Watermelon and summer go hand in hand, so much so that we created a full watermelon theme to explore and learn more about watermelon. We’ve shared some of our watermelon theme activities in the past, but this summer we just had to try something new. This watermelon sensory bin uses water beads for some summer sensory play fun for kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers! But trust me, it’s fun for kids of all ages!
Continue the watermelon theme fun with a full week of watermelon play and learning with our printable lesson plans for home preschool and preschool.
Materials for Watermelon Sensory Bin
One of the things I love most about this bin is that it’s super easy to prep. All you’ll need are some pink water beads, some black water beads, a bin (we used a plastic storage bin, but a large watermelon would be so fun!), and the cups and scoops of your choice. We chose some green sauce bowls, an ice cream scoop, and some tongs. Those few items led to tons and tons of playtime and creative thinking!
See our Watermelon Sensory Play in Action
Once you’ve got your invitation set up, sit back and watch the magic as little ones explore. See a few clips or our watermelon sensory bin in the video below. Then read on for more details of the fun and learning involved.
Takeaways from our Watermelon Sensory Bin
Of course, the first thing little hands want to do is dive in and feel that sensory rush as the cool water beads flow between their fingers.
Then it’s time to test out some of the tools you provided. My youngest daughter loved getting a large scoop of beads and then trying to catch them back and forth between the scoop and her hand until all the beads had fallen back into the bin. She did this quite a few times before moving on to another discovery.
She figured out that the back of the scoop was just the right size for collecting a string of water beads. This inspired a bit of pretend play as she took care of her “watermelon babies” for a while.
Then it was on to the tongs. She quickly realized that she had to slow down and be quite focused if she wanted to be able to pick up any water beads with the tongs. I loved seeing her concentrate and really work those fine motor muscles!
Ultimately she decided she needed a “seedless” watermelon sensory bin, and she worked to use the tongs to place all the black water beads back into the green cups.
YES, this did take a LONG time, but it was completely unprompted and it was an excellent way to weave in sorting and fine motor practice.
I never really know what direction a sensory bin will take, but I am always sure it will inspire a lot of interesting thinking and play. That was definitely the case here!
Get a Full Week of Watermelon Theme Learning and Play
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Watermelon Seed Counting Game
2) Roll and Color Watermelon Seed Math Game
3) Watermelons on the Vine Beginning Sound Sort (6 initial sounds)
4) Watermelon Word Family Building Activity Set (5 word families)
5) Watermelon Fractions Matching Activity
6) Watermelon Life Cycle Printable Chart
7) Ten Frame Watermelon Seed Counting Mats
8) Growing a Watermelon Emergent Reader (2 versions)
9) Watermelon Letter Matching Puzzles
10) Watermelon Life Cycle Sequencing Set
11) 0-35 Watermelon Theme Number Cards
Get Your Lesson Plans