Fall Corn Sensory Table

The best part about this type of pouring table is to have the kids help rub the corn kernels off the cobs!  The action is great sensory and fine motor stimulation.  It also opens the door for a science lesson.

Best of all, the kids can play in it all they want afterward!  Add some pouring cups or other fun items for the season (some items were added to these tables due to the Halloween season coming up!)

“Lorax” Sensory Rice Bin

posted in: Literacy, Sensory | 0

Susan, our head teacher, made a fun connection to “The Lorax” during our study of Dr. Suess.  The colored rice started out looking very “Cat in the Hat”-like, with the red and white stripes.  Of course that didn’t last long, but the kids still loved the red and white rice.  We included straws and pom-poms to make “Truffula Trees”.  Include small pom-poms for “seeds” to plant some more trees in the rice!

Be sure to read the book “The Lorax” before introducing the sensory bin.  It’s a great way to make a connection to literature and to jump start the kid’s imaginations!

Counting Candy Hearts

posted in: Math, Sensory | 0

The kids are always into the holidays!  Take advantage of their hyper-focus on holiday fun by including it into your lessons!  Counting and sorting candy hearts is a great math activity.  We also let them fill in a graph with how many hearts of each color were in their individual bags. This activity also encourages sensory development with both the feel and the smell of the candy hearts (and it’s up to you as the teacher if they will be tasting those hearts!).

Ice Sensory Table, Idea #6

posted in: Science, Sensory | 0

While learning about the letter, “I’, we did some experiments with ice.  You can do many simple experiments with ice.  We decided to do one on testing how fast ice would melt if you put them in different situations, or placed different materials on them.  But one of our students came up with a different idea, so we went with that.  She wanted to test out how many ice cubes a dry paper towel could hold, verses a wet paper towel.

After doing this fun experiment, and documenting it, we placed ice cubes in the sensory bin, along with shovels and containers for exploring it.  The kids enjoyed it for that one day!

Best building “blocks”

These are amazing!  I was so happy to be introduced to these cool packing peanuts that were saved from the packaging boxes my preschool got from “Insect Lore”.  These starch-based peanuts will stick to each other, to paper, and anything really with only a little water!  We wet a paper-towel and the kids would just tap the packing peanut on the paper towel, and then build away.  They stick instantly, and do not fall apart easily.  For this instance, we asked them to build an “igloo” for the letter “i”, but you can do this with any activity!


Fine Motor Sensory Table

I’m not fancy. And I suspect most parents prefer simple too.  Sometimes simple is the most efficient and effective method for teaching our children.

If you’re looking for a quick activity/sensory bin,  place a bunch of colored scraps of paper in a container/bin.  The more different kinds of texture and weight of paper the better. Then add a couple pair of scissors. You’d be surprised how much the children can enjoy just sniping away at scraps of paper.  And it’s great hand exercise and fine motor practice!

Colored Pasta, Sensory Table #5 and More!

posted in: Art/Creative, Math, Science, Sensory | 0

Colored Pasta!  This is similar to the colored rice.  (Rice does take on the colors better, since it’s white, but the pasta is a lot of fun with the different shapes).  Be sure to pick out different shapes and sizes for your pasta.  Then decide if you want to keep the shape groups the same colors, or mix the shapes up and color them all differently.  In this example, we mixed all the shapes together first, and then colored them into 5 different colors.  (I like both ways, but this way does add a demention for a sorting project.  You can now sort by color, by shape, and by both color and shape together!)

Use this pasta for multiple purposes:

Stringing pasta necklaces, sorting for math, gluing to a picture for a colage or other art project, and of course, placing into a sensory table!

To color, place desired amount of pasta into a large sealable bag.  Mix about 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol with food coloring of choice.  Place the mixture into the bag with the pasta, and let all the kids help shake and mix the bag.  Let the pasta sit for a couple hours to absorb the color.  Then empty the bags onto some trays lined with paper towels.  Let the pasta dry overnight.

Sensory Table Idea #3

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Usually, I would save waterplay for outside.  But having a small station or sensory table with a couple inches of water on the bottom can be a really fun addition to your classroom for a couple days!  Be resourceful, and use old containers for pouring and gathering water.  If you don’t have a sensory table, use a large tub or bucket.  A shovel or other sand toys can be a lot of fun with water as well!

Sensory Table #2

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The best part about this sensory table idea is actually involving the children in coloring the rice! Place rice in a sealable bag and add a mixture of rubbing alcohol and food coloring.  Shake to mix, then lay out to dry! We’ve also done this with pasta, which I will include in another table idea.

This rice has been very popular!

Remember, any container the kids can dig in works to hold the rice and tools!

Sensory Table #1

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The children will love this “under the sea” collection for the Sensory Table! It’s a great way to “save” ask those shells your kids pick up. Add a bucket, shovel, and some colorful fish-tank rocks, and the children’s imagination will sail away!

If you don’t have a Sensory Table, then use a container or wide box.