Sensory Story Box - Katy and the Big Snow

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


For the month of January, I have been sharing snow and ice theme activities, and the book, Katie and the Big Snow, by Virginia Lee Burton is a perfect fit for our winter weather fun.  The story is about a snow plow, Katie, who saves a town by working hard to plow all the roads covered by a heavy snowstorm.  I created a sensory story box to encourage my daughter to further develop her comprehension and imagination with the story.




Materials
-plastic bin with lid
-bag of Epsom salt (If child still puts things in mouth or rubs eyes a lot, only use this under adult supervision because it is not supposed to be eaten or will burn eyes.)
-food boxes
-paper from recycling bin
-construction paper
-glue
-scissors
-vehicle to be used as snow plow (I didn't find any cheap toy plows online, so I went to Target and found a truck that looks like a snow plow for $3.)
-other accessories such as figurines, cars, cups, and spoons

Directions
-Make buildings by using empty food boxes.  Stuff the box with crumpled paper from the recycling bin.  Seal the box shut with tape and cover it with construction paper.  Cut out windows and doors from construction paper.  My four year old daughter glued on all the windows and doors, and helped with some cutting. Frugal Family Fun offers crafting tips for working with cardboard.

-Discuss which type of buildings are found in a city, and write each building's name on the box.  We had a grocery store, post office, school, and hospital in our city.  We made four buildings, but you could make more depending on the interests of your children.

-I created roads by cutting strips of black construction paper and covering them in contact paper.  I found this step wasn't necessary as they got in the way of play, and my daughter mostly ignored them.

-Encourage your child to arrange the buildings inside the plastic bin.

-Bring out bag of Epsom salt for the snow.  I have seen other blogs using epsom salt for sensory play, but I can't remember the exact source.  Child creates snowstorm by pouring salt into bin.  Discuss how the city is changing with all the snow.






-Talk about how the problem of the roads being covered in snow will be solved.  Since we had read the book, my daughter immediately remembered that Katie could help plow the snow.  Your child can develop his own solutions to the problem.  Support imaginative thinking.






-At this point, your child will probably take the lead on how to play.  I designed our box to allow for open ended play.  I encourage her to develop different story lines than found in the book or just have fun manipulating the materials.











This story sensory box is a wonderful tool for preschoolers to integrate sensory play with literacy to make learning more engaging.  My daughter continues to play with the box on her own, and has created  different scenarios with the contents.

This post is linked up with The Play Academy at Nurture Store.  Hop on over and join in the fun!

19 comments:

Growing a jeweled rose said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love the idea of turning a child's favorite story into a sensory bin. This turned out great!

crittersandcrayons said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is brilliant, Rebekah! And it looks just like a TV set! I bet Miss E had a lot of fun! I will have to try this!

Having Fun said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wonder idea Rebekah. Way to make a book come to life. We've used epson salt in lots of sensory bins before, but never for snow. Very cute. I bet she had a blast. Now I just need to get us some cars and toy snow plow and were set.

-Veronica

Aleacia said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love how you acted out the story with the sensory bin, great idea! I love the picture of the post office completely covered with snow and the little people lined up :)

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you. She learns so much by acting out stories.

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You make me blush, C&C.

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you, Veronica. I have never used epsom salt before this, and it seems like there are so many possibilities with it.

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Aleacia, I chuckled when she buried the post office and had them lined up. She did that same scenario with each of the buildings. Thank you for pinning this!

Joyce said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow, this is a fantastic post! We are big fans of acting out stories as well. I love the use of the sensory bin for that purpose. And I love that you tailored it so cleverly. Epsom salt=genius! Great ideas.

The Iowa Farmer's Wife said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very cool idea Rebekah! Pinning this but we might have to wait awhile or use real salt because my dd will definitely try to taste it! What a great book and activity!

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Ahhh, I'm so glad you appreciate this post, Joyce. We started acting out stories when my daughter was very young. When she was around 2 yo, she wanted to read all.the.time. Don't get me wrong, I love to read and was glad she loved to read, but I wanted to encourage her to be more playful. I started acting out/playing stories from her books with her stuffed animals. Now, that she is four her favorite toy is stuffed animals. =)

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think table salt would work just fine with this activity, but may be more expensive than the Epsom salt. If you have access to Costco or Sam's club, you could buy salt in bulk at one of those stores. Thank you for the compliments!

Brooke said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is some of the most awesome sensory play I have ever seen. What a cool idea to have a little town inside the box. Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness.

Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a wonderful way to bring a favorite to life! We don't get snow around here... this would be fun way to let Big M play with an unusual (for us ;)) vehicle.

Amanda said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a delightful activity that extends the book into playtime! Looks like an activity that encourages language development, creativity, fine motor skills, and much more! Thanks for linking up to LOVE books and sharing your LOVE of books and activities with others!

Deb Chitwood said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I always loved that book, and your sensory story box is an awesome literature-based activity, Rebekah! I love your creativity! I featured your photo and post in my 25+ Snow-Themed Sensory Tubs at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2013/02/05/25-plus-snow-themed-sensory-tubs/

Jennifer Fischer said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Awesome! Where did you get that snow plow? Sky has been begging me for one since he has become obsessed with Snow Sounds - a really wonderful book. I will also be adding your book to the library list.

Rebekah P said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Deb Chitwood Thank you! So pleased you featured us and I have shared on FB. =)

Rebekah P said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Jennifer Fischer I am not sure if it is really a snow plow. I went to Target and found the truck that looked the most like a snow plow and I got really lucky that this one worked perfectly.

Post a Comment