Create an immersive sensory experience for your young child to encourage their creative, messy play.
- Make Thoughtful Decisions
- Communicate Thinking
- Large bin or trough (e.g. under the bed plastic storage bin)
- Sensory materials, such as:
- Shaving cream
- Pom poms
- Tools for the sensory table, choose one or a few:
- Measuring cups
- Small shovels or scoops
- Additional non-chokable materials, choose one or a few:
- Small animal toys
- Natural materials (rocks, sticks, flowers, seashells)
- Small foam blocks
- Colored blocks of ice
- Fill the bin with one of the sensory materials you’ve chosen.
- Add one or a few additional non-chokable materials along with a few different types of tools.
- Have towels, a sink, and/or wet wipes nearby for easy clean-up. This is a great activity to do outside if possible. If inside, a tarp or vinyl mat under the bin helps to contain the mess.
- Let your child explore and experiment with the materials using their hands or the tools provided. Remind them to keep the materials inside of the bin.
- Encourage pretend play and observations about the properties of the materials (“This river rock is smooth and slippery!”).
- A few combinations to get started:
- Sand with toy dinosaurs and shovels
- Water with colored, glittery blocks of ice, pipettes and salt shakers
- Shaving cream with foam blocks, scrapers and silicone spatulas
- Pom poms with ice cream scoops and cupcake tins
Tips for Adults:
- Get creative with a themed sensory table! Use books, holidays, or children’s interests as inspiration.
- Try using the same materials, but altered. For example, add soap, color, or glitter to the water, turn your dirt into mud, or add a layer of water to the sand!
- Additional materials can be either made or purchased to use with a sensory table. Try out oobleck, flubber, slime, kinetic sand, or instant snow powder.