I used colored sand and some colored wood blocks to create a very simple sensory bin for B (13mo).
I get a lot of comments on my baby sensory bin posts about the safety of the materials I use. The questions I most often get is "Is that safe?" "Won't they try to eat it?" Most babies will more than likely at least once try to eat some sand, noodles, rice, beans, etc, but the point of a sensory bin is not to set it down in front of your child and then leave. Sit right in front of your child and watch them play! If they try to eat it, give them a gentle but firm "no" and return the material to the sensory bin. Then perhaps show them another way to play with it to distract them from wanting to put it in their mouth. More than likely, they will eventually stop trying to eat it and explore the material. They may try to eat it a few more times, but in between those times they may explore and have fun with the sensory bin. This is still a win! B tried to eat the sand a few times, but I gently told him "no," put his hand away from his mouth and he eventually got the point and started exploring with the sand...picking it up and running it through his fingers. I'm not saying this works with all babies. As with most things there are exceptions and if your child just continuously tries to eat it, then yes your child may not be ready for sensory bins with smaller material or maybe just that particular material. but I recommend giving it a chance! Don't take your eyes off of your baby and be ready to intervene at the second they try to eat it.
I just firmly believe that with a watchful parental eye,
sensory bins can be explored by most babies from an early age.
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