and cups for this tray. Silicone cups were perfect for sorting the materials from this container. I included more than five of these cups to help my children have enough to sort by the rainbow colors.
Favorite Read Aloud Book for this St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Activity
The book That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting was one of my students’ favorite books at school when I taught third and fourth grade. But my toddler and preschooler loved this book even more! We read the book before playing with the sensory bin. My kids LOVED the funny mischief the Leprechauns got into on their journey for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Simple Math Activities With This Activity
Color matching items from the container was the goal for this tuff tray. Still, there are many other quick and easy activities to connect the materials from this tray to math practice opportunities for your young learner.
Try having them make simple patterns after you model how to make one using the loose parts for your toddler. For example, try making a simple AB pattern using pink and green magnetic chips. For preschoolers, try an ABC pattern and challenge them by making a model pattern and leave out one middle design.
Additional Activities for Preschoolers
- Counting items 1-10 to make a rainbow with items using two items per color.
- Color sort items and then group them by 5’s and count to 30.
Follow-Up Do -A-Dot Painting St. Patrick’s Day Activity
Kids grabbed their favorite dot painting supplies and some white paper and made some rainbows.
Thank you for visiting Live Learn Literacy!
my best practices from the classroom and make learning engaging, exciting and filled with curiosity for my kids. Please visit my other posts below for more ideas to use with your young learners. Thank you again- Chrissy