Here is a fun happy birthday math sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers! It’s an amazing way to practice counting while making colourful birthday cupcakes!
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My twins turned 2 in early February and ever since then they have been obsessed with birthdays. While playing in the kitchen they are always creating cakes and treats for a pretend birthday party, singing the happy birthday song every chance they get! They also love saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to everyone in our family at random times. I really think their party had a huge impact on them and I love that!
I decided to harness that obsession for birthdays to create this fun and colourful counting sensory bin with a birthday twist!
Here’s how to set up Birthday Math Sensory Bin
- Make your coloured rice (see instructions below). I used a batch that I had made and used in another sensory bin. If you need to make a fresh batch, present it to your little one by placing each colour beside each other.
- Add birthday candles and cut straws. I added cut straws which can also double as candles if you don’t have fresh candles.
- Add colourful pom poms and ribbon. For the ribbon I cut it into short pieces and then used a pair of scissors to curl the ribbon.
- Add foam numbers in the bin. I used our small foam numbers which are great for activities like this.
- Then I added our colourful silicone cupcake holders.
How they played
My toddlers immediately knew what to do with this sensory bin. They started scooping and pouring the rice into the cupcake holders. They grabbed the candles and pushed them into their rice cupcakes and then blew on them in order to blow out the candle.
After a bit I pulled out a few foam numbers and asked them to count that many candles and put them on their cupcakes.
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- 41 Qt, Clear Sensory Bin (Large) or a IKEA FLISAT Children’s Sensory Table
- Colour rice (see instructions below)
- Colourful party necklace
- Pom poms
- Birthday candles
- Foam numbers
- Colourful silicone cupcake holders
- Scoopers and spoons
- Cut paper straws
How to Make Colored Rice
What You’ll Need
- 1 Cup of White Rice
- 1/2 tsp White Vinegar
- Several Drops of Gel Food Coloring
- Large Ziploc Bags
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheets or Tupperware containers
How to Make
- Combine the rice, white vinegar and food coloring in a Ziploc bag.
- Seal it carefully and mix the contents throughly.
- Repeat for each color.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet or line a Tupperware container.
- Spread the colored rice out on the parchment paper and allow it to dry overnight.
If you don’t have gel food coloring, regular food coloring will work fine. If you want your rice to be more vibrant add more than just a few drops of food coloring and a small amount of white vinegar.
Other birthday activities:
N and A are twins. They are 24 months old.