Dump Truck Duck
By Megan E. Bryant
Dump Truck Duck honks and zooms and steers his dump truck all through the day, helping the other hardworking ducks build a new park. With adorable illustrations and playful rhyming text, Dump Truck Duck is certain to become a new read-aloud favorite!
Construction Site Sensory Bin: Bring In the Big Dig!
by Megan E. Bryant
It’s no secret that my family is a big fan of construction sites, which was part of what inspired my new picture book, DUMP TRUCK DUCK. Decades ago, my brother and I would happily (read: no squabbling for minutes at a time!) watch big diggers and tough trucks at work. Another thing we adore in my family? Sensory bins! There’s something imminently satisfying about scooping, digging, and exploring through the bin, letting your fingers lead the way as you discover whatever is hidden inside. It’s easy to understand why sensory bins are such a useful learning tool for children, especially tactile learners.
For my son’s third birthday, I decided it was high time we had our own sensory bin. After all, I’d seen him using the sensory bin at school, completely engrossed as he explored its contents. If only I’d realized how easy it was to make a sensory bin at home, I would’ve done it ages ago! The best part is that there aren’t any hard and fast guidelines; in fact, you can often make a sensory bin out of items you already have. All you need is a container, some filler, and some fun items to go inside. Here’s how I created a construction site sensory bin for my truck-loving kids.
First, a quick safety note: Make sure that your sensory bin is age-appropriate for your child. Don’t include small pieces, even for the filler, if they could be choking hazards for your little one. Sensory bins are wonderfully flexible; they truly can grow with your child -- just by swapping out the contents!
To begin, you’ll need an empty container. I chose a large, deep one, since I had a feeling my son would dig through it enthusiastically -- and I was right. Our clear plastic bin holds 72 quarts, measuring 16” by 24” by 14”. I find that this size helps to keep the contents contained, for the most part. In the spirit of full disclosure, you should know that sensory bins can lead to some spills and messes. Handling a sensory bin spill is a great opportunity to guide your child in cleaning up the mess while reinforcing appropriate play behaviors. If your child is playing with the sensory bin a little too enthusiastically, or purposefully throwing the filler out of the bin, it’s okay to take it out of the playtime rotation and try again another day.
Next, I had to choose a filler. The options for sensory bin filler are just about endless, but I decided to use dried pinto beans. I like the size and feel of the beans, and they’re easy to pick up if any spill outside the bin. My large-sized sensory bin needed about 20 one-pound bags of pinto beans. Who would’ve thought 20 pounds of beans would make such a fantastic birthday present?
Things really got fun when we started filling the bin with bag after bag of beans.
Next up: time for the trucks! We’ve used big trucks...
and little trucks...
Just about any size works beautifully.
And you’ll definitely want to include scooping tools. A simple set of measuring cups will do the trick -- I found brightly colored ones at Target.
As the launch date for DUMP TRUCK DUCK approached, we thought these construction duckies deserved a place in the bin. Aren’t they cute?
Now sit back and watch your child enjoy the sensory bin -- or better yet, jump in and enjoy it with them! After all, you never know what you might find buried inside it ...
but that’s a story for another book.
About the Author
Megan E. Bryant is the author of more than 170 books for children. Her books Mythlopedia: Oh My Gods! and Mythlopedia: She's All That! were VOYA Honor Books. She lives in North Carolina.
Follow the Author at:
Follow the Book Tour
One lucky winner will receive a print copy of Dump Truck Duck, by Megan E. Bryant! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Friday, June 17, 2016.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.