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I am SO excited to start our Pet Theme! For the next two weeks we will be focusing on all things pets, and there really wasn't a better way to start off the week then with a Dog Food Sensory Bin. Kingston has been obsessed with the dogs food bowls for as long as I can remember. The second he was able to crawl, he was after that food and water. We moved it all over the house until we finally had to quarantine it into our bedroom (which is a whole other pain in the butt!). Even now, he still gets into it sometimes, so I knew he was going to go WILD over this bin.
To create this sensory bin, I used real dog food. (Don't worry, we washed our hands excessively after play). Kingston understands what is people food and what is food for the dog. He also understands what is considered a sensory material, and never mouths any of our sensory fillers during play.
For the bin I used:
2 dogs from our Animal Planet Polar Playset
A furry bobble head dog and food bowl for the Dollar Tree (this added a different texture and a really exciting element for K!)Royal Canin Chihuahua Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 (I had a free sample and wanted there to be a variety of color and size)
Bone Shaped Collectible Erasers
Wooden Kitchen Spoon
The expression on his face says it all. He was like "Is she serious?! I can play with it?!" He went for the dollar store furry bobble head dog first. He was really intrigued by the spring inside. It didn't take long for him to stretch it completely out, BUT in the meantime we were able to talk all about the mechanics of springs. Yup, because he TOTALLY cared about that! He kept saying, "Oh no puppy. Oh no!"
Then he dug in and started exploring the exciting "off limits" sensory material.
He took advantage of the spoon on the side to stir up the dog food. Can you see our dog Krull (the Warrior King) off to the side? This was his favorite sensory bin of ALL time, and the only one that I allowed him to participate in!
He was actually a huge part of the cleanup! I was very happy with his contribution to the activity. He was happy to oblige of course. Kingston kept trying to give the dog food to him, but there was so much on the floor that Krull wasn't interested in taking his offerings.
K turned his attention to the dogs. We talked about each one and their colors. We also talked about the color of the dog food, how dogs eat dog food and bones, and told stories about the dogs eating their food.
Then Kingston realized, "Hey I have this giant dish of contraband!" and he went to work wildly flinging dog food everywhere. Both K and Krull were in heaven!
I was thrilled when Kingston took individual pieces of dog food and fed them to each dog. By engaging in this imaginative play, I could tell that he really understand what he was interacting with.
Look at this crazy happy boy! He was in fits of laughter over the springy dog.
This is his "Thank you Mama!" face! After he finished playing, we got out the dustpan and he helped me sweep up all of the dog food. (And yes I WILL feed it to my dog, minus a few dirty under the cabinet stragglers. So, not much waste with this sensory project!)