Posted in Materials

Quiet Bins!

In the classroom, I had a quiet tub filled with different quiet, independent activities. There were reusable stickers, counting/sorting activities, puzzles, matching games…. Just to name a few.

I knew right away that I needed to have some of these at home. With Little Miss still taking 2-3 good naps during the day, I needed to have something quiet to entertain Mister that wasn’t TV or electronic games. Also, he has a rest time everyday that includes a time where he has to lay in his bed and quietly look at books. If he doesn’t fall asleep (which still happens a decent amount of the time), the rest of the time he can do quiet activities. 

I have taken pictures of the bins we currently have and I’ll do my best to remember where everything is from!

1. Number Construction

I ordered this through Scholastic Books. It was in my classroom for awhile and kids love it! They can follow the cards to form numbers, create the numbers solo, or make boats… 😉

https://www.learningresources.com/product/number+construction.do

2. ISpy bin

This book has Mister’s beloved ISpy books along with the ISpy matching game I talked about a few blog posts ago. I didn’t leave them out on the book shelf because he goes through phases of wanting to look at them all the time to not at all. I figured a quiet bin was the perfect place for them.

3. Magnets

Mister LOVES magnets! He had a set of black stone ones his grandparents got a few years ago. Then Grandma bought him another set a few months back. I also brought home some from school to add to our collection. I brought home the ball magnets and wands to try painting with them at some point, but for now they live in the quiet bin. He knows things like this have to stay away from Little Miss, so a bin he can only get out when she’s not around is the perfect solution.

4. Wicki Sticks (or whatever you choose to call them)

A retired teacher donated these to my classroom. There were sooooo many that half went to my classroom and half went in the cupboard. (And then home with me.) My class loved using them to make letters, numbers, tiny baskets… I showed them how to do that last one. 🙄 Mister really enjoys these and they are a wonderful independent activity!

5. Hot Dots

The Pete the Cat clicker and books came in the big Scholastic order I posted about before. Then, while I was cleaning out my classroom cupboards, I discovered this set of cards and hoped they worked like Hot Dots. I was pleasantly surprised that the 25 year old cards worked with Pete! This activity is a little more difficult for Mister to do alone because he can’t read yet, so this is better suited for Little Miss’ nap times. Of course, he’s determined to do it alone, so he tries!

6. Washi Tape Art

I saw this idea on a Pinterest post. Washi tape can be expensive, but I was able to score these big boxes at Michael’s while they were 60% off. If you can get them with a coupon, do it! The idea is for him to create pictures by ripping off different lengths of tape and sticking them on the paper. Right now I get mostly the same length in rows, but in time I think he’ll become more creative.

http://www.michaels.com/planner-washi-tape-box-by-recollections/10490268.html

7. Counting Bin

I got these counting ants for Mister a couple years ago through Scholastic. I call this the counting bin because I intend to change it occasionally. I also have counting bears and pattern cards to swap in this box.

8. Spelling bin

Mister got this for his birthday last year. He hasn’t used it much, but he’s now getting into words and spelling. I expect it will get more use now, especially being more available in a quiet bin. This is a Melissa & Doug set.

9. Upper and Lower Case Bin

I purchased this set for my classroom and it was their favorite letter matching activity. I know Mister enjoys it too! This is another Melissa & Doug set. I love the quality of their products!

10. Shape Bin

I cannot remember the actual name of this bin. It is written on the tub, but Mister is asleep and I’m not about to go in his room to look. 😂 I think you can all understand what this is. You make pictures with the shapes and there are patterns you can follow. Mister has times where he loves this activity and will play with it a lot. Then other times we don’t see it for months. Hopefully having it as an option more frequently will convince him to play with it more. This one is another Melissa & Doug set.

11. Rubber Stamp Bin

It’s yet another Melissa & Doug set! I had mini alphabet stamps in my classroom that I purchased from the Target deal bins. They were looking very rough after being in use for the last couple years. Mister was starting to really get into stamping his name, matching lower and upper case, and stamping his friends’ names. I found this set an snagged it! These are quite a bit larger than the ones in my classroom and I think that will help keep them (and his fingers) looking nicer.

12. Unifix Cube Bin

I LOVE Unifix cubes! They have so many great uses and I actually have an entire book of games and lessons using them. I found it at a garage sale a few years ago, so it’s an oldie! I had a set in my Amazon cart to order for my classroom and then plans changed. I decided to order the smaller set for home since I knew they’d be a great asset for homeschool!

https://www.amazon.com/Didax-Educational-Resources-DD-225-Unifix/dp/B0007PC9CK

13. Puzzles!

Just as it says, this one is full of puzzles. Some of these are matching puzzles (opposites and sight words) and some are just for fun cardboard style puzzles. Mister is a fan of all puzzles. He will keep redoing the same one over and over until he can do it super fast! 

And that is the end of the quiet bins! This one shelf has taken forever to finish, but I’m so happy with how it has turned out! I know being organized is going to make planning lessons and finding what we need to complete them just that much easier! Now we can enjoy our holiday weekend and jump into some summer homeschool lessons next week!

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