A sensory bin inspired by the Peanuts gang
We received the Peanuts figurines from Schleich in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed belong to Mommy University.
Each holiday in my childhood home is fondly framed with a reference to a Peanuts movie. Whether it is waiting for the Great Pumpkin with Linus, hoping Charlie Brown will get a Valentine (especially from the Little Red Haired Girl), or singing carols off key around a crooked Christmas tree, the Peanuts gang has now become a part of my children’s memories. The innocence of the stories Charles Schultz comprised echo with young children today and the mellow tempo of the music and bold drawings invite children to sit back, relax, and laugh.
The idea of creating a themed sensory bin where my children can play with the various characters of the Peanuts movie is the perfect combination. As the parent of a child that is constantly looking to touch and squeeze objects, we have incorporated sensory bins into our home. By offering them different textures to engage their senses they are developing a better understanding of their world. Since they love to watch Snoopy and Woodstock, they can now act out different storylines that they created which is helping promote their language development as well as encouraging their imagination.
Materials for Peanuts Sensory Bin
- Large container
- Schleich Peanuts Figurines
- Split Pea Beans (I used 4 qty. 1 lb. bags)
- Props (see the Set Up)
- Assortment of spoons, cups, and other small containers
Setting up the Peanuts Sensory Bin
While we play with sensory bins on a regular basis, we try to add different elements that make each one unique. In this particular sensory bin, we created props. Since my children are getting older I want to include them in the creation of the sensory bins which is why my children colored different background scenes to place in the bin as the background. I drew the oversized pieces by hand but if you are short on time you can always have the kids color a page from a Peanuts coloring book or draw themselves and then cut out. This will be based on the skill of your child, but encourage their involvement as much as possible.
After the props were created, we added split pea beans into the tub. The props and characters were added to the sensory bin.
Playing with the Peanuts Sensory Bin
Of course we watched Peanuts movies before and after the kids played with this sensory bin. As my children maneuvered the pieces around the sensory bin I could hear them acting out different scenes from existing movies. More importantly, I loved to hear them make up their own stories.
Sensory Bins invite children to receive tactile feedback that provides their bodies with information but they also help develop their bodies understanding of weight and balance. In this particular case, the sensory bin has an imaginary play element as well.
Optional Activities for Peanuts Sensory Bin
Instead of Split Pea Beans, you can also use another green material such as dyed rice, shredded paper, or even green water beads.
Within this sensory bin, I used the Peanuts Gang figurine set as well as additional Snoopy, Sally and Franklin figurines. With that said, Schleich has many other options so if you want to make a sensory bin surrounding other Peanuts storylines you can such as “Be My Valentine” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
Since my children have watched every episode of Peanuts, I like to listen to the narratives they create as they play with the figurines. I find this provides me as a parent with insight into how they are envisioning the world and I try to play along as the conversation develops.
Schleich, who has been known for its creation of dinosaur and wildlife figurines, has released Peanuts figurines and an extensive line as well. Schleich is one of Germany’s largest toy manufacturers that is 80 years old and a leader in imaginative toys. They promote that “Anywhere’s a Playground” because our imagination is not limited to specific spaces and the figurines that they create can be collected but can also be used for various purposes like the Peanut Gallery sensory bin that we created or let them play. Schleich Peanuts “The Gang” as well as the individual figurines of Sally, Franklin, and Snoopy are available on Amazon.