Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gift idea for the kid who has everything!

What do you get a child who has everything? This was the question I struggled to answer in the days leading up to Andrew's birthday by family and friends who wanted to get the birthday boy a gift. I was seriously no help. In fact, when my friend Stefanie asked me what Andrew wanted/needed for his birthday, my reply was "not a darn thing". Having an older brother so close in age, the boy has hand-me-downs galore and seemingly every toy on the market for his age group. Not to mention that Andrew doesn't really play with toys. At best, he dabbles...pulling every toy off the shelf but not really playing with any of them for more than a few minutes. Stef reports that when Andrew comes for play dates at her house, he always gravitates towards the sensory bins they have, so that is what they brilliantly made for his gift. And they are a HUGE HIT. Well done, Stef!

This is how we spent hours this weekend. HOURS. A miracle.

First up was the colored pasta--my favorite because the clean up was a breeze.

After about 30 minutes when they started getting a little bored with the bin, Justin the Genius put it inside "the fort" and they were good to go for almost another 30 minutes. And at some point in there Andrew lost his clothes. Not even sure what happened there!

Then on Sunday morning, it was on to sensory bin #2, cloud dough!

This flour and oil mixture is moldable and silky and just fun to play with.

Might I recommend though doing this activity outside? It did make a pretty big mess. Particularly when my precious little ones decided to get IN the bin when I left the room for 30 seconds to fetch those construction vehicles to add to the bin. Or if the weather is yucky and you must stay inside, put down a tarp or old plastic tablecloth underneath. However, Andrew did enjoy the sweeping as much or more than just playing with the stuff. 

Sensory Bin #3 contained homemade play dough and various play dough tools. Another big hit, but I didn't take any pictures because this was independently occupying them while I cooked dinner. What a blessing and so much fun for the boys!

So if you have a hard-to-buy-for toddler/preschooler on your gift list this holiday season, consider the slightly out of the box idea of sensory bins. In the days after Andrew's birthday, I also stumbled upon the following list of 100 Non-Toy Gift Ideas. Lots of great ideas here!

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