Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good Clean Fun - Sensory Table - Fun Summer Activities

Sensory development is key in early childhood, especially (NOT unless) your child tends to be overly sensitive to sights, sounds, textures, and temperatures.  The more familiar they can become with new sensations, the less anxiety will arise upon new situations.  During the toddler "explorative" phase is the perfect time to introduce the opportunity to explore. 

Sensory tables are ridiculously expensive and not always very practical to clean or relocate (those lessons were learned the hard way during my years in a classroom).  So, as our daughter got her sea legs and was ready to start exploring, my husband and I put our heads together to create our own table that was perfect for our curious toddler (then 15 months still enjoying it at 25 months).  

We started with a shallow, rectangular tupperware box with a well fitting lid. Then we basically built the frame around it with some left over plywood we had. We made sure all edges were sanded and smooth, then begin filling it!

WARNING: Please be sure to supervise your children during their "exploration" especially while they are still in the oral phases.

A few fun ideas for toddlers:
1. Water
2. Soap and Water
3. Dry Rice (with little bugs or small toys to bury and find)
4. Cooked Pasta noodles
5. Autumn Leaves
6. Flour
7. Shaving Cream
8. Cotton Balls
9. Finger paint

A sensory table can be a great, portable, easy to clean way for lots of crazy messy fun with older kids too!

A few fun ideas for ages 4+:
1. Ice Cubes
2. Sand with sand toys and shovels
3. Insta-snow
4. Oobleck  (1 part water, 1 1/2 parts corn starch....add food coloring if you want!)
5. Moon sand
6. Polymer Crystals

Clean up and storage:
Simply remove the box from the frame and hose it out, let dry and replace.  If the kids are still playing, but need to abandon the table for a meal or other activities, just put the lid in place to protect it from the elements, or curious critters. =)

Here's to a wet, soft, sticky, slimy, sudsy, rough, slippery, squishy, smooth, firm, and fun summer! 


  1. What a great idea! My kids are grown but hopefully I can make one of those for grandchildren someday.

  2. I remember doing this with my sons when they were toddlers. Oh the fun we had! Thanks for bringing back some great memories!