This seemed like a good idea.
Pinterest told me it was a good idea. But Pinterest is dirty and rotten. Pinterest has a cleaning lady who picks up black beans for a living.
Also, Pinterest has trees made of money. Because this project ended up costing me around $50.
With that out of the way … I present to you … the Halloween sensory bin. I thought that this would be the perfect activity for the littles at the Bring Your Own Pumpkin party.
FYI: Black beans ain’t cheap. I spent about $30 on beans to fill this thing. Then, I found the spiky balls and glow sticks and scoops and cups and balls and other Halloweeny stuff at Dollar Tree. It’s pretty important to have a large towel or tablecloth underneath the bin. Because even if your kids are cautious (and they never are), there will be spillage. If you have kids like mine, you’ll be finding black beans in your sofa for the rest of your lifetime. This is the face of a child who just put a handful of black beans in the fireplace. And probably in the dog bowl.
But, I’ll admit it. It’s still worth it. Because it keeps Henry’s attention for more than 30 minutes. AT A TIME. Which is, basically, the holy grail of toddler entertainment. If an entire petting zoo showed up in my living room with Elmo’s World and a strobe light, Henry would be all, “Meh. Where’s my sensory bin?”
He loves scooping the beans and putting them into the cups (or just dumping them on the floor). He loves finding the glow sticks and the blinking ball. He likes to move the ball from one scoop to another. He loves blowing on the pinwheels and finding all the spiky balls. There are truly a lot of things for a toddler to do with this small bin.
But I must tell you to be ready for a bit of a mess. Or to be prepared to take this outside. (If you don’t live in the Midwest, where we’ve apparently entered winter.) All of the moms at the party spent the last part of the evening picking black beans out of our rug. It was interesting that the dads disappeared at that time mumbling about doing something important.
So, I cannot in good faith call this a fail. Because Henry (and every other toddler in a two-mile radius) is obsessed with this thing. And if you have a child who doesn’t like to throw black beans into the far reaches of the living room, this may be the perfect thing.
I do think it’s better as a one-on-one activity with the man than something for a group. When there were six toddlers with cups full of black beans … well, let’s just say that I’m still shaking and having flashbacks.