Your toddler will love this easy scooping station
The Scooping Station is one of our absolute favorite toddler activities – and if you haven’t tried one yet – let me “sell” you on this… because it’s not to be missed.
RELATED: Looking for more easy toddler activities? I have tons!
What is a “scooping station”?
A scooping station is a sensory bin with a bin of a twist.
In a scooping station, the toddler’s job is to scoop and mix the materials together (rather than a more traditional sensory bin which is premixed).
My 26 month old was given a three materials for this activity to scoop, mix, transfer, and pour – all in the name of some serious and significant learning.
How to set up a scooping station:
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The basic idea behind this is to let the toddler experiment with scooping and pouring solid materials, much like in a pouring station.
I used three “materials”: rock salt, corn meal, and rice. I put the materials in a separate plastic container with a few scoops for each.
I also set up bottles with funnels and let my toddler have at it. The funnels add an extra fun touch – and my toddler loved it!
RELATED: Looking for even more sensory activities? I have so many great ideas!
How long will he play with this for?
At our house, this activity holds my son’s attention for well over thirty minutes. Sometimes, he’ll play this for an hour. AN HOUR.
A toddler playing anything for an hour is cause for celebration. I’m basically the human embodiment of the dancing lady emoji.
My toddler scooped and filled and poured and filled to his heart’s content. He varied how he poured, what he poured and what he used for pouring during the nearly half hour this initially held his attention for.
I got so much Mom-time (which of course I used to clean the kitchen) while he played.
What is a toddler learning with a scooping station?
Believe it or not, this little activity is packed full of learning (that’s part of the reason I’m dying for you to try this – it’s as fun for toddlers as it is good for them!).
Here’s everything a child is learning during this activity:
- Life skills (pouring)
- Cause and effect
- Hand eye coordination
- How particles move
- Small machines (funnels)
- Tactile learning (sensory)
- Self-control (keeping the sensory materials tidy)
The area around the project stayed “reasonably” clean. All these materials vacuum up well so any spill over didn’t concern me.
If you’re worried about your toddler making a big mess, first read this about sensory bins and the think about putting down a beach towel or two and that would have been enough to keep this toddler activity totally clean.
What do you do once the materials are mixes?
Save them and reuse them.
Yes, it’s a one time shot to mix all these supplies together BUT this can be a sensory bin mixture that is used for YEARS afterwards.
Seal them up in a Ziplock bag or plastic container and use them to make a regular sensory bin whenever you need an extra minute to sit and breathe.
Promise me you’ll try a scooping station!
I can’t even begin to tell you how fun this was and how amazing it was to see the successful scooping station in action.
Two big huge thumbs up from Mom and Toddler – this is one of our absolute favorite toddler activities… and I hope it’ll be yours someday too.