Guest Post: Construction

An absolutely FANTASTIC play idea from one of our dayhome providers. You can check out Alicia’s Dayhome Registry Page here

Construction Sensory Bin
As we are living playing in a new neighbourhood that is under construction and the kids are completely obsessed with all of the heavy duty machinery, I figured what better sensory bin than a construction bin! I usually like to set up the bins prior to the children arriving as I enjoy seeing their excitement at all of the fun they are about to have.

Set up:
I filled our bin full of dirt. Originally I was going to use beans but decided what is better than real dirt! We have been getting a ton of rain here lately so this station might get messy! I was able to find all sorts of little vehicles (rollers, cement mixers, dump trucks, jeeps, front end loaders) at Giant Tiger. I threw in some coloured stones to serve as rocks and later Spider man decided to throw in part of his rock collection as well. For the initial lay out I put a large hill of dirt and a valley running through the box. I had the dump truck dropping its load of rocks into the valley. I always throw in smaller measuring spoons or something that the children can use to scoop with. Some of the kids prefer to use the spoons over their hands.

The kids loved it! They were so excited to play with miniature replicas of the vehicles they have been seeing around the neighbourhood. They spent over an hour reenacting and creating various construction scenes. Initially there were a lot of questions “What does this vehicle do?” “What should I do?” “Where can I put these rocks?”. After answering a few questions such as the names of the machinery that they had forgotten and redirecting a few questions “Where would you like to put the rocks?” I stepped back and allowed their imagination to flow. Moving a few feet away and becoming “busy” with one of the babies allowed Spider man to discover the sensory bin independently and try things out and fully engage in the act of playing.

When setting up sensory bins or open ended play tasks, I refrain from telling the children how the play should be conducted. It is interesting to see their take on how to play with different objects. Sometimes their play leads me in a completely unexpected direction. That is the beauty of the imagination!

Spider man (3 y/o boy)
Builder boy (1 y/o boy)
Monkey (1 y/o girl)
Lightning McQueen (9 m/o boy)

Until later!

A huge thank you to Alicia for sharing her wonderful ideas. If you have articles you write, or play ideas you would like to share with our parent and dayhome provider community, please email me at   To become one of our dayhomes, you can sign up for FREE at 

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