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A few weeks ago I discovered the magic of creating discovery baskets for my little guy. The first Discovery Basket took about 10 minutes to put together, cost nothing, and my 13 month old son played with it for hours.
Inspired by the more engaging style of play that these hand-made exploring toys evoked, I decided to make another activity that would focus on sounds, colors, and sorting.
Here’s what I used to make these
Small plastic containers with lids
glue gun and glue sticks
assorted beads, google eyes, stones, glitter, pony beads, pom-pons
All of my materials came from the dollar store again (I always wondered who bought the random useless stuff in the dollar store…now that mystery is solved). I filled each container with a variety of different items depending on what sound they would make, light they would reflect, ect. I added water and glitter to some for a snow globe effect. Then, I put a ring of hot glue on the lid edge and sealed the cups shut, allowed them to cool, then test-drove then by chucking them around the room a few times and banging them on things.
***Be sure to check for cracks in the plastic after each play session (after about a week of smashing and banging, a few of the containers that had hard materials inside, like stones, developed cracks. I just threw them out, they only cost $1!) and make sure to supervise with this activity incase anything cracks during play***
I put the cups in a muffin tin, the cups acted like little sorting containers, and my little guy loved sorting them and shaking them…and banging them, and throwing them, and hiding them in the laundry basket.
This shake and sort activity is really fun and these DIY shakers are really versatile for play. We used them as noise makers when we did music and sound play later in the day. The most fun part of this type of play is seeing what your little one does as he’s exploring the items. You’ll be amazed at what kids come up with and you’ll probably find yourself saying, Huh. I never thought of that. I know I did.